This volume is a collection of ten articles published between 2009 and 2016 by Mark Dickens on the Assyrian Church of the East in Central Asia, along with a new article on Mar Yahbalaha III, the only Turkic patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East. Most articles deal with the textual evidence for Syriac Christianity in Central Asia, including six on Christian manuscript fragments from Turfan (China) and two on gravestone inscriptions from Semirechye (Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan). As the volume title indicates, these articles remind us of the centuries-long presence of the Assyrian Church of the East at the centre of the Asian continent, now all but forgotten due to the general scarcity of sources from which this history can be reconstructed.
Mark Dickens works at St. Joseph's College, University of Alberta (Canada). His research addresses connections between Syriac Christianity and Central Asia in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages.