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The Church of the East: An illustrated history of Assyrian Christianity

Dr. Christoph Baumer

“Christoph Baumer’s book ranges wide, intellectually and geographically. Even readers who know the Church of the East 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 a dialogue with other currents of thought.”
J.F. Coackley, Harvard University.

“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 extensive travels.”
Sebastian Brock, Oxford University.

The so-called ‘Nestorian’, more correct Apostolic Assyrian Church of the East, with its historic See in Bagdad, was one of the most significant Christian communities to develop east of the Roman Empire. In its heyday it counted 220 bishoprics and stretched from the Mediterranean to China. It was particularly well established in Central Asia, China and among the Mongol peoples. Not only young Genghis Khan’s protector was a Nestorian Khan, but also the mother of the paramount leaders Möngke Khan and Kublai Khan. William of Rubruk met Nestorian dignitaries in Mongolia and Marco Polo in China. Baumer is one of the very few Westerners having visited and documented most of the important Assyrian sites.

ISBN : 978 1 84511 1151

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Background image photography courtesy of members Christoph Baumer, Neil Laughton, Matt Harris and Don Walsh's image of the Bathyscape Trieste