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Local Histories in Global Perspective: A Local Elite Fellowship in the Port City of Quanzhou in Seventeenth-Century China

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The Great Mosque of Quanzhou, as a distinctive community center, bound its residents through religious, professional, and educational ties; it also linked the mosque community to other communities with bonds of shared Muslim identity and minority status. The Great Mosque was rebuilt in 1609 under the supervision of the Confucian scholar Li Guangjin. This significant event is evidence of a local elite fellowship in seventeenth-century Quanzhou consisting of three well-known Confucian scholars—Li Zhi, Li Guangjin, and He Qiaoyuan—who had close ties to their Muslim neighbors. They left meticulous records of merchants, particularly Muslim traders. This paper focuses on the fellowship among the three men in order to investigate Quanzhou’s connections to the broader world of global commercial and religious networks and to look more closely at local community life.

Affiliations: 1: Department of History, California State University, Long Beach


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