Alex Mayfield, Ph.D. – Asbury University
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Alex Mayfield

Assistant Professor of History

Department: Social Science & History

Office: Morrison

Phone Extension: 2226

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Biographical Information

Alex Mayfield joined the Asbury faculty in 2022. His research utilizes digital methodologies which enable the reconstruction of historical networks and movements within global Christianity. His current research and teaching interests include global history, pentecostal and charismatic movements, mission history in East Asia, and the history of colonial Latin America.

His current scholarly focus is on the China Historical Christian Database, an international collaborative project which seeks to identify every Christian person, event, and institution in China between 1550 and 1950. With his help the project has become the largest collection of data on Christian actors in China’s past, and it continues to grow. He is also working on a new book project with Baylor University Press that explores the historical development of the pentecostal movement in Hong Kong. Tentatively titled, The Kaleidoscopic City, the monograph explores how how changes in the structural and conceptual frameworks of foreign pentecostals had a dramatic impact on the shape of Hong Kong pentecostalism.

Beyond his own research, Dr. Mayfield also serves as a technical advisor to the Chinese Christian Posters projects and the Dictionary of African Christian Biography.


  • Ph.D., Boston University
  • M.Div., Boston College
  • B.A., Oral Roberts University

Selected Publications

“Arrows Flying to the Five Continents: Hong Kong and Structures of Pentecostal Print Culture, 1907-1942,” in The Pentecostal World, Routledge Worlds, eds. Michael Wilkinson and Jörg Haustein, Routledge (forthcoming).

“Leaping the Digital Gorge: Datasets, Digital Aesthetics, and the China Historical Christian Database,” Digital Humanities 數字人文 (in press).

“Shanghai Brothels, Spirit Baptisms: The Door of Hope Women as a Source for Pentecostal Ressourcement,” in Sisters, Mothers, Daughters: Pentecostal Perspectives on Violence Against Women, eds. Michael Palmer, Mark Cartledge, Kimberly Alexander, and Melissa Archer, 135-53 (Leiden: Brill, 2022).

“Galleons from the “Mouth of Hell:” Empire and Religion in 17th Century Acapulco,” Journal of Early Modern Christianity 5, no. 2 (2018): 221-245.

“The Question of Power in African Pentecostalism,” Spiritus: ORU Journal of Theology 3, no. 1 (2018), 87-107.

“Spiritual Exceptionalism?: An Ethnographic Survey of Transnational Pentecostal Communities in Boston’s Inner Core,” Missiology 45, no. 3 (2017): 299-321.

“Seal of the Spirit: The Sacrament of Confirmation and Pentecostal ‘Spirit Baptism’,” Journal of Pentecostal Theology 25, no. 2 (2016): 222-241. 

Digital Projects

Principal Investigator, China Historical Christian Database, 2018 – Present.

Digital Architect & Technical Advisor, Chinese Christian Posters Project, 2017 – Present.

Digital Architect & Technical Advisor, Dictionary of African Christian Biography, 2017 – Present.

Digital Architect, Asia at the World’s Fairs, 2019.


Digital Humanities Advancement Grant, National Endowment for the Humanities, 2021-22.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Boston University, 2021-22.

Research Incubation Award, Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing Science & Engineering at Boston University, 2018.


Managing Editor, Pneuma: The Journal for the Society of Pentecostal Studies, 2020 – Present.

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