Islam first arrived in China over 1,200 years ago, but for more than a millennium it was perceived as a foreign presence. The restoration of native Chinese rule by the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), after nearly a century of Mongol domination, helped transform Chinese intellectual discourse on ideological, social, political, religious, and ethnic identity. This led to the creation of a burgeoning network of Sinicized Muslim scholars who wrote about Islam in classical Chinese and developed a body of literature known as the Han Kitab. Rectifying God’s Name: Liu Zhi’s Confucian Translation of Monotheism and Islamic Law, by James D. Frankel, examines the life and work of one of the most important of the Qing Chinese Muslim literati, Liu Zhi (ca. 1660–ca. 1730), and places his writings in their historical, cultural, social, and religio-philosophical contexts. His Tianfang dianli (Ritual law of Islam) represents the most systematic and sophisticated attempt within the Han Kitab corpus to harmonize Islam with Chinese thought.
January 2011 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3474-6 / $48.00 (CLOTH)