The Church of the East

Lieu, Samuel & Glen Thompson (eds.). 2020. The Church of the East in Central Asia and China (China and the Mediterranean World 1). Turnhout: Brepols.

Note by BiblioIranica: This is the first volume in the new series China and the Mediterranean World with S. N.C. Lieu and G. Mikkelsen as the general editors.

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 premodern era has attracted scholarly attention in the West since the discovery of the famous Xian (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 (Bulayq) at the beginning of the last century. Besides confirming the existence of a Tang era Chinese Christian church (Jingjiao), additional archaeological and literary evidence has accumulated of a Christian presence in China during the later Song and Yuan periods (Yelikewenjiao). These churches were the subject of a conference of international specialists in Hong Kong in 2015. The current volume of eleven articles has grown out of the papers presented there.

Table of Contents

Foreword  (Florian Knothe)
List of Contributors 

Part One: The Church of the East in Central Asia
Erica Hunter, The Christian Library from Turfan: commemorating the saints in MIK III/45
Nicholas Sims-Williams, Sogdian biblical manuscripts from the Turfan oasis
Takahashi Hidemi, Representation of the Syriac language in Jingjiao documents 

Part Two: The Church of the East in Tang and Yuan China
Chen Huaiyu, Shared Issues in a Shared Textual Community: Buddhist, Christian, and Daoist Texts in Tang Chin
Max Deeg, Messiah Rediscovered: Some Philological Notes on the So-called ‘Jesus the Messiah Sutra
Samuel N.C. Lieu, From Rome (Daqin 大秦) To China (Zhongguo 中國):  The Xi’an 西安 (Nestorian) Monument As A Bilingual And Transcultural Document
Glen L. Thompson, Strange Teaching from a Strange Land: Foreignness, Heresy, and Our Understanding of the Jingjiao and Yelikewenjiao 
David Wilmshurst, Interfaith Conflict in Yuan China 

Part Three: The Art and Iconography of the Church of the East
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
Ken Parry, Images in the Church of the East: The Textual and Art Historical Evidence in the Light of Contemporary Practice
Patrick Taveirne, The Study of the Ordos “Nestorian Bronze Crosses”: Status Quaestionis 

Addenda to Chapter 3