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Ken'an Rifai Program Serial Lecture I

Invited by Professor Tu Weiming, Director of the Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies (IAHS) at Peking University, Professor Yang Guiping from the Department of Philosophy at Minzu University of China became the 2016 visiting scholar of the Ken'an Rifai Distinguished Professorship Program and gave a lecture titled "Islamic Sufism: Text, Thought, and Rituals" at IAHS. Professor Yang Guiping specializes in Islam and Chinese minority' religions. The lecture attracted around 60 students from Peking University, Remin University, Minzu University of China, and other nearby universities and it was well-received.

Before the lecture, Professor Lu Yin of the IAHS gave an introduction about the Ken'an Rifai Program. Funded by the Turkish Women’s Cultural Association (TURKKAD) and hosted by the IAHS, the Program sets up a Ken'an Rifai chair of visiting scholar at Peking University, inviting first class Islamic Sufism scholars from overseas and Mainland China to give lectures and offer classes at Peking University each year, and using the Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies as a platform to promote dialogues among civilizations.

Within the three hours lecture, professor Yang Guiping first gave a brief introduction of the history of Sufism, its current status, and the main tenets of its theory and practice. Then she offered detailed discussions about the historical background, formation, and transformation of the Sufism community and its theory, followed by an analysis of the current problems Sufism is facing and how it has adjusted itself accordingly to cope with these problems. Lastly, professor Yang gave a detailed articulation of the theory of Sufism around three key terms—"heart", "the Way", and "Love”. Professor Yang's lecture triggered great interests among the students. Students asked many questions and professor Yang offered insightful responses.



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