The Chinese Mission of the Nestorian Church of the East
Chinese JING JIAO; Japanese KEI KYO; English LUMINOUS RELIGION
The Nestorian Church of the East
twice launched missionary outreaches to
China with considerable success. The first, begun in the
VII Century by Alopen, reached its
zenith in the following century when the celebrated Jingjing composed the
Xian Fu inscription and possibly other
Jesus Sutras. The Empress Wu, depicted as a sinister figure
in Chinese history generally, was hostile to the Nestorians,
and launched a persecution from which the first Church of the
East mission never recovered; by 1100 it was reported that
not a single Christian remained in China. However, the Mongol
conquest changed this situation: the Mongols, although pagans, had
close cultural and kinship ties to the Nestorian Uighurs of
Central Asia, and permitted the Church of the East to
send missionaries throughout their empire. This second
flowering of Chinese Nestorianism was apparently larger than
the first, but it seems to have produced no surviving literature.
By the European "Age of Discovery", China was once again
almost without any Christian presence, even an heretical one.
Norman Hugh Redington
Under construction --- far from complete! Read with caution.
- Columba Cary-Elwes:
The Nestorians, (1956).
Chapter 2 of his
China and the Cross
(New York: P. J. Kenedy, 1956):
- Ian Gillman and Hans-Joachim Klimkeit:
Christians in China before 1500,
Chapter 10 of their
Christians in Asia before 1500
(University of Michigan, 1999).
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