Familiar Strangers

A History of Muslims in Northwest China

Jonathan N. Lipman

  • $27.00s paperback (9780295976440) Add to Cart
  • hardcover not available
  • Published: 1998
  • Subject Listing: Asian Studies / China; History
  • Bibliographic information: 318 pp., 24 photos
  • Territorial rights: N Avail Hong Kong, Austrl, Nz
  • Series: Studies on Ethnic Groups in China
  • Contents

The Chinese-speaking Muslims have for centuries been an inseperable but anomalous part of Chinese society - Sinophone yet incomprehensible, local yet outsiders, normal but different. Long regarded by the Chinese government as prone to violence, they have challenged fundamental Chinese conceptiosn of Self and Other and denied the totally transforming power of Chinese civilization by tenaciously maintaining connectios with Central and West Asia as well as some cultural differences from their non-Muslim neighbors.

Familiar Strangers narrates a history of the Muslims of northwest China, at the intersection of the frontiers of the Mongolian-Manchu, Tibetan, Turkic, and Chinese cultural regions. Based on primary and secondary sources in a variety of languages, Familiar Strangers examines the nature of ethnicity and periphery, the role of religion and ethnicity in personal and collective decisions in violent times, and the complexity of belonging to two cultures at once. Concerning itself with a frontier very distant from the core areas of Chinese culture and very strange to most Chinese, it explores the influence of language, religion, and place on Sino-Muslim identity.

"No published study comes close to providing this kind of comprehensive and informed study of the history of Islam and Muslims in China."
-John Voll, author of Islam: Continuity and Change in the Modern World

"By far the most developed historical treatment of Muslims in China, lucidly written and useful for readers from undergraduate to specialist."
-Pamela Kyle Crossley, author of Orphan Warriors and The Manchus

List of Maps
List of Illustrations

Introduction: Purposes and Form of a Muslim History in China
1. The Frontier Ground and Peoples of Northwest China
2. Acculturation and Accommodation: China's Muslims to the 17th Century
3. Connections: Muslims in the Early Qing, 1644-1781
4. Strategies of Resistance: Integration by Violence
5. Strategies of Integration: Muslims in New China
Conclusion: Familiar Strangers

Chinese Character Glossary

"Jonathan N. Lipman appeals for such a new approach with a warning against the conceptual pitfalls of 'hegemonic narrative' and the 'errors of universalism and overgeneralization that plague the dominant paradigms,' especially in the study of Chinese history."
-James D. Frankel, Religious Studies Review, December 2011

"This book lays the foundation for future studies of Chinese Muslims . . . and demonstrates the far-reaching impact Chinese Muslims have had upon Chinese society and history."
-Journal of Asian and African Studies