Jack Meng-Tat Chia is Assistant Professor of History and Religious Studies 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 (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 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 Archiv Orientální, 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.
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 Scholar. Before teaching at NUS, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Buddhist Studies, University of California, Berkeley.
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