SOAS University of London

Department of Religions & Philosophies, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

The Transmission of Christian Literature at Turfan

The Transmission of Christian Literature at Turfan AHRC project (2012-2015) continues the work completed by the Christian Library at Turfan AHRC project (2008-2011) which has catalogued over 1000 Syriac, Sogdian, New Persian and Uighur manuscripts, all written in Syriac script. A wealth of literature has been exposed, but queries surround where the texts were written and the relationship of Turfan with both Central Asian dioceses as well as the ‘mother church in Mesopotamia’. This question is addressed via two major trajectories:

  1. trilingual Syriac-Sogdian-English dictionary covering both edited and unedited Christian Sogdian texts, being prepared by Prof. Nicholas Sims-Williams FBA. With no comparable publication in existence, the trilingual dictionary will open new dimensions in Central Asian philology.
  2. Critical edition and an annotated translation of MIK III/45, with a discussion of its significance for the transmission history of the Ḥudra. Dated to the 11th-12th centuries, MIK III/45 is the earliest extant manuscript of the Ḥudra that is still the principal liturgical book of the modern Church of the East. This is being prepared by Dr. Erica C.D. Hunter, with the assistance of Dr. J.F. Coakley, in consultation with His Grace, Mar Awa Royel, bishop of the Assyrian Church of the East (California, USA).


Dr Erica C.D. Hunter
Senior Lecturer in Eastern Christianity

SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG

Telephone: 020 7898 4663