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A Critique of Timothy Vang’s Hmong Religious Conversion and Resistance Study

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Author(s): Nao Xiong | Yang Sao Xiong

Journal: Hmong Studies Journal
ISSN 1091-1774

Volume: 9;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Hmong Americans | Hmong Studies | Asian American Studies | Religion

ABSTRACT
We review Timothy Vang’s dissertation on the growth and decline of the Hmong Christian church. We argue that Vang’s arguments are methodologically and theoretically flawed. Furthermore, we try to show that his dissertation is not so much an objective analysis of Hmong religious adaptation, but rather an attempt to define and subjugate certain Hmong cultural and religious beliefs and practices as backward and inferior to Christianity. We suggest that it is these kinds of problematic arguments, often couched in academic language, that further perpetuate misinterpretations and misrepresentations about “culture” and “religion” in Hmong American communities.

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