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Interpreting Islam in China: Pilgrimage, Scripture, and Language in the Han Kitab - AAR ACADEMY SER (Hardback)
  • Interpreting Islam in China: Pilgrimage, Scripture, and Language in the Han Kitab - AAR ACADEMY SER (Hardback)
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Interpreting Islam in China: Pilgrimage, Scripture, and Language in the Han Kitab - AAR ACADEMY SER (Hardback)

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£64.00
Hardback 304 Pages / Published: 26/10/2017
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During the early modern period, Muslims in China began to embrace the Chinese characteristics of their heritage. Several scholar-teachers began to incorporate tenets from traditional Chinese education into their promotion of Islamic knowledge. As a result, some Sino-Muslims established an educational network, the scripture hall educational system (jingtang jiaoyu), which utilized an Islamic curriculum made up of Arabic, Persian, and Chinese works. The corpus of Chinese Islamic texts written in this system is collectively labeled the Han Kitab. Interpreting Islam in China explores the Sino-Islamic intellectual tradition through the works of some its brightest luminaries, in order to identify and explicate pivotal transitions in their engagement with the Islamic tradition. Three prominent Sino-Muslim authors are used to illustrate transformations within this tradition, Wang Daiyu (1590-1658), Liu Zhi (1670-1724), and Ma Dexin (1794-1874).Kristian Petersen puts these scholars in dialogue and demonstrates the continuities and departures within this tradition. Through an analysis of their writings on the subjects of pilgrimage, scripture, and language, he considers several questions: How malleable are religious categories and why are they variously interpreted across time? How do changing historical circumstances affect the interpretation of religious beliefs and practices? How do individuals navigate multiple sources of authority? How do practices inform belief? Overall, he shows, these authors presented an increasingly universalistic portrait of Islam through which Sino-Muslims were encouraged to participate within the global community of Muslims in both theological and experiential spaces. The growing emphasis on performing the pilgrimage to Mecca, comprehensive knowledge of the Qur'an, and personal knowledge of Arabic further stimulated communal engagement. Petersen demonstrates that the integration of Sino-Muslims within a growing global environment, where international travel and communication was increasingly possible, was accompanied by the rising self-awareness of a universally engaged Muslim community.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190634346
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 588 g
Dimensions: 243 x 163 x 29 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
In his monumental new book, Interpreting Islam in China: Pilgrimage, Language, and Scripture in the Han Kitab, Kristian Petersen...takes his readers on an unforgettable journey through the layers and complexities of Sino-Muslim intellectual and social history. On the way readers meet the major scholars and texts that played a formative role in the development of the Han Kitab tradition ... In addition to constituting a field turning contribution to the study of Islam in China, this book is also among the most dazzling interventions in translation studies. All students and scholars of Islam, Religion, Asian Studies, and Translation Studies will have much to benefit from this brilliant study. It will also make an excellent text in both undergraduate and graduate courses on Muslim intellectual history, Asian Religions, and theories and methods in Religion Studies. * SherAli Tareen, New Books Network *
Kristian Petersen contributes substantially to the intellectual and religious history of Islam in China by analyzing the Han Kitab through the lens of Religious Studies. Focused on themes of pilgrimage, scriptural translation, and the significance of the Arabic language, he skillfully attends to both the ideas and the contexts of three central Sino-Muslim thinkers. All three tried to reconnect their communities to what they perceived as a lost religious heritage, originally written in Arabic and Persian but lived and comprehended in Chinese. Petersen reconstructs an intellectual middle ground, a series of 'dialogic environments,' in which Islam made authentic and authoritative sense within Chinese culture at particular historical moments. Theoretically broad and contextually specific, he demonstrates that Chinese and Islamic civilizations have conversed, not simply clashed. * Jonathan Lipman, Professor Emeritus of History, Mount Holyoke College *
Through close readings, by turns contextual and deconstructive, of the writings of three leading Sino-Muslim scholars, Kristian Petersen unravels the translations and transfers that molded an Islam both in and for China. His case studies of the changing status of pilgrimage, scripture and sacred language among Han Kitab authors at once broadens the scope of Islamic Studies and deepens our understanding of world history by pursuing the intellectual traffic of inter-Asian interactions. * Nile Green, author of Sufism: A Global History *
With painstaking erudition and great care, Kristian Petersen uncovers and reconstructs many hitherto unknown bridges between Chinese Islam and the wider Islamic world. Interpreting Islam in China forges new ways of understanding and appreciating the Han Kitab, Chinese Islam's enormous corpus, and introduces for the first time its last great author, Ma Dexin. A beautiful study of one of the remote corners of the Islamic world of thinking. * Zvi Ben-Dor Benite, author of The Dao of Muhammad: A Cultural History of Muslims in Late Imperial China *

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