The China Historical Christian Database  (CHCD) quantifies and visualizes the place of Christianity in modern China (1550-1950). It provides users the tools to discover where every Christian church, school, hospital, orphanage, publishing house, and the like were located in China, and it documents who worked inside those buildings, both foreign and Chinese. Collectively, this information creates spatial maps and generates relational networks that reveal where, when, and how Western ideas, technologies, and practices entered China. Simultaneously, it uncovers how and through whom Chinese ideas, technologies, and practices were conveyed to the West.

This project breaks new ground in providing quantifiable data about modern Sino-Western relations. Its intuitive interface generates visualizations, lists, and maps for use by the general public, students and teachers in secondary education and colleges, in the US and globally, with English and Chinese navigation. Advanced DH users have open access to its data for elaboration. BU’s digital infrastructure guarantees long-term sustainability, and CHCD’s international collaborations in the USA, Asia, and Europe help promote historical understanding between China and the rest of the world.

The CHCD is hosted by the Center for Global Christianity and Mission at Boston University in collaboration with the History Department. Principal co-investigators for the project are historians Prof. Eugenio Menegon (CAS, History) and Prof. Daryl Ireland (School of Theology, CGCM).

Visiting PhD Students at BU (self-supporting)

  • Ms. LIU Meng 刘梦 (Shanghai University, advisor Prof. LIU Yi), who works on African Christianity, has spent the 2022-23 academic year at BU, sponsored by the History Department (Eugenio Menegon); she has extended for a second year.
  • Ms. GAO Tong 髙彤 (School of Philosophy, Renmin University, Beijing, Advisors Profs. WEI Dedong and ZHONG Zhifeng), who works on Presbyterian China missionary Gilbert Reid (1857-1927), arrived in Winter 2023, sponsored by the Center for Global Christianity and Mission at STH (Daryl Ireland). She might extend for another year.

Visiting Faculty at BU (self-supporting)

  • Prof. Zhong Zhifeng 钟智锋 (PhD in Religious Studies at Baylor University; School of Philosophy, Renmin University), who has been collaborating with BU’s China Historical Christian Database for several years now, will spend academic year 2023-24 at BU, sponsored by the Center for Global Christianity and Mission at STH (Daryl Ireland).
  • Prof. Liu Jianguo 刘建国 (Institute of Foreign Languages, Henan University of Science and Technology) spent the past academic year as a Fellow at the China Biographical Database Project at Harvard (directed by Prof. Peter Bol), working on Christianity in China; he asked to join the CHCD for a second year starting in mid-November 2023, and will be sponsored by the History Department (Eugenio Menegon).
  • Prof. Luisa Paternicò (“L’Orientale” University, Naples, Italy), an expert on China missionary linguistics in the early modern period, will visit BU September 17-27 as part of the BU-Orientale long-standing Faculty Exchange, and give two talks, one on missionary linguistics co-sponsored by BU at the Ricci Institute at BC on Wed. September 20, 10:00 am; another on history of  Cantonese and Mandarin linguistics, Mon. September 25, 5:00 pm,  co-sponsored by CGCM, History, Linguistics, WWL and BUCSA at BU.