Echoes of a Forgotten Presence

14 August 2020

Echoes of a Forgotten Presence: Reconstructing the History of the Church of the East in Central Asia contains eleven articles by Mark Dickens of St. Joseph's College, ten of which were published between 2009 and 2016, with the final article appearing in print here for the first time. The articles concern the evidence from which historians attempt to reconstruct the history of Syriac Christianity in Central Asia, particularly that associated with the Assyrian Church of the East, the most important church in the region for well over a millennium.

Three articles deal with important personalities in the history of the Church: Nestorius, Timothy I and Yahbalaha III. Two contributions address Christian gravestone inscriptions from Semirechye (Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan). The remaining six are concerned with the large collection of Christian manuscript fragments found at Turfan (China) in the early 20th century, now housed in various locations in Berlin. In particular, the multilingual nature of many fragments, the presence of psalters and other biblical texts in the corpus, the importance of prayer and calendrical fragments in the collection, and evidence of Christian scribal practices from Turfan are all examined.

The volume was published earlier in 2020 by LIT Verlag (Münster) as Vol. 15 in the series "Orientalia - Patristica - Oecumenica."