On Wednesday evening last week I wrote that there would be much more to come from China Encounters time here in Xian. Well there is more to com, but it has been delayed. I was struggling with a streaming cold, and low grade fever for some days, and Anne from a low grade stomach disorder, which have slowed us down some and which meant that when we did get back from busy days posting didn't happen.
There is certainly more to write on all we have seen. We have taken lots of photos and many of them are already available on our flickr site, Moreoever as we have sought to engage with the deep and rich history of this city,lots of thoughts have ben flowing. For now here are the pics:
Great Mosque, at the centre of a vibrant muslim community.
Big Wild Goose Pagoda reflects a very interesting period in the history of Buddhism in China.
Terracotta Warriors - one word sums them up, Amazing!
and to come: The Forest of Steles and the Nestorian Stele, Dong Xin church and the Xian Bible College, the Silk Road and of course some general comment on the city. Also the results of tomorrow's last foray to the very early Christian Daqin Pagoda; the Louguan Temple, where Laotzi wrote the Tao te Ching, which is the heart of Taoism; and possibly some pics of the Qinling Mountains where apparently Giant Pandas live!
Anticipating tomorrow, I have looked forward much to this visit since we helped friends make the trip a couple of years ago. We reflected much on the arrival of gospel in the hands of the Church of the East (often erroneously called the Nestorians) in 635 when we saw the Nestorian Stele last Friday. What has struck though is the very fertile context at that time. Islam arrived in 651, via the same Silk Road. And at the Big Wild Goose Pagoda on Thursday I learnt of its founder, Xuan Zang, who travelled to India and brought back the Buddhist Sutras for the frst time in 646. While Buddhism had been in China since 120BC, the translation of the Sutras gave it much greater presence in China. All three foreign religions were welcomed and actively and engagingly hosted and facilitated by China's native Daoism. Hence our attendance at a key Daoist location tomorrow.
What was going on in the Tang Dynasty of the early 7th century? More anon.