Daryl Ireland

Research Associate Professor of Mission

Daryl Ireland focuses on the history of Christianity in Asia, as well as the intersection of International Development and Faith. His recent book, John Song: Modern Chinese Christianity and the Making of a New Man (2020), explores how a Chinese revivalist’s spirituality, whose itinerant ministry initially operated on the fringe of mainline Protestant Christianity, came to be the dominant expression of Chinese Christianity today. The ten-year investigation into the life and work of Song has prompted Ireland to write more broadly about revitalization movements, the role of women in revivalism, and religious conversion. He is the director of the Chinese Christian Posters project, which has digitized and made publicly available 700 Christian posters from the Republican Era in China (1911-1949). Nationalists, Communists, and Christians all used posters to convert people’s imagination, to visualize for them the good life and what was keeping them from achieving it. In so doing, the posters became a graphic depiction of the contested nature of what China’s national salvation meant in the first half of the twentieth century, and how Christians competed directly with China’s political parties to save the nation. He is also the co-director of the China Historical Christian Database (CHCD), a massive international collaborative effort in the Digital Humanities to identify where every Christian church, school, hospital, convent, publishing house, and the like, were located in China between 1550 and 1950, and to record who was connected to those places, both foreigners and Chinese. The combined temporal, spatial, and relational information allows the CHCD to quantify and visualize Christianity in China in new and powerful ways, allowing scholars to use ‘big data’ to rethink the connections between China and the West.

Recent Videos and Interviews

“Chinese Christian Posters and Political Theology” and “Chinese Christian Posters and Popular Theology,” a two-part presentation delivered at the Overseas Ministry Study Center (OMSC) at Princeton Theological Seminary, November 2020.

Interview as part of the series “Christianity in China: Recollections on the Field by Prominent Scholars,” co-sponsored by the Whitworth University Library and China Christianity Studies Group, December 2020.

Faculty Types
Faculty and Methodist Faculty