China and Inner Asia

Organized Panel Session

5 - To Perfect the Virtue and Assist the Talent: The Establishment of Chengda Shifan Teachers School and Northern Chinese Muslim Elites’ Quest for Islamic Revival

Friday, July 6
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: Willow, First Floor

Based on archival research and close reading of Chinese Muslim publications from the Republican era, this paper discusses the preeminent role of Muslims from Eastern parts of China in the revival and modernization of Chinese Muslim culture and religious practice in the first half of the twentieth century. By examining the Chengda Shifan Normal School, arguably the most influential Muslim educational institution of the Republican era, this paper shows that the highly acculturated Muslim elites, well established at the very center of the Chinese cultural sphere, were even more important for the revival of Muslim education, culture, and politics than the Northwestern scripturalists on whose influence previous scholarship tended to focus. The Chengda Shifan School, established in 1925 in Shandong Province and moved to Beijing in 1929, grew out of the local Muslim elites’ post-1912 efforts to redefine the relationship between Muslims and the new Chinese nation-state. Even though the eastern elites were well aware of the developments in the Northwest, accepted political patronage from some of the Northwest’s Muslim strongmen, and drew inspiration from selected aspects of the scritpuralist program, it was they (eastern elites) who took the intellectual and organizational lead during the Republican era and who shaped many Sino-Muslim communities by means of modernized education, political activism, international cooperation, and free exchange of opinion in their periodicals to fit into the new political and social realities of China.

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5 - To Perfect the Virtue and Assist the Talent: The Establishment of Chengda Shifan Teachers School and Northern Chinese Muslim Elites’ Quest for Islamic Revival



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Send Email for To Perfect the Virtue and Assist the Talent: The Establishment of Chengda Shifan Teachers School and Northern Chinese Muslim Elites’ Quest for Islamic Revival