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Islamicated China: China’s Participation in the Islamicate Book Culture during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-60
JournalIntellectual History of the Islamicate World
Issue number1-2
Early online date1 Jan 2016
Accepted/In press1 Jan 2016
E-pub ahead of print1 Jan 2016
Published1 Jan 2016

King's Authors


By the seventeenth century, Arabo-Persian scholarship in China had adopted elements from Muslim and Chinese book cultures and synthesized them into a new form of scholarship, attested by the hundreds of Arabo-Persian manuscripts extant in repositories in China and around the world and the hundred of copies of printed Chinese works on Islamic themes. This article surveys the history of Chinese participation in Muslim book culture, beginning with a review of the history and general features of texts, in terms of their language and period of composition. The second part of the article provides a more nuanced analysis of texts that circulated in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries throughout China, on the study of Arabo-Persian languages. These linguistic aids and primers of Arabic and Persian highlight the way in which these texts were read and interpreted, in turn, providing meaningful insight into the foundation of China’s intellectual engagement with the Islamicate world.

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