The Prophet and the Party: Shari'a and Sectarianism in China's Little Mecca


Henry Luce Foundation/ ACLS Program in China Studies Postdoctoral Fellowships




This proposal is for a dissertation-to-book project based on a decade of research with nineteen months of fieldwork between 2009 to 2012. Fieldwork was conducted in Linxia City, Gansu province, China, to study the contemporary practice of shari'a among Chinese Muslims (Hui) and the ways in which Hui reconcile their obligations under Islamic law with socialist state law. The project investigates the relationship between multiple sources of authority, patriarchy, and law in Linxia or "China's Little Mecca," including shari'a, custom, and state law during a time of both Islamic revival and increasing state control. The book describes shari'a in the fields of purity, devotion, and family law and differences in interpretation among "teaching schools."