From the West Courtyard

From the West Courtyard—thoughts about working and serving in China from our staff and others with experience and insight to share. 

The name comes from a Chinese phrase that was taught in an early 1900s Chinese language curriculum, “有一个人,从西院子过来,”meaning “a man came over from the west courtyard." The idea of moving from west to east, of journeying between these two courtyards, reflects our desire to root our observations in the non-western context and allow the local Chinese context to determine what is culturally normative for life and work in China. 

Opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed by ChinaSource.   


Jul 29

"Waffle House" of Northwest China

by Tabor Laughlin

Come visit me at the “Waffle House” of northwest China!

Jul 27

Relational and Cultural Renewal

Through Acknowledging the Multiformity of the Ru (Confucian) Tradition

by Peregrine de Vigo

Having read Wang Jun’s article “The Preeminence of Love in Chinese Families” in the most recent ChinaSource Quarterly (18.2), “Christian Ethics and Family Living in China,” I would like to respond with a few thoughts that I trust will be helpful, and that might open further dialogue on this important topic.

Jul 25

Foreign NGO Law

The Return of the Mother-in-Law

by Joann Pittman

Article 11 of the new Foreign NGO Management Law that is due to go into effect on January 1, 2017, will require foreign NGOs operating in China to “obtain consent of a professional supervisory unit.” The list of the approved supervisory units has yet to be released.

Jul 22

The Importance of Christian Education for Chinese Christian Families

by Jonathan Jiang

A reader responds to the 2016 summer issue of ChinaSource Quarterly—"A Theology of Family for the Chinese Church."

Jul 20

China and the House Church

Breaking the Stalemate

by Brent Fulton

Police actions against several house churches in Guangdong province in recent weeks again point up the fragile state of China’s vast unregistered Christian community.

Jul 18

The Many Countries of China

by Joann Pittman

In his book, China Airborne, James Fallows takes a look at modern China through the lens of the country’s growing aviation industry. He writes in the introduction about what he calls “the many countries of China,” (p. 6) explaining the diversity and complexity of a country that we tend to (wrongly) view as a monolith.

Jul 15

The Church on Gospel Road

by Joy P.

Spring had come to Chengdu City, so a Chinese friend and I decided to go into the countryside to enjoy the flowers. After a lovely stroll among the canola flowers and a delicious lunch, we went to visit a nearby church where we know the folks. Their church, has an interesting story, somewhat in contrast with the stories that often reach the news about the church in China.

Jul 13

From Confucius to Christ

Chinese Families in Tension

by Brent Fulton

The latest issue of ChinaSource Quarterly takes an in-depth look at the pressures facing young Christian families in urban China.

Jul 11

4 Books on the Chinese Communist Party

by Joann Pittman

There was a big birthday celebration in China earlier this month. July 1 marked the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party. 

Jul 8

Mr. Zhang Believes

A Film Review

by Hannah Lau

Traditionally, film festival pieces are known to push boundaries and be more artistically daring than your average blockbuster affair. But the space in which director Qiu Jiongjiong plays with his film Chi () is one that even has the artistic community a bit stunned. The film, which has been alternately named Mr. Zhang Believes, has been described as a hybrid documentary—one that blends theatrical fiction and autobiography. Existing in relatively uncharted territory, hybrids bravely blur the lines of categorical boundaries.