Jingjiao: The Church of the East in China and Central Asia

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Jingjiao: The Church of the East in China and Central Asia. Edited by Roman Malek, with Peter Hofrichter. Sankt Augustin, Ger.: Steyler Verlag, 2006. Pp. 701. euro65.

The thirty contributions in this volume were for the most part presented in May 2003 at a conference entitled "Research on Nestorianism in China" that brought to Salzburg historians, theologians, Sinologists, and archaeologists. Reflecting the contemporary scholarship on this early strand of Christianity that grew out of Antioch, spread eastward across central Asia, and reached China during the Tang dynasty, the editors of the book avoid the term "Nestorianism" and opt instead for the expression "Church of the East." The missionaries from that church who came to China called Christianity Jingjiao-the Luminous Religion. The Christian doctrine in the writings that have survived is expressed in a vocabulary borrowed from Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism but shows virtually nothing that can be conclusively labeled "Nestorian."

The material of the collection is organized in five parts. The first part presents different aspects of past and current research on Jingjiao. The second discusses Jingjiao during the Tang dynasty, especially the question of the authenticity of the documents and the theology they present. The third part deals with inscriptions and ruins from the Yuan dynasty, such as those in Yangzhou and Quanzhou. …