The 1873 Công đồng Tứ Xuyên, a principal and influential pastoral manual for local Vietnamese clergy, demonstrates that these religious leaders belonged to the scholar-official social class. They embraced the late Trần Confucian tradition of moral leadership. This study uses structural analysis to show the essential peculiarities beyond the external elements of the text by contextualizing this church document in the longue durée of the Vietnamese political-cultural system. By applying the tools of cultural history, this article aims to retrieve the long-muted voices of the local Catholic leaders of the precolonial period.

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