Interpreting Islam in China: Pilgrimage, Scripture, and Language in the Han Kitab

Lecture by Dr. Kristian Petersen

Thursday, November 1, 2018 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Johnson Center, Room G

A distinctive Chinese Islamic intellectual tradition emerged during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Chinese Muslims established an educational system, scripture hall education (jingtang jiaoyu 經堂教育), which utilized an Islamic curriculum made up of Arabic, Persian, and Chinese works. The Han Kitab, a corpus of Chinese language Islamic texts developed within this system, reinterpreted Islam through the religiophilosophical lens of Buddhist, Daoist, and Confucian terminology. Several Han Kitab texts were produced by a group of self-identified “Confucian Muslim” scholars (Huiru 回儒). This presentation traces the contours of the Sino-Islamic intellectual tradition and serves as an introduction to Kristian Petersen’s book, Interpreting Islam in China: Pilgrimage, Scripture, and Language in the Han Kitab (Oxford University Press, 2017). Dr. Kristian Petersen is Assistant Professor at Old Dominion University in the Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies. In addition to his featured book, he is currently working on a monograph entitled, "The Cinematic Lives of Muslims". He is also host of the New Books in Religion series and New Books in Islamic Studies podcasts.