Luce Hinterland

NARRATIVES FROM THE HINTERLAND: Expanding the Study of Christianity

in China beyond the Major Urban Centers

Project Goals:


  • To expand the institutional and personnel resources currently available, from a few metropolitan cities to a nationwide network of educational and research programs which will include more remote areas of China with the voices and narratives from the hinterland;
  • To broaden the study of Christianity in China through development of six multi-disciplinary projects;
  • To promote significant opportunities for educational and research leadership among Chinese scholars, both within China and in collaboration with the USF Ricci Institute and the international scholarly community, and increase the number of scholars in China interested in the field of Chinese-Western cultural history.


Project Outcomes:


  • To expand significantly the network of Chinese institutions engaged in academic research and in the education of young scholars on the history Christianity in China by organizing six different educational/research programs at provincial level universities in six different regions throughout China;
  • To promote scholarly exchange and research by designating six exchange fellowships (one from each educational/research project within this proposed grant) to conduct research, optimally prior to the time of the educational and research activities in China. At the Ricci Institute, the visiting scholars will conduct their research by utilizing the primary sources that are to be published as part of the entire project in China and/or the archival and scholarly resources at the Ricci Institute, and present their research results both at the educational/research projects later in China and through online and print publications;
  • To utilize fully the existing international network of senior scholars in the field, engaging over the course of the grant period twenty-four senior scholars (two from China and two from abroad for each of the six regions) who will contribute to both the academic educational program component and the scholarly research seminars being proposed;
  • To focus on various aspects of Christianity in China in the larger context of Chinese-Western cultural history in order to increase the awareness of this multi-dimensional field among undergraduate and graduate students in the above regions. This will be done through a total of twenty-four public lectures by the above mentioned senior international and Chinese scholars (two from China and two from abroad for each of the six regions);
  • To enlarge the network of Chinese scholars working on different aspects of Christianity in China in the larger context of Chinese-Western cultural history by 80-120 junior Chinese scholars and young faculty members (approximately fifteen to twenty for each program in each of the six regions) who will be invited to participate in six research seminars (one for each region).  Interactions between the young scholars and senior-level national and international scholars at the research seminars are a projected outcome;
  • To produce a series of six volumes of archival source materials (one for each region) unique in contents and style, and representative of the primary sources to be researched in the different locations, with the outcome of having these volumes published by a recognized national publisher in China, and with the possibility of international distribution online and/or in print;
  • To produce a final volume of selected lectures, papers, and original research reports from the entire project.


Co-sponsoring Institutions and Programs:


  • Center for Mongolian Studies, Inner-Mongolia University
    Beyond the Great Wall: Christianity and Chinese-Western Cultural Exchange in Modern China
  • Center for the Study of Christian Culture, Lanzhou University
    Multiculturalism in the Far Reaches: Chinese-Western Cultural Exchange in the Recent History of  Gansu, Ningxia and Qinghai through Christianity in China
  • School of Humanities, Yunnan Nationalities University
    Christianity on the Far Southern Borders: Multiethnic Cultures in the Recent History of Southwest China
  • Research Center of Modern Chinese Literature, Hunan Normal University
    Literature and Christianity: Reflections of the Literati from the Hinterland of China in the Late Qing and Early Republican Period
  • School of History & Culture, Henan University
  • Cultural Encounters in the Central Plain Region of China: Social Changes and Christianity along the Mid-and-Lower Stream of the Yellow River
  • Faculty for the Study of Asian Civilizations, Northeast Normal University
    Manuscripts, Reminiscence, Locations and Interpretation: New Perspectives on Chinese-Western Cultural Exchange and Christianity in Northeast China (Early Qing – Republic)


Advisory Council Co-chairmen:


  • Joseph Tse-Hei Lee, Professor, Pace University, the United States
  • Wu Yixiong, Professor, Sun Yat-sen University, China




Daniel Bays, Professor, Calvin College (US)

Fan Lizhu, Professor, Shanghai Fudan University (China)

Liu Jiafeng, Professor, Central China Normal University (China)

Gary Tiedemann, Professor, University of London (UK)

Jean-Paul Wiest, Professor, the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies (China)

Zhang Xianqing, Professor, Xiamen University (China)


Funded by the Henry Luce Foundation in New York, USA



2130 Fulton Street, LM280

San Francisco, CA 94117-1080, U.S.A.

Tel: 415-422-6401     Fax: 415-422-2291


©2016 The USF Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History