Christianity has been a global religion virtually from its inception. There were Christians in India in the first century. There is documented Christianity in China throughout the middle ages and Christians were deeply ensconced within the Persian empire before the Arab conquest of the Middle East, and then formed an essential part of the courts of the first two Muslim Caliphates. Yet this is not well known among the general public. In a period in which Christians are facing intense restrictions in certain parts of the world, and even decimation, one finds as well a reluctance around the notion that Christians deserve to be in Asia and the Middle East at all. How can the Syriac church’s place in ancient and medieval Persia, Arabia and China, be looked to in order to conceive of a contemporary global church that can stand resolutely within the global world today, a harmonizer of cultural variety on the one hand, and yet does not compromise its singularity as the Body of Christ, The Church, on the other?
WHEN: Thursday, March 17, 2016
WHERE: Reception, 3:30-4:00 pm in the HMML Reading Room
Presentation, 4:00-5:00 pm in the HMML Classroom
WHO: All are invited!
Dr. Todd Godwin teaches Eastern Orthodox theology at The Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies, Cambridge, England, in addition to being a foreign language teacher to homeschooled high schoolers online. He is the recipient of the Dietrich Reinhart OSB Fellowship in Eastern Christian Studies at HMML, and is also a resident scholar at the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical & Cultural Research at Saint John’s University, and has recently completed his PhD in Eastern Christianity at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He is also the author of the forthcoming book Persian Christians at the Chinese Court: The Xi’an Stele and the Early Medieval Church of the East, at I.B. Tauris books, due out in 2017.