Around the Web

Here are some important law-and-religion news stories from around the web:

Around the Web

Some important law-and-religion stories from around the web:

 

Birge, “Marriage and the Law in the Age of Khubilai Khan”

In June, the Harvard University Press will release “Marriage and the Law in the Age of Khubilai Khan: Cases from the Yuan dianzhang,” by Bettine Birge (University of Southern California).  The publisher’s description follows:

The Mongol conquest of China in the thirteenth century and Khubilai Khan’s founding of the Yuan dynasty brought together under one government people of 9780674975514-lgdifferent languages, religions, and social customs. Chinese law evolved rapidly to accommodate these changes, as reflected in the great compendium Yuan dianzhang (Statutes and Precedents of the Yuan Dynasty). The records of legal cases contained in this seminal text, Bettine Birge shows, paint a portrait of medieval Chinese family life—and the conflicts that arose from it—that is unmatched by any other historical source.

Marriage and the Law in the Age of Khubilai Khan reveals the complex, sometimes contradictory inner workings of the Mongol-Yuan legal system, seen through the prism of marriage disputes in chapter eighteen of the Yuan dianzhang, which has never before been translated into another language. The text includes court testimony—recorded in the vivid vernacular of people from all social classes—in lawsuits over adultery, divorce, rape, wife-selling, marriages of runaway slaves, and other conflicts. It brings us closer than any other source to the actual Mongolian speech of Khubilai and the great khans who succeeded him as they struggled to reconcile very different Mongol, Muslim, and Chinese legal traditions and confront the challenges of ruling a diverse polyethnic empire.

Johnson, “The Souls of China”

This month, Pantheon Publishing releases “The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao,” by Ian Johnson.  The publisher’s description follows:

“Religion, Culture, and the Public Sphere in China and Japan” (Welter & Newmark, eds.)

This month, Springer released Religion, Culture, and the Public Sphere in China and Japan edited by Albert Welter (University of Arizona) and Jeffrey Newmark (University of Winnipeg). The publisher’s description follows:

Religion Culture and the Public Sphere in China and JapanThis collection examines the impact of East Asian religion and culture on the public sphere, defined as an idealized discursive arena that mediates the official and private spheres. Contending that the actors and agents on the fringes of society were instrumental in shaping the public sphere in traditional and modern East Asia, it considers how these outliers contribute to religious, intellectual, and cultural dialog in the public sphere. Jürgen Habermas conceptualized the public sphere as the discursive arena which grew within Western European bourgeoisie society, arguably overlooking topics such as gender, minorities, and non-European civilizations, as well as the extent to which agency in the public sphere is effective in non-Western societies and how practitioners on the outskirts of mainstream society can participate. This volume responds to and builds upon this dialogue by addressing how religious, intellectual, and cultural agency in the public sphere shapes East Asian cultures, particularly the activities of those found on the peripheries of historic and modern societies.

Around the Web This Week

Here are some interesting stories involving law and religion from this past week:

“Religion and Media in China” (Travagnin, ed.)

Next month, Routledge will release Religion and Media in China: Insights and Case Studies from the Mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong edited by Stefania Travagnin (University of Groningen, Netherlands). The publisher’s description follows:

Religion and Media in China.jpgThis volume focuses on the intersection of religion and media in China, bringing interdisciplinary approaches to bear on the role of religion in the lives of individuals and greater shifts within Chinese society in an increasingly media-saturated environment. With case studies focusing on Mainland China (including Tibet), Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as diasporic Chinese communities outside Asia, contributors consider topics including the historical and ideological roots of media representations of religion, expressions of religious faith online and in social media, state intervention (through both censorship and propaganda), religious institutions’ and communities’ use of various forms of media, and the role of the media in relations between online/offline and local/diaspora communities. Chapters engage with the major religious traditions practiced in contemporary China, namely Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Christianity, Islam, and new religious movements.

Religion and the Media in China serves as a critical survey of case studies and suggests theoretical and methodological tools for a thorough and systematic study of religion in modern China. Contributors to the volume include historians of religion, sinologists, sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists, and media and communication scholars. The critical theories that contributors develop around key concepts in religion—such as authority, community, church, ethics, pilgrimage, ritual, text, and practice—contribute to advancing the emerging field of religion and media studies.

Stewart, “Chinese Muslims and the Global Ummah”

In June, Routledge will release “Chinese Muslims and the Global Ummah: Islamic Revival and Ethnic Identity Among the Hui of Qinghai Province” by Alexander Stewart (University of California, San Diego). The publisher’s description follows:

The global spread of Islamic movements and the ascendance of a Chinese state that limits religious freedom have aroused anxieties about integrating Islam and protecting religious freedom around the world. Focusing on violent movements like the so-called Islamic State and Uygur separatists in China’s Xinjiang Province threatens to drown out the alternatives presented by apolitical and inwardly focused manifestations of transnational Islamic revival popular among groups like the Hui, China’s largest Muslim minority.

This book explores how Muslim revivalists in China’s Qinghai Province employ individual agency to reconcile transnational notions of religious orthodoxy with the materialist rationalism of atheist China. Based on a year immersed in one of China’s most concentrated and conservative urban Muslim communities in Xining, the book puts individuals’ struggles to navigate theological controversies in the contexts of global Islamic revival and Chinese modernization. By doing so, it reveals how attempts to revive the original essence of Islam can empower individuals to form peaceful and productive articulations with secular societies, and further suggests means of combatting radicalization and encouraging interfaith dialogue.

As the first major research monograph on Islamic revival in modern China, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of Anthropology, Islamic Studies, and Chinese Studies.

Erie, “China and Islam: The Prophet, the Party, and Law”

In May, Cambridge University Press will release “China and Islam: The Prophet, the Party, and Law” by Matthew S. Erie (University of Oxford). The publisher’s description follows:

China and Islam examines the intersection of two critical issues of the contemporary world: Islamic revival and an assertive China, questioning the assumption that Islamic law is incompatible with state law. It finds that both Hui and the Party-State invoke, interpret, and make arguments based on Islamic law, a minjian (unofficial) law in China, to pursue their respective visions of ‘the good’. Based on fieldwork in Linxia, ‘China’s Little Mecca’, this study follows Hui clerics, youthful translators on the ‘New Silk Road’, female educators who reform traditional madrasas, and Party cadres as they reconcile Islamic and socialist laws in the course of the everyday. The first study of Islamic law in China and one of the first ethnographic accounts of law in postsocialist China, China and Islam unsettles unidimensional perceptions of extremist Islam and authoritarian China through Hui minjian practices of law.

“Recovering Buddhism in Modern China” (Kiely & Jessup eds.)

In March, the Columbia University Press will release “Recovering Buddhism in Modern China,” edited by Jan Kiely (Chinese University of Hong Kong) and J. Brooks Jessup (Free University of Berlin). The publisher’s description follows:

Modern Chinese history told from a Buddhist perspective restores the vibrant, creative role of religion in postimperial China. It shows how urban Buddhist elites 9780231172769jockeyed for cultural dominance in the early Republican era, how Buddhist intellectuals reckoned with science, and how Buddhist media contributed to modern print cultures. It recognizes the political importance of sacred Buddhist relics and the complex processes through which Buddhists both participated in and experienced religious suppression under Communist rule. Today, urban and rural communities alike engage with Buddhist practices to renegotiate class, gender, and kinship relations in post-Mao China.

This volume vividly portrays these events and more, recasting Buddhism as a critical factor in China’s twentieth-century development. Each chapter connects a moment in Buddhist history to a significant theme in Chinese history, creating new narratives of Buddhism’s involvement in the emergence of urban modernity, the practice of international diplomacy, the mobilization for total war, and other transformations of state, society, and culture. Working across an extraordinary thematic range, this book reincorporates Buddhism into the formative processes and distinctive character of Chinese history.

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