Upholding the Faith in an Atheistic Land: Flourishing Unofficial Islamic Publications in Contemporary China

Apr 25 12:00–1:30pm
Common Room (#136), 2 Divinity Ave., Cambridge

Wang Jianping (Professor of Islamic Studies (retired), Shanghai Normal University; HYI Library Research Grant recipient)
Chair: James Cheng (Librarian of the Harvard-Yenching Library)

Despite restrictive ideological control over the media and society under the Communist Party’s rule, a considerable number of Islamic periodicals have emerged among Hui Muslims since the late 1980s. How and why has this phenomenon occurred in a country which imposes harsh censorship? What is the scope of such unofficial Islamic publications in today’s China? What is the background of these passionate Chinese Muslims who are leading an Islamic revival movement? How is the government reacting to these unofficial Islamic publications? What is the future of Chinese Muslims who are striving for a religious-ethnic self-awakening campaign? This talk is an attempt to analyze all these questions in the framework of relations between Chinese Muslims, the state and world politics.

About the speaker: Jianping Wang is a retired professor of Islamic Studies in Shanghai Normal University; now is a visiting library research scholar of HYI. He received his PhD in religious studies from the University of Lund, Sweden (1996). He has been at the Harvard-Yenching Institute several times to conduct research work on the collections of Islam in China for last seven years, and was a visiting scholar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Durham University, Cornell University, Yale University, Hong Kong University of Sciences and Technology, Southern Connecticut State University, and University of Copenhagen.