Investigation of the Idea of Nestorian Crosses—Based on F. A. Nixon’s Collection
It is generally agreed that the study of the Nestorian Cross (a kind of bronze piece believed to be an early Chinese Christian relic), has great significance both for the developing study of Jingjiao and for ethnographic studies of the Nestorian Mongol people. The most important question that we should ask, however, is, “Are these so-called Nestorian Crosses part of the Mongolian Nestorian heritage?“ In other words, before starting to interpret the pieces in question, we need to ask if the identification, made at the first step of examination, is convincing enough as a basis upon which to build the interpretation. This paper focuses on issues concerning all aspects of the concept of Nestorian Crosses, looking first into the history of such an idea, then investigating its inner logic, and finally challenging its hard evidence. It is hoped that the conclusions of this paper will initiate a paradigm shift in the current study of this topic.
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