Jack Meng-Tat Chia is a Senior Tutor in the Department of History at the National University of Singapore and currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Buddhist Studies, the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on Buddhism in maritime Southeast Asia, Chinese popular religion, overseas Chinese history, and Southeast Asia-China interactions. Born and raised in Singapore, he received his B.A. (Hons) and M.A. from the National University of Singapore, his second M.A. from Harvard University, where he was a Harvard-Yenching Scholar, and his Ph.D. from Cornell University. He is currently completing his book manuscript, “Monks in Motion: Buddhism and Modernity across the South China Sea,” which explores the history of Buddhism in inter-Asian contexts and the intersections between national and Buddhist institutional projects in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. His research was funded by the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Historical Association, the Cornell Southeast Asia Program, the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation, the Sheng Yen Education Foundation, and the Tan Kah Kee Foundation.
Chia is the co-editor of Living with Myths in Singapore (2017) and has published articles in journals such as Archiv Orientální, Asian Ethnology, China Quarterly, Journal of Chinese Religions, Material Religion, New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies, and SOJOURN. His next project is entitled “Beyond the Borobudur: Buddhism in Postcolonial Indonesia.” It explores the history and development of Buddhism in the world’s largest Muslim country since 1945.