Epilogue to "Islam in China/China in Islam"

Jonathan Lipman, Mount Holyoke College
Uyghur doppas hanging inside Khanaqah Masjid in Kucha, Xinjiang, 2010. Photo by Matthew S. Erie.
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In my opening comments during the conference “The Everyday Life of Islam: Focus on Islam in China,” held at Cornell University on April 27 and 28, 2012, I proposed a number of themes, tensions, and conflicts on which we might focus our discussion of the papers. This epilogue will summarize some of the conversations that ensued and note areas of particular interest that emerged from revisions to the five essays presented in this special issue of Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review.

Some conference participants attempted to make generalizations at national and transnational levels, while others stuck tenaciously to local details. Our discussions sometimes strayed from “everyday life,” but rarely from diverse, sometimes divisive, solutions to the everyday problem of “being Muslim and being Chinese” and its macrocosmic projection, “Islam in China/China in Islam,” or, in Rian Thum’s contribution, Islam not in China. The essays here, influenced by conversations and debates during the conference, suggest future agendas for study of Islam in China and research on Muslim minorities and comparative religion and politics...