Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Islamic Thought in ChinaSino-Muslim Intellectual Evolution from the 17th to the 21st Century$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jonathan Lipman

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474402279

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474402279.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

A Proper Place for God: Ma Zhu’s Chinese-Islamic Cosmogenesis

A Proper Place for God: Ma Zhu’s Chinese-Islamic Cosmogenesis

(p.15) 1 A Proper Place for God: Ma Zhu’s Chinese-Islamic Cosmogenesis
Islamic Thought in China

Jonathan Lipman

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter focuses on Ma Zhu (1640-after 1710), a Yunnanese literatus educated in the Neo-Confucian and Islamic curricula, author of the classical Chinese text Qingzhen zhinan (the compass or guide to Islam). His intended audience included both non-Muslim elites and Muslims literate only in that language. As he justified his ancestral religion, he had to solve an intractable problem—how could he narrate creation of the cosmos ex nihilo, a necessary part of the description of the Islamic God (Ar. Allāh), in a cultural context that lacked a cosmic creator? He solved this by placing God at the beginning of the conventional Neo-Confucian progression of the cosmos’s uncaused, impersonal evolution—from the chaos of Beyond Ultimate (wuji), via the Great Ultimate (taiji), yin and yang, the Five Phases, Heaven and Earth (qiankun) to phenomenal reality. Though unsuccessful in persuading non-Muslims of God’s cosmogenetic power, Ma Zhu’s book remains popular among Sino-Muslims, who combine Chinese and Islamic cultures in their intellectual and religious lives.

Keywords:   Islam in Chinese, Islamic cosmogenesis, creation ex nihilo, Ma Zhu, Qingzhen zhinan

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.