Assistant Professor, University of Kyoto
Tatsuya Nakanishi has studied the intellectual history of Chinese Muslims (Chinese-speaking Muslims, or Hui Muslims) for approximately twenty years, especially focusing on how Chinese Muslims during the 17th–20th centuries have adjusted Islamic beliefs and practices to Chinese society. He has examined relevant issues by investigating Chinese, Arabic, Persian and Turkish historical sources, some of which he found through his fieldworks in China.
In 2008, he received his Ph.D. degree in Letters from Kyoto University. In 2013, based on his doctoral dissertation, he wrote and published a Japanese monograph, titled Chuka to taiwa suru isuramu: 17-19 seiki chūgoku musurimu no sisōteki eii [Islam in Dialogue with Chinese Civilisation: Intellectual Activities of Chinese Muslims during the Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries], which elucidated how Chinese Muslims during the 17th–19th centuries harmonised Islamic thoughts and cultures (Sufism, Ibn ‘Arabi’s ideas, Hanafi jurisprudence and Persian culture) with Chinese traditional religions (Confucianism and Taoism) and social situations. For this monograph, he was awarded the Suntory Prize for Social Sciences and Humanities in 2013. Now, he is an Associate Professor of Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto University.
Recently, he is grappling with the problem how Chinese Muslims, as a part of their efforts to adapt Islam to China, responded to the changing historical circumstances (For example, the development of Neo-Confucianism and the Ming-Qing dynastic changeover in the 17th century, an intensification of mutual antagonism between the Muslim Hui and non-Muslim Han Chinese people in the 19th century, the upsurge of Chinese nationalism in the 20th century and the rise of Islamic reformism in West and South Asia during the 19th–20th centuries). Thereby, he tries to illuminate the dynamic aspects of the Hui Muslims’ struggles in accommodating Islam in China and provide more thorough understanding of the dialogues held between Islamic and Chinese civilisations.
Publications related to the project’s theme
Tatsuya Nakanishi, ‘19 seiki Unnan no Chūgoku musurimu gakusha, Ba Tokushin no seija sūhai hihan’ [The Chinese Muslim Scholar Ma Dexin’s Criticism of Saint Worship], Tōhō Gakuhō 94 (2019): 398–76 (in Japanese)
Tatsuya Nakanishi, Chūka to taiwa suru isurāmu: 17–19 seiki Chūgoku musurimu no shisō teki eii [Islam in Dialogue with Chinese Civilisation: Intellectual Activities of Chinese Muslims during the Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries], Kyoto: Kyoto University Press, 2013 (in Japanese)