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The Church of the East in Central Asia and China

S. N.C. Lieu, G. Thompson (eds.)
approx. 320 p., 20 colour ill., 210 x 297 mm
ISBN: 978-2-503-58664-9
Languages: English
HardbackHardback
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A collection of papers on the history of Christianity along the Silk Road and in pre-modern China, pushing back the frontier of knowledge in a fast developing new area of research.

The diffusion of Christianity along the Silk Road from Iraq and Iran to China in the pre-modern era has attracted scholarly attention in the West since the discovery of the famous Xi’an (Nestorian) Monument c. 1623. This initial discovery was dismissed as a ‘Jesuit forgery’ by Voltaire, Edward Gibbon and many other scholars of the Enlightenment. However, its authenticity has been more than vindicated by the discovery of genuine (Nestorian / Jingjiao) Christian texts in Chinese from Dunhuang and in Syriac, Sogdian and Old Turkish from Turfan (Bulayïq) at the beginning of the last century. The discovery of a second major inscription which included part of a Chinese Christian (Jingjiao) text already known to scholars from Dunhuang, and the recent re-discovery of several Dunhuang Christian texts in a Japanese library, has removed any lingering doubts about the authenticity of the texts recovered from Dunhuang. The surviving material spans almost a millennium from the introduction of Christianity along the Silk Road in the sixth and seventh centuries through the Mongol period and beyond.

Professor Samuel N.C. Lieu is the current President of the Union Académique Internationale (International Union of Academies) and a Bye Fellow of Robinson College Cambridge. Professor Glen L. Thompson is Professor of New Testament and Historical Theology at the Asia Lutheran Seminary, Hong Kong

Table of Contents

Foreword  (Florian Knothe)
List of Contributors 

Part One: The Church of the East in Central Asia
1. Erica Hunter (SOAS) The Christian Library from Turfan: commemorating the saints in MIK III/45
2. Nicholas Sims-Williams, FBA (SOAS) Sogdian biblical manuscripts from the Turfan oasis
3. Takahashi Hidemi (University of Tokyo) Representation of the Syriac language in Jingjiao documents 

Part Two: The Church of the East in Tang and Yuan China
4. Huaiyu, Chen (Univsity of Arizona) Shared Issues in a Shared Textual Community: Buddhist, Christian, and Daoist Texts in Tang Chin
5. Max Deeg (Cardiff University) Messiah Rediscovered: Some Philological Notes on the So-called 'Jesus the Messiah Sutra  
6. Samuel N.C. Lieu, (Macquarie and Robinson College, Cambridge)  From Rome (Daqin 大秦) To China (Zhongguo 中國):  The Xi’an 西安 (Nestorian) Monument As A Bilingual And Transcultural Document (Keynote Address)
7. Glen L. Thompson (Asia Lutheran Seminary, Hong Kong) Strange Teaching from a Strange Land: Foreignness, Heresy, and Our Understanding of the Jingjiao and Yelikewenjiao 
8. David Wilmshurst (formerly Chinese University of Hong Kong) Interfaith Conflict in Yuan China 

Part Three: The Art and Iconography of the Church of the East
9.  Niu Ruji,  ‘History Is a Mirror:On the Spread of Nestorianism in China from the Newly Discovered Bronze Mirror with Cross-lotus and Syriac Inscriptions
10. Ken Parry (Emeritus Macquarie) Images in the Church of the East: The Textual and Art Historical Evidence in the Light of Contemporary Practice
11. Patrick Taveirne (Chinese University of Hong Kong) The Study of the Ordos “Nestorian Bronze Crosses”: Status Quaestionis 

Addenda to Chapter 3

Index

Interest Classification:
Religion (including History of Religion) & Theology
Ancient & Oriental religions (excl. Judaism & offshoots)

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