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China'S Early Mosques - Edinburgh Studies in Islamic Art (Hardback)
  • China'S Early Mosques - Edinburgh Studies in Islamic Art (Hardback)

China'S Early Mosques - Edinburgh Studies in Islamic Art (Hardback)

Hardback 368 Pages / Published: 31/08/2015
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This book explains how the worship requirements of the mosque and the Chinese architectural system converged. What happens when a monotheistic, aniconic, foreign religion needs a space in which to worship in China, a civilisation with a building tradition that has been largely unchanged for several millennia? The story of this extraordinary convergence begins in the 7th century and continues under the Chinese rule of Song and Ming, and the non Chinese rule of the Mongols and Manchus, each with a different political and religious agenda. This book explains that mosques, and ultimately Islam, have survived in China because the Chinese architectural system, though unchanging, is adaptable: it can accommodate the religious requirements of Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism and Islam. It includes case studies of China's most important surviving mosques (including 30 premodern mosques, the tourist mosques in Xi'an and Beijing, and the Uygur mosques in Kashgar). It aims to build an understanding of the mosque at the most fundamental level, asking what is really necessary for Muslim worship space.It presents Chinese architecture as uniquely uniform in appearance and uniquely adaptable to something as foreign as Islam.

Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
ISBN: 9780748670413
Number of pages: 368
Weight: 1062 g
Dimensions: 244 x 172 x 25 mm


"The reviewer commented that the book is outstanding in almost every single respect, making readily available, for the first time, an historical survey of China's mosques. The authority with which the material is presented was also highly commended. The reviewer felt that the author's 'command of Chinese history and Chinese primary and secondary sources, not to mention Chinese architecture, is surely without equal'." -- British-Kuwait Friendship Society Book Prize

"This pioneering book opens up an entirely new field for scholars of both China and the Islamic world: the history of Chinese mosques...[it] is unique because its clear prose and copious illustrations portray the physical spaces within which Chinese Muslims operated." -- Valerie Hansen, Yale University, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society

"This well-illustrated book is a most welcome addition to art and architectural history studies, especially in the fields of Islamic and Chinese art... Before the publication of China's Early Mosques, I had visited important early Muslim sites in southeast and north-central China, but until I read Nancy Shatzman Steinhardt's text, I had great difficulty sorting fact from fiction about the monuments I saw. There is absolutely no other book in English or any European language that covers China's mosques. Further, in addition to being unique, it is lucidly written, shedding light on a topic that might otherwise seem bewildering to the non-Islamic, non-China specialist. This volume will remain the standard work on Chinese mosques well into the future." -- CATHERINE B. ASHER, University of Minnesota, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians

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