Muslim Sanzijing

Shifts and Continuities in the Definition of Islam in China


Author: Roberta Tontini
In Muslim Sanzijing, Shifts and Continuities in the Definition of Islam in China (1710-2010) Roberta Tontini traces the development of Islam and Islamic law in the country, while responding to two enduring questions in China’s intellectual history: How was the Muslim sharia reconciled with Confucianism? How was knowledge of Islamic social and ritual norms popularized to large segments of Chinese Muslim society even in periods of limited literacy?

Through a comprehensive study that includes a rigorous analysis of popular Chinese Islamic primers belonging to the Sanzijing tradition, Tontini offers fresh insights on the little known intellectual and legal history of Islam on Chinese soil to convincingly demonstrate its evolving quality in response to changing social norms.

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Roberta Tontini, Ph.D. (2013), is a research fellow at the Cluster Asia and Europe of the University of Heidelberg. Her publications on the history of Islam in China include Islamic Law in China (OISO, Oxford University Press 2014).
"Historian Roberta Tontini brilliantly engages the problem of continuity and shifts head on in her Muslim Sanzijing...One is struck by the rich history of this text that Tontini exposes as she writes the biography of the book, looking at many lives it took on during the past 200 years."
Zvi Ben-Dor Benite, New York University, Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review, No. 23 (June 2017)

"[A] brilliant account on the history of China's acquaintance with Islam and its jurisprudence. This highly informative and insightful monograph addresses a largely neglected theme in the field of Chinese Muslim studies."
Tommaso Previato, Academia Sinica, Bulletin de l’École française d’Extrême-Orient, 102 (2016)

Chapter 1. Introduction
Motivation and Relevance
Literature Review
Conceptual Definitions

Chapter 2. Tianfang Dianli: Norms and Rites of Islamic Law in Imperial China
Introduction: Legal Traditions in Cultural Convergence
Hanafi Regionalism and the Chinese “Sunna”
Rethinking Jurisprudence
The Chinese Sharia
Confucian Frameworks of Islamic Jurisprudence
Conclusion: Islamic Law in Cultural Translation

Chapter 3. Tianfang Sanzijing: A Regional(ist) Theory on Islamic Law
Introduction: Liu Zhi and Yuan Guozuo’s Joint Intellectual Enterprise
Coming of Age in Chinese Islamic Literacy
Wugong: From Religious Pillars to Social Bricks
Rite and Law in the “Great Learning” of Islam
Traditions as Cradles of Transitions: Establishing Regionalism in Chinese Islamic Law
Conclusion: The “Filiative Transmission” of Islam in China

Chapter 4. Islamic Law in the Aftermath of the Anti-Qing Rebellions
Introduction: Novel Texts for Rebellious Contexts
Beginning, Unfolding and Indigenizing the Transmission
Rethinking Orthodoxy
“Ways” of Islam in a Changing Society
New Perspectives on Social Order
Conclusion: The Legacy of Two Primers

Chapter 5. Rethinking Liu Zhi’s Legacy in Postimperial China
Introduction: Islam in Transition
Strengthening the Chinese Nation: Hu Songshan’s Three Character Primer of Islam
China’s “Muslim Brothers”: A Regional Trajectory
Red Star over Muslims: Hu Xueliang’s Sanzijing for Girls
“Love Your Country, Love Your Religion”: Na Guochang’s Sequel to the Tianfang Sanzijing

Chapter 6. Islam’s Filiative Transmission to Modernity

Conclusion: The Great Learning of Islam in China

Works Cited

All interested in Chinese and Islamic religious and intellectual history, the development of Islamic law, comparative religion as well as Chinese social and ethnic discourses.