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Title: Tarsākyā: an analysis of Sogdian Christianity based on archaeological, numismatic, epigraphic and textual sources
Author: Ashurov, Barakatullo
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2013
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Despite nearly two centuries of fascination in the scholarly world with the history of Sogdian culture there are still many under-researched areas. In particular, the history of the dissemination and enculturation of Christianity among Sogdians is one such area, which despite material and textual witness has not been studied autonomously. Instead, it has been incorporated into a broader discourse of the geographical-historical spread and enculturation of Christianity into the Central Asian landmass. The existing studies on religions in Sogdiana have represented Sogdian society as a mosaic of religious communities with Zoroastrianism as a main religion which overshadowed the historical and socio-cultural significance of other religions such as Christianity among the Sogdians. This dissertation contends that Christianity among Sogdians, both in their native country and in the Diaspora, had a significant presence and that Sogdian Christians were instrumental in both enculturing Christianity as well as transmitting it to other ethnic groups. This argument emerges from contextual and comparative 'case studies' of diverse material culture and textual evidence affiliated with Sogdians and Christianity. The evidence covered in this dissertation collectively constitutes a unique source supplying information about aspects of 'Sogdian Christianity', such as its material and textual manifestations and its interrelationship with both its immediate cultural milieu and wider Christian oikoumene. In what follows, this dissertation will try to explain, through the testimony of the material and literary evidence, that Christianity among the Sogdian people had a footing in the local context and was expressed in local material and textual culture.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral