Reviews 513 Roman Malek, editor. Jingjiao: The Church of the East in China and Central Asia. Collectanea Serica. In connection with Peter Hofrichter. Sankt Augustin: Institut Monumenta Serica, 2006. 701 pp. Paperback $65.00, Isbn 3805005342. In 1623 near Xi'an, a farmer unearthed a stele bearing a lengthy Chinese text on its face with Syriac inscriptions on its sides that recounted the development of the Syro-Oriental Church. Its leader, Aluoben, came to Chang'an, the capital of the Tang dynasty under the Taizong Emperor (627649) in 635. Within three years, the emperor issued an edict allowing the diffusion of Christianity. Buddhist and Daoist opposition in the late seventh and early eighth centuries curtailed such Christian endeavors, but the Jingjiao beiwen (Stele of the Luminous Religion, called the "Nestorian monument" in the past) erected in 781 described the history of Christianity in that period.1 Entwined with the persecution of Buddhism by the state in 845, Christianity was uprooted from the capital and virtually disappeared from China until it was introduced for a second time before the opening of the Yuan or Mongol dynasty (12791368). From the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries, the stele was considered a hoax in some scholarly circles.
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Nov 28, 2008
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