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Defining Shariʿa in China: State, Ahong, and the Postsecular Turn

Defining Shariʿa in China: State, Ahong, and the Postsecular Turn <p>Just as shariʿa (Islamic law) has been demonized globally, so too, paradoxically, have governments sought to appropriate Islamic authority for secular rule. Based on nineteen months of field research in northwest China, this article offers some preliminary thoughts on the ways in which the party-state manipulates shariʿa for purposes of rule. Through the example of the China Islamic Association, an organization constituted under the Chinese Communist Party in 1953, the author argues that the party-state’s evolving relationship to Islamic authority demonstrates what he calls the “postsecular.” Rather than discursively demarcating (legitimate) secular law from (illegitimate) religious law, the China Islamic Association has, since 2001, a watershed year in the relationship between secular and Islamic authority, sought to expound law from the revealed sources of Islam that are congruent with Chinese socialism and nationalism.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review University of Hawai'I Press

Defining Shariʿa in China: State, Ahong, and the Postsecular Turn

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © Research Institute of Korean Studies, Korea University
ISSN
2158-9666
eISSN
2158-9674

Abstract

<p>Just as shariʿa (Islamic law) has been demonized globally, so too, paradoxically, have governments sought to appropriate Islamic authority for secular rule. Based on nineteen months of field research in northwest China, this article offers some preliminary thoughts on the ways in which the party-state manipulates shariʿa for purposes of rule. Through the example of the China Islamic Association, an organization constituted under the Chinese Communist Party in 1953, the author argues that the party-state’s evolving relationship to Islamic authority demonstrates what he calls the “postsecular.” Rather than discursively demarcating (legitimate) secular law from (illegitimate) religious law, the China Islamic Association has, since 2001, a watershed year in the relationship between secular and Islamic authority, sought to expound law from the revealed sources of Islam that are congruent with Chinese socialism and nationalism.</p>

Journal

Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture ReviewUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jan 20, 2015

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