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Title: Mosques of the maritime Muslim community of China : a study of mosques in the south and southeast coastal regions of China
Author: Chen, Qing
ISNI:       0000 0004 7425 4441
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2015
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The naturally-linked south and southeast coastal regions of China are the areas where the religion of Islam first arrived in the country in the 7th century CE and where the first settlements of Muslims of Middle Eastern origins were established. These subsequently grew into a large Muslim community, called here the Maritime Muslim Community in China, which can be defined both by its origins from seafarers from the heartlands of the Muslim world and the geographic location. The thesis seeks to explore the complex process of the evolution of the Maritime Muslim Community and its material culture, within the context of prevailing political, economic and social conditions, and in a conceptual framework of cultural syncretism and regionalism with regards to the development of its religious architecture. Focussing on the mosques of the Maritime Muslim Community, the thesis examines the process whereby Islamic architecture and practice, which arrived in coastal China in the early centuries of Islam, had evolved by the time of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) and continued to develop during the Qing dynasty (1644-1912) into a Chinese reinterpretation of Islamic forms. It also addresses contemporary trends in Islamic architectural practices in coastal China in the modern era. It commences with a historical overview of the coming of Islam to the Chinese coast and the formation of the Maritime Muslim Community. Subsequent chapters examine the present form of both early and later mosques and the textual sources, especially those referring to the early mosques. The evolution of the minaret and architectural decoration, including epigraphic traditions, are discussed in separate chapters. The evolution of mosque architecture of the Maritime Muslim Community illustrates a synthesis of Islamic and Chinese culture, and sheds light on the creation of local Muslim identity: from Muslim seafaring diaspora to Chinese Muslims.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral