Jack Meng-Tat Chia is Assistant Professor of History and Religious Studies at the National University of Singapore. His research focuses on Buddhism and Chinese popular religion in maritime Southeast Asia, transnationalism Buddhism, and Sino-Southeast Asian interactions. His first book, Monks in Motion: Buddhism and Modernity across the South China Sea (Oxford, 2020), explores the connected history of Buddhist communities in China and Southeast Asia in the twentieth century. He is co-editor of Living with Myths in Singapore (Ethos, 2017) and has published articles in journals such as Archipel, Asian Ethnology, China Quarterly, Contemporary Buddhism, History of Religions, and Journal of Chinese Religions. He is currently working on two book projects: Beyond the Borobudur: Buddhism in Postcolonial Indonesia and Dharma Crossings: Long Gen and the Making of Nanyang Buddhism.
Chia is an associate of the Religion and Globalization Cluster at the Asia Research Institute and a steering committee member of the Belt and Road Initiative Cluster at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. He is an editor of Asian Culture, and serves on the editorial board of Journal of Southeast Asian Studies and Studies on Humanistic Buddhism.
Born and raised in Singapore, Chia received his Ph.D. from Cornell University, where his dissertation won the Lauriston Sharp Prize. He received his B.A. and M.A. from the National University of Singapore, and his second M.A. from Harvard University, where he was a Harvard-Yenching Fellow. Before teaching at NUS, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Buddhist Studies, University of California, Berkeley.
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