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Department of the Study of Religions

Mr Barakatullo Ashurov

BA Hindi/Urdu Philology, Tajikistan; MA English (Literary and Cultural Studies, India


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Mr Barakatullo Ashurov
Email address:
Thesis title:
Tarsākyā: an analysis of Sogdian Christianity based on Archaeological, Numismatic, Epigraphic and Textual Sources.
Year of Study:
Fourth year
Internal Supervisors


Born in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Several years experience researching cultural interactions of diffrent nations of Central Asia and India, both in text and material culture. My work is interdisciplinary. I am interested in religious and cultural dialogue of people of Central Asia in early medieval period 5-9 centuries. In particular, I am interested in Sogdian culture- in its totality that is lanaguge, literature, art and religion.

PhD Research

The dissertation investigates the history of the evolution and impact of Christianity in Sogdian culture that extended from the central area of Central Asia to the Chinese-Mongolian borderlands in the early medieval period 5-9 CE. My inquiry focuses on the representation of the Christianity in material culture and correlation of the former with the literary sources in order to reconstruct a comprehensive profile of Sogdian Christianity, which though born within the Syriac tradition has eventually developed ‘independently’. I illustrate how the enculturation of Christianity in the diverse cultural milieu of Central Asia that combined Iranian, Turkic and Chinese traditions embodied itself within each ‘micro-cultural frame’, significantly influencing the formation of the religious/spiritual identities and worldviews.

PhD Publications

Barakatullo Ashurov . eds. “Marks of Christian Faith in the History of Tajik People”, ed. Dushanbe, Optima: 2007

PhD Conferences

“Christian mission in Central Asia: Third wave of renewal of Christianity in Central Asia. Case study from Tajikistan”, in annual Yale- Edinburgh Group Conference, University of Edinburgh School of Divinity, Edinburgh, UK, June 28-30, 2012
“Out of Syriac into Sogdian: the history of the Church of the East in Sogdiana (numismatic evidence)” in Second Annual Central Asian Studies Graduate Workshop, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK, March 20-21, 2012.
“Sogdiana: A Persian World of Medieval Central Asia” in Second annual SOAS Research Student Conference, SOAS, London, UK, March 10, 2012
“Sogdian document V8 from Mugh Moutain Collection” in Second Annual Interdisciplinary Eurasia Research Conference, Jointly organized by The Eurasian Studies Society (TESS) and New Research on Central Asia and Caucasus (NRCAC), London, UK,February 18, 2012


Harvey Fellows, USA
American Society of Church History, USA
Central Eurasian Studies Society, USA
The Eurasia Studies Society (TESS), UK