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Recording: Chinese Christian Posters in Early 20th Century China

On April 26, 2023, approximately 75 people gathered in the Barrows Auditorium at Wheaton College’s Billy Graham Hall to hear Dr. Daryl Ireland give a fabulous presentation on Chinese evangelistic posters used in China’s Republican Era.  

He started off by reminding us that “archives are dangerous places” because of their tendency to upend what we think we know about historical events. The 700 posters that he and his team have studied challenge what we have long thought about Christianity in China in the early 20th Century.

In his talk, Dr. Ireland showed how a collection of posters calls us to rethink Christianity in China in five arenas:

  1. Christians and Chinese Politics
  2. Fundamentalism and Modernism
  3. Catholic Contradictions
  4. Christian Innovation and Popular Culture
  5. Popular Chinese Theology

Following his presentation, the audience had a chance to ask questions.

The full video of the event is on our YouTube channel:

The lecture begins at 7:08.
The Q&A begins at 57:20.

We were thrilled to be back at Wheaton for this event because ChinaSource began at the Billy Graham Center as the Institute for Chinese Studies. Our founder, Brent Fulton, even flew in for the occasion.

I want to say a special thanks to Andy Cook, Suzanne MacDonald, Katherine Graber, and the IT team at the Billy Graham Center for hosting the event and for their hard work in making this event so successful.

I also want to thank Jeremy Weber, Sean Cheng, and the others in the Global Department of Christianity Today who were so instrumental in making this event happen.

And last, but certainly not least, I want to thank Daryl Ireland for delivering such an interesting and enlightening lecture. We were deeply blessed, and we hope that those who view this recording will be as well.

You can learn more about Dr. Ireland’s research on Chinese Christian posters at the website Chinese Christian Posters.

This event was part of is part of an ongoing series entitled Exploring Christianity and Culture in China: Today and Yesterday. The series is a collaborative effort of three organizations: ChinaSource, the US-China Catholic Association (USCCA), and China Academic Consortium (CAC). The goal of the series is to explore the role of Christianity in the cultural dialogue between China and the West.

CAC will host the next lecture on November 11, 2023 in Berkeley, CA. Theologian and missiologist Dr. Brad Vaughn will give a talk called “Honor and Shame: Salvation in a Chinese Context.”

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Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman is Vice President of Partnership and China Engagement and editor of ZGBriefs. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University …View Full Bio

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