The Lotus and the Cross: East-West cultural exchange along the Silk Road [exhibition curatorship]

Research output: Non-traditional research outputCuratorship


This is an exhibition of large-format photographs of stone tombstones from Fujian province in South China and stone crosses from Kerala state in South India, presenting some of the surviving archaeological evidence for early Eastern Christian presence in India and China. Written records and inscriptions show that between the fourth and seventh centuries Christians from the Middle East undertook trade and missionary work using the overland routes to China and the maritime spice route to India. The tombstones from Fujian belong to so-called "Nestorian" Christians who settled in South China during the Mongol Period (1272-1368), while the stone crosses from Kerala belong to various Syrian Christian communities, the earliest dated to the eighth century. A common iconographic motif to be seen on these remains from both continents is the mounting of the cross on the lotus flower. The photographer and curator of the exhibition is Dr. Ken Parry. The photos were the result of an Australian Research Council-funded project based in the Department of Ancient History at Macquarie University. The exhibition has already been seen in Sydney (2003), Salzburg (2003), Kerala (2003), London (2004) and Ankara (2005). Co-sponsored by the USF Center for the Pacific Rim and EDS-Stewart Chair at the USF Ricci Institute.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSan Francisco
PublisherThe Ricci Institute, University of San Francisco
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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