How did Christianity make its remarkable voyage from the Roman Mediterranean to the Indian subcontinent? By examining the social networks that connected the ancient and late antique Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, central Asia, and Iran, this book contemplates the social relations that made such movement possible. It also analyzes how the narrative tradition regarding the apostle Judas Thomas, which originated in Upper Mesopotamia and accredited him with evangelizing India, traveled among the social networks of an interconnected late antique world. In this way, the book probes how the Thomas narrative shaped Mediterranean Christian beliefs regarding co-religionists in central Asia and India, impacted local Christian cultures, took shape in a variety of languages, and experienced transformation as it traveled from the Mediterranean to India, and back again.
Nathanael J. Andrade is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at State University of New York, Binghamton. His previous book was Syrian Identity in the Greco-Roman World (Cambridge, 2013).
Introduction; Part I. The Acts of Thomas: 1. The Acts of Thomas and its impact; Part II. Christianity, Networks, and the Red Sea: 2. Early Christianity and its many Indias: complexities of the sources; 3. The Roman Egyptian network, the Red Sea, and the Indian Ocean; Part III. Christianity, Networks, and the Middle East: 4. The movement of Christianity into Sasanian Persia: perspectives and sources; 5. Social connectivity between the Roman Levant, Persian Gulf, and Central Asia; 6. The Late Antique impact of the Acts of Thomas and Christian communities in India; Conclusion.