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Reflecting on Muslim heritage monuments : the case of Sa'ad ibn Waqqas' mausoleum in Guangzhou

ContributorsBugnon, Pascale
Presented atHistorical monuments and modern society, Shanghai, 1-2 December 2018
Presentation date2018-12-02

Since the beginning of the 1960s, cultural heritage has become a crucial issue in Chinese political rhetoric, recognizing both the dynastic and historical sites as well as the “culture ethnic minorities”. This process led to the emergence of the protection of some Muslims shrines. Previously used as places for “popular religion” and often labelled as “illegal” (非法宗教) or “superstitious” (迷信) practices by the Chinese authorities, these places are being reclaimed through patrimonialization, resulting in many structural and ideological changes. How this new discourse about religious monuments, in particular about Islamic one, emerged in China? For what purposes? My discussion will be grounded in an ethnographic case study from south China: the mausoleum of Sa'ad ibn Waaqas in Guangzhou (Guangdong Province), which is seen as the first entry point of Islam in China during the 7th century. This site has been recognized and classified as national cultural heritage site in 2013, and is inscribed on the tentative list of the UNESCO as part of the Maritime Silk Routes since 2012. Through these multilayered heritage processes, I will explore how religious heritage has emerged and has been framed and managed through local, national and international policies.

  • Islam in China
  • Guangzhou
  • Sa'ad ibn Abi Waqqas tomb
  • Cultural heritage
Citation (ISO format)
BUGNON, Pascale. Reflecting on Muslim heritage monuments : the case of Sa’ad ibn Waqqas” mausoleum in Guangzhou. In: Historical monuments and modern society. Shanghai. 2018.
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  • PID : unige:156498

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