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Prof. James FRANKEL

Prof. James FRANKEL

Associate Professor

Ph.D., Columbia University

About Prof. James FRANKEL

James D. Frankel, a native New Yorker, holds a Bachelor's degree in East Asian Studies and postgraduate degrees in Religion from Columbia University. His expertise is in the history of Islam in China, and his scholarly interests emphasize the comparative history of ideas and religious and cultural syncretism. His doctoral dissertation is on the subject of Chinese Islamic scholarship and literature of the early Qing (1644 – 1911) period, specifically the writings of the Chinese Muslim literatus Liu Zhi (ca. 1660 – ca. 1730). Dr. Frankel's first book, Rectifying God's Name: Liu Zhi's Confucian Translation of Monotheism and Islamic Law, (University of Hawaii Press, 2011), expounds on the same topic. He has lived in China and has traveled extensively in Asia and Europe, where he has met with scholars and religious leaders of Muslim minority communities. Dr. Frankel teaches and researches in the areas of Islam, comparative religion, Chinese religions, religious fundamentalism and mysticism.

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    • Islam; History of Islam in China; Sufism; Chinese Philosophy; East Asian Religions; Comparative Religion; Mysticism; Religious Fundamentalism
    1.  “Global/Local Perspectives on Chinese Muslim Origin Narratives and Guangzhou's Islamic Heritage Sites” (RGC Ref No. 14602319) 2019-2021
    2. “Infrastructures of Faith: Religious Mobility on the Belt and Road” (RGC Ref No. C7052-18G) 2019-2021
    3. “Embracing the Sage: Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas as Hui Cultural Hero and Muslim Saint” 2018
    4. “Islam in China and Global Chinese-Islamic Relations,” 2017
    5. “Re-Collecting the History of Chinese Islamic Art” 2016
    1. Islam in China. London: I.B. Tauris, 2021.
    2. “Muslim Blue, Chinese White: Islamic Calligraphy on Ming Blue-and-white Porcelain,” Orientations, Vol. 49, No. 2, March/April 2018.
    3. “Islamisation and Sinicisation: Inversions, Reversions and Alternate Versions of Islam in China,” in Peacock, A.C.S., ed. Islamisation: Comparative Perspectives from History. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017.
    4. Making Manchus and Muslims: Cosmopolitan Identities in Qing China,” in Hu, Minghui and Elverskog, Johan, eds. Cosmopolitanism in China, 1600-1950. New York: Cambria Press, 2016. 
    5. “Chinese-Islamic Connections: An Historical and Contemporary Overview,” Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 2016, Volume 36, Number 4.
    6. “Sharia in China: Compromising Perceptions,” in Timothy Daniels, ed. Sharia Dynamics and the Anthropology of Islam. Contemporary Anthropology of Religion Series. London: Palgrave Macmillan Press, 2016. 
    7. “Liu Zhi: The Great Integrator of Chinese Islamic Thought,” in Lipman, Jonathan N., ed.  Islamic Thought in China: Sino-Muslim Intellectual Evolution in the 17th-21st Centuries. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016.
    8. “The ‘Problem’ of Muslim Diversity in China,” in Nadeau, Randall, ed. The Blackwell Companion to Chinese Religions. Oxford: Blackwell, 2012.
    9. Rectifying God’s Name: Liu Zhi’s Confucian Translation of Monotheism and Islamic Law. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2011.
    10. “Uncontrived Concord: The Eclectic Sources and Syncretic Theories of Liu Zhi, a Chinese Muslim Scholar,” 2009, Journal of Islamic Studies, 20: 46-54.


    1. Substantiation, CUHK, 2020
    2. GRF Grant (PI), Hong Kong SAR Government, 2019
    3. CRF Grant (Co-PI), Hong Kong SAR Government, 2019
    4. Exemplary Teaching Award in GE (nominated), CUHK, 2019
    5. Abdul Aziz al-Mutawa Fellowship, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, 2018
    6. Direct Grant for Research, CUHK, 2015
    7. Excellence in Teaching Award, Arts & Humanities, UH Mānoa, 2015
    8. Tenure and Promotion, University of Hawaii, 2012
    9. Junior Faculty Research Award, University of Hawaii, 2012
    10. National Resource Center for East Asia Grant, 2010-2014


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