The Öngüt Connection: Christianity among the Turks of Medieval Eurasia

Date: Apr 25, 2023 Time: 12:00 PM–1:30 PM

Joel Walker, University of Washington, Seattle, explores the Christian tradition of the Öngüt Turks of Inner Mongolia, who played a pivotal role in the rise of the Mongol Empire (1206–1368).

Joel Walker | University of Washington, Seattle

Early and influential allies of Chinggis Khan, the Öngüt Turks of Inner Mongolia played a pivotal role in the rise of the Mongol Empire (1206–1368). Their adoption of “Nestorian” Christianity represents the culmination of a broad stream of Turkic Christian tradition in medieval Eurasia. The careers of the ascetic Marqos of Koshang, who became the East-Syrian patriarch Yahballaha III (1281–1317), and the ruler Giwargis, the Mongol-appointed “Prince of Gaotang” (d. 1298 or 1299), help reveal the distinctive contours of the Öngüt Christian tradition.

This lecture will take place live on Zoom, followed by a question and answer period. Please register to receive the Zoom link. Registration opens March 28, 2023.

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An East of Byzantium lecture. EAST OF BYZANTIUM is a partnership between the Mashtots Professor of Armenian Studies at Harvard University and the Mary Jaharis Center that explores the cultures of the eastern frontier of the Byzantine empire in the late antique and medieval periods.