This data mining project investigates the changing and contested narratives of the BRI in social media, focusing on sentimental and networking characteristics in online communication platforms. In an interim outcome, this work has firstly framed a...
BRINFAITH Cases Hub
Researchers’ Working Notes (See below) | In-Depth Interviews and Stories (Coming Soon)
- Mapping Group
- Infrastructures Group
- Strategies Group
- Urban Hubs Group
David A. PALMER 宗樹人
This research theme aims to place the case studies of the BRINFAITH project into a broader historical and geopolitical context through macro-level mapping. The work being undertaken falls into three types of mapping: historical mapping, geo-mapping and social media mapping. The historical mapping project involves situating the BRI in a history of spatial imaginaries of empire, cosmology and religion in Asia. The geo-mapping project involves the construction of an online map generating database on the BRI, collecting and superimposing multiple datasets on the BRI, including datasets related to religion. The social media mapping project involves mapping conversations on the BRI in social media, tracing the evolution of sentiment in different locations, identifying key opinion leaders and their networks and influence, and tracing the role of religious factors in the shaping of the online discourse.
The BRI Mapbox illustrates the spatial configuration between infrastructures and religious factors in the BRI region. This work maps out and correlates routes, borders, railroads, pipelines, ports and free trade zones with demographic, economic and...
This subproject situates the contemporary mapping of the BRI within the history of the spacial imagination of Asia, using the notion of “empire” as a conceptual tool to interrogate how the connecting and separation of places through networks and...
R. Michael FEENER
The group investigates infrastructures as locations for the negotiation of state power and flows of people and ideas. The team will focus specifically on the routes and borders between China, Pakistan and Afghanistan (Mostowlansky), Laos/Vietnam (Palmer, Estevez and Ngo), and India/the Himalayas (Halkias), as well as sea routes passing through the Sri Lanka (Woods) and the Maldives (Feener). Infrastructures of transportation and communication, but also of border demarcation and control, and of religious management and “deradicalization” (Liu) all contribute to shape and to transform the configuration of transnational religious networks, circulations and influences.
Mohammed TURKI AL-SUDAIRI
The strategies group examines how religious organizations and networks respond to the intensification of ties between China and other Asian nations by devising strategies of expansion or protection. This includes the intensification of competition between parallel and sometimes intersecting Christian and Islamic missionary movements (Li, Alsudairi). Christian and Muslim missionary projects have often been animated by fears that, without greater activity on their part, their competitors would succeed in making inroads into the country and convert it to Christianity/Islam. Meanwhile, the BRI is seen by many Chinese Christians as a divine plan, opening the road for the “back to Jerusalem” movement to send Chinese Christian missionaries to the middle East (Kang). Away from Christian-Muslim rivalries, other transnational religious networks are circulating along the intensifying links connecting China with other Asian nations, and Chinese temple networks along the South China sea have used the BRI to imagine an alternative, horizontal transnational alliance of local communities and temples (Dean). In Vietnam, some religious groups are mobilising their spiritual powers to resist Chinese influence (Ngo). And, with the growing popularity of yoga and new age-style body-mind-spirit practices among the urban middle classes, Indian new religious movements have spread to China, with a flow of gurus and trainers visiting China and Chinese students heading to India for advanced spiritual training (Iskra).
URBAN HUBS GROUP
HO Wai Yip
Taking urban hubs as a focal point, the project examines the intricate yet largely overlooked relationship between religious circulation and urban space, exploring how the entanglement between religious practices, urban development and urban social changes involves transnational circulations both of religious cultures and policy discourses. Cities such as Hong Kong (Ho and Maarif), Guangzhou (Frankel) and Dubai (Wang), with their historical legacy and/or future-looking ambitions, continue to serve as strategic hubs that reinforce transnational religious exchange.
Inter-Asian Learning And Teaching Across The Belt And Road: In-Between Pakistani Madrasah And Chinese School
Driven by the steady increase of the Muslim population, ethnic Muslims in Hong Kong have been desperately seeking physical space for daily prayer and reciting Qur’an. Out of the strong religious aspiration, many small-scale madrasah (‘housques’) have been flourishing in many parts of Hong Kong in recent years. Based on my ongoing ethnographic...
Sacralizing The Works, Engaging Inter-Cultural Relations: Stories Of Indonesian Female Muslim Workers In Hong Kong
Alhamdulillah (thanks to God), I made my hijrah (literally migration, from sinful to righteously pious -better- Muslim). I had intended to do so for years, but finally made it since last year. It's been a year now," said a niqab-ed Indonesian female Muslim worker in her monthly religious gathering at victoria Park of Hong Kong, in October 28th,...
Alternative Healing Methods And China’s Health Silk Road: Chinese Muslim Medical Enterprises And Practitioners In Dubai
China has gained more prominence in terms of its global health leadership during the coronavirus pandemic. The state dispatched medical teams and supplies to many Belt and Road countries in the last six months. Sinopharm, a large state-owned Chinese pharmaceutical company, established its first overseas COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial program in...
Global/Local Perspectives on Chinese Muslim Origin Narratives and Guangzhou’s Islamic Heritage Sites
Alongstanding tradition among Hui Muslims attributes the arrival of Islam in China to a mission led by Saʿd ibn abī Waqqāṣ (ca. 595-ca.574), a relative of the Prophet Muhammad (570-632). Although the historicity of this story has been questioned to the point of incredulity, Saʿd ibn abī Waqqāṣ is associated with two important sites in Guangzhou –...