The Church of the East: An Illustrated History of Assyrian ChristianityHardback
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- Publisher: I.B.Tauris
- Format: Hardback | 336 pages
- Dimensions: 239mm x 292mm x 28mm | 1,837g
- Publication date: 27 June 2006
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 184511115X
- ISBN 13: 9781845111151
- Illustrations note: col. Illustrations, col maps, col. ports.
- Sales rank: 431,435
The so-called 'Nestorian' Church (officially known as the Apostolic Assyrian Church of the East, with its See in Baghdad) was one of the most significant Christian communities to develop east of the Roman Empire. In its heyday, the Church had 10 million adherents and stretched from the Mediterranean to China. Christoph Baumer is one of the very few Westerners to have visited many of the most important Assyrian sites, and has written the only comprehensive history of the Church, which now fights for survival in its country of origin, Iraq, and is almost forgotten in the West. He narrates its rich and colourful trajectory, from its apostolic beginnings to the present day, and discusses the Church's theology, christology and uniquely vigorous spirituality. He analyses the Church's turbulent relationship with other Christian churches and its dialogue with neighbouring world religions such as Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, Islam, Buddhism and Taoism. Richly illustrated with maps and over 150 full-colour photographs, the book will be essential reading for those interested in a fascinating but neglected Christian community which has profoundly shaped the history of civilization in both East and West. 'Christoph Baumer's fine book should take its place at once as much the best available general history of the Church of the East, from its beginnings to the present day. It is especially strong on the expansion of the Church in Central and East Asia, making excellent use of recent finds. Throughout ,it is splendidly illustrated by photographs, many of which were taken during the author's own extensive travels.'
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Sebastian Brock, formerly Reader in Syriac Studies, University of Oxford
'Christoph Baumer's fine book should take its place at once as much the best available general history of the Church of the East, from its beginnings to the present day. It is especially strong on the expansion of the Church in Central and East Asia, making excellent use of recent finds. Throughout it is splendidly illustrated by photographs, many of which were taken during the author's own extensive travels.' - Sebastian Brock, formerly Reader in Syriac Studies, University of Oxford 'Christoph Baumer's book ranges wide, intellectually and geographically. Even readers who know the Church of the East by its missionary reputation will be surprised to discover some of the places it has been - the scattered but very fascinating evidence from Central Asia and China is impressively presented - and to consider how its theology evolved in dialogue with other currents of thought.' - J. F. Coakley, Senior Lecturer in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University 'This well-researched and well-written book does much to make accessible the precious and ancient history of the Assyrians. Particularly laudable is the attention that the author has paid to the Church's internationalism, and to dioceses that spanned - for almost a millennium - a multitude of ethnic and linguistic groups, from Baghdad to China. The Church of the East makes fascinating and enthralling reading, not only for students of religion but also for the interested general reader.' - Erica C D Hunter, Affiliated Lecturer in Aramaic and Syriac, University of Cambridge and Teaching Fellow in Eastern Christianity, SOAS, London 'Quite a treasury.' - Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury CHURCH TIMES 'an attractively produced and lavishly illustrated history...the authoritative account of the history of this ancient Church...an impressive range of sources...a fascinating and forgotten piece of Christian history-this book is an impressive achievement'' - Geoffrey Rowell