Jack Meng-Tat Chia is a Senior Tutor in the Department of History at the National University of Singapore. His research focuses on Buddhism in maritime Southeast Asia, Buddhist modernism, Chinese popular religion, and Southeast Asia-China interactions. His first book, Monks in Motion: Buddhism and Modernity across the South China Sea, is under contract with Oxford University Press. The book is a study of Chinese Buddhist migration in the twentieth century, presenting the connected history of Buddhism in China and Southeast Asia through a synthesis of institutional and intellectual history, as well as local and global history.
Chia is co-editor of Living with Myths in Singapore (2017) and has published articles in journals such as Archiv Orientální, Asian Ethnology, China Quarterly, History of Religions, Journal of Chinese Religions, Material Religion, and SOJOURN. His next book project, “Beyond the Borobudur: Buddhism in Postcolonial Indonesia,” focuses on the history and development of Buddhism in the world’s largest Muslim country since 1945.
Born and raised in Singapore, Chia holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University, where his dissertation was awarded the Lauriston Sharp Prize. He received his B.A. and M.A. in History from the National University of Singapore, and his second M.A. in East Asian Studies from Harvard University, where he was a Harvard-Yenching Scholar. Before teaching at NUS, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Buddhist Studies, University of California, Berkeley.