Wednesday, May 14, 2014

reading stuff

Awhile back, I ran into these books by Abbe Huc  link2 and this book on internet archives, about the history of (Nestorian) Christianity in Asia.

Now I found that Jenkin's book on it can be read on Scribd, where I paid for a subscription awhile back.

I have one of Jenkin's books on the lost gospels "discovery" with me: it sort of debunks the modern scholars in the headlines who pretend they discovered something that scholars have known for a century.

His expertise is the history of religion.

Many of these churches were "heretics" because they emphazed Jesus as God, sometimes to the extend of seeing him as what we would call an avatar, where the deity just wore a human body, but was not really human. when exaggerated, this led to the "Simon Stylite" types or the naked holy men in India or the completely detached Buddhists: A rejection of the material world as part of holiness, but also a detachment from the worries and sufferings of ordinary folks.

Yes, most of the wise in these churches didn't believe such things (either here or in Hinduism) but you can see how a minor emphasis can go wrong.

Just look at the proud American  nuns so busy evolving to a higher power in the US that they ignore drugs, sex, and abortion issues that are destroying the lives of ordinary folks in favor of liturgical dance and evolving to a higher power. Sheesh.

Right now, I am into the history of "Dark ages": What happened in Europe after the fall of Rome including barbarians who kidnapped girls like the Bokoharum types to sell as slave.

But this was not everywhere ...and not in the history books is what happened in Russia, the eastern Roman Empire (where most history books seem only to notice the pecadillos of the Byzantin empereors) and in Central Asia/the silk road, which flourished until Genghis Khan and Tamerlane destroyed those civilizations (and why some modern writers praise GK I have no idea. They killed 30 million people by war and by destroying irrigation systems, and spread the black plague, but they improved commercial links with China? Hello: those links go back to the time of ancient Egypt, but never mind..

The previous film link about Jason is from the Penn Museum, which has lectures on the silk road including how religions,ideas, and disease spread down it. I listened to them a year ago, and will have to redownload and listen again now that I have read up a bit on the subject.

Jenkins blog is here, if you are interested in the subject of Christianity in the first milleneum but also about the spread of Christianity in today's world outside of Europe/America.

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