Initiative on the Economic, Institutional and Ritual Practices of Muslims in China.
Indiana University’s School of Global and International Studies’ Islamic Studies Program (ISP), in initial collaboration with the now-former Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business and the East Asian Studies Center, propose to develop an Initiative on the Economic, Institutional and Ritual Practices of Muslims in China. The objective of the Initiative is to explore the intersection of economy, religion, ritual, law, and policy among Chinese Muslims (primarily, but not limited to Hui) and connect Chinese and international scholars researching Muslim communities in China with students and faculty at Indiana University.
The study of Islam and Muslims in China has been growing rapidly in recent years. But the study of Muslim economic thought and practice is still in its infancy, with only isolated papers devoted to such themes as zakāt (alms-giving), ribā (excessive interest), Islamic tax, finance, inheritance, etc. At the same time, our review of recently completed Chinese-language dissertations in Chinese universities shows a rising – and distinctive – interest in these themes.
Thematically, the Initiative will explore economic and institutional life by discussing commerce, finance, marriage, waqf (charitable endowment), and other social structures of Muslim communities in China – past & present – and legal traditions as compelling, encouraging or hindering certain practices. Expertise in this particular area is underrepresented on campus among our faculty researching Islam, China, and/or China’s ethnic and national minorities. Our intent is to stimulate cross-disciplinary conversations and provide faculty and students with new, diverse perspectives.
The initiative kicked off in September 2017 with a talk at IU by Matthew S. Erie (University of Oxford), author of the recently published China and Islam: The Prophet, the Party, and Law (Cambridge Studies in Law and Society, 2016). Visits since Matthew Erie's lecture include those by Zvi Ben-Dor Benite (NYU), David Atwill (Penn State), Wang Jianping (Shanghai Normal University), Kelly Hammond (Arkansas), and Jonathan Lipman (Mount Holyoke).
 Ma Yuxiu and Cao Qing Feng, “The Study of Islam and Islam Economic Thought in China,” World Journal of Islamic History and Civilization 3/1 (2013), 24.
 See Appendix: Recent Chinese Dissertations.