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Title:Chinese Muslims in the Qing Empire: public culture, identities, and law, 1644—1911
Author(s):Zhang, Shaodan
Advisor(s):Chow, Kai-Wing
Department / Program:East Asian Languages & Cultures
Discipline:East Asian Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Qing China
late imperial China
public culture
pubic sphere
customary law
Abstract:This thesis discusses the issues of public culture, identities, and law of Chinese Muslims in the Qing Empire (1644-1911). It goes beyond current scholarship which focuses on official and elite narratives of Chinese Muslims, and tries to explore the public culture in which ordinary Chinese Muslims participated in their daily life during the Qing period. Mainly based on steles erected by Chinese Muslims in mosques, shrines, cemeteries, and other public places where they usually gathered, this thesis tries to shed some light on the following questions: Did Chinese Muslims live as a distinctive community in the Qing society? How were Chinese Muslims organized in society? How were those organizations managed and regulated? How did they identify themselves in the Qing Empire? And what was the role of religious distinction in their identity? This thesis reveals that, for various practical purposes, Chinese Muslims in the Qing formed different publics based on a number of common bonds they could invoke, including native place, religion, occupation, gender, and lineage, etc. The religious identity and religious publics represented only part of Chinese Muslims. To Chinese Muslims, their religious identity was parallel to their regional, familial, and occupational identities. It could be abandoned when it jeopardized their economic interests. It could also be invoked to form a public when it was beneficial to the common interests of certain Chinese Muslims. In addition, publics often overlapped, and Chinese Muslims felt comfortable to adopt multiple identities at the same time. For example, a jiaofang (a group of Chinese Muslims affiliated to the same mosque) was a religious organization, as well as a local community where the government often relied on the locally based gentry to provide semi-official governance. Therefore, Chinese Muslim gentry participated actively in religious activities of jiaofang as Muslims, and meanwhile, adopted the identity as gentry, cooperated with the government, and managed local Islamic jiaofang, just like non-Muslim Han Chinese gentry managing their local communities.
Issue Date:2015-07-21
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Shaodan Zhang
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-29
Date Deposited:August 201

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