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Islamic Thought in ChinaSino-Muslim Intellectual Evolution from the 17th to the 21st Century$
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Jonathan Lipman

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474402279

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474402279.001.0001

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Editor’s Introduction: Four Centuries of Islamic Thought in Chinese

Editor’s Introduction: Four Centuries of Islamic Thought in Chinese

(p.1) Editor’s Introduction: Four Centuries of Islamic Thought in Chinese
Islamic Thought in China

Jonathan Lipman

Edinburgh University Press

Muslims have lived in the Chinese culture area since the seventh or eighth century – the mid-Tang dynasty – and have acculturated, as all immigrants do, in order to live comfortably in what began as an alien environment. Over a millennium, through ordinary social processes, including intermarriage with local women, they ceased being utterly foreign and became local but different, Sinophone but not entirely Chinese. Though they spoke the Chinese of their home districts, many of them nonetheless retained female endogamy (males could marry non-Muslim women who converted to Islam), pork avoidance, unfamiliar rituals, mosque-centred community solidarity, and outlandish vocabulary, rendering them unconventional, somewhat distant, sometimes defensively hostile towards their non-Muslim neighbours, who saw them as ‘familiar strangers’....

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