Second version of the China Historical Christian Database

Providing a Fuller Picture of the Role of Christianity in China: Version 2.0 of the Chinese Historical Christian Database Opens up the Lives and Work of over 700 S.V.D. and S.Sp.S. Missionaries in China for Research

The second version of the China Historical Christian Database (CHCD) was released in October 2023. This digital humanities project, initiated and supported by the Center for Global Christianity and Mission at Boston University, includes data on missionaries from all major denominations and makes the history of Christianity in China from 1550 to 1950 visible. Researchers can find information on various missionary societies, individual missionaries and their work, Christian institutions, and missionary activities in specific provinces, prefectures, or counties.

Version 2.0 of the CHCD also includes information on more than five hundred missionaries from the Society of the Divine Word (Societas Verbum Divini, S.V.D.) and over two hundred Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit (Congregatio Missionalis Servarum Spiritus Sancti, S.Sp.S.) working in the China mission. This data has been made accessible for the first time in a one-stop reference tool. It was contributed by the editorial team of the Monumenta Serica Institute over the course of two years with the generous financial support of the German S.V.D. Province.

The Monumenta Serica Institute is proud to have taken part in the CHCD, a project that will significantly shape research on the history of Christianity in China for years to come. It hopes that the collected data on the S.V.D. and the S.Sp.S. will spark further scholarly interest in the activities of both missionary societies in China, e.g., their publication work and their taking root in a Chinese cultural context.

As a technical update, version 2.0 of the CHCD now features a data dashboard which enables users to visualize the data according to different categories in charts and diagrams. A video introducing the new features of the CHCD can be found here.