China Data Center Plays Key Role in Spatial Study of Chinese Religions and Society


The Spatial Study of Religion and Society websiteThe Center on Religion and Chinese Society at Purdue University and the China Data Center at the University of Michigan are pleased to announce the project "Spatial Study of Chinese Religions and Society" supported by a three-year, $400,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.

The project is an extension of a project on the spatial study of Chinese Christianity, which was supported by a prior Luce Foundation grant of $300,000 from 2011 to 2014. The new project will expand the current research to include the study of Buddhism, Islam, and Taoism in mainland China.

The project will:

  1. Develop global research and data collaboration on the study of Chinese religions
  2. Provide effective spatial information technology in support of interested global users
  3. Promote empirical, qualitative, and quantitative research on Chinese religions 
  4. Enhance Americans' knowledge and understanding of Chinese religious studies 
  5. Educate the general public about Chinese religions 
  6. Explore and facilitate international research, teaching, learning, and training collaborations on the social scientific study of religions

Specifically, the project will:

  1. Complete, validate, and enter spatial data on Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist, Islamic, and Taoist sites into an online system
  2. Develop an online spatial information explorer that will be accessible to the public, useful to professionals, and valuable to academics teaching about Chinese religions
  3. Conduct theory-driven and empirical studies using the spatial data and online system
  4. Use these studies as exemplars for the training of professionals and researchers

The project is directed by Dr. Z. George Hong, professor of history at Purdue University Calumet and co-director of the Center on Religion and Chinese Society at Purdue University); Dr. Fenggang Yang, professor of sociology, director of the Center on Religion and Chinese Society at Purdue University, and president-elect of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, 2013-2016); and Dr. Shuming Bao, director of the China Data Center (CDC) at the University of Michigan. The CDC is a partner of the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) and it is located at ICPSR headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

For more details, please visit The Spatial Study of Religion and Society website or send an email to

Dec 5, 2013

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