Jack Meng-Tat Chia is a Senior Tutor in the Department of History at the National University of Singapore. He is a historian of religions who studies Buddhism and Chinese popular religion in maritime Southeast Asia, with a focus on the transregional circulation of people, ideas and resources.
Chia 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. His doctoral dissertation “Diasporic Dharma: Buddhism and Modernity across the South China Sea” examines Chinese Buddhism in maritime Southeast Asia; it also considers the history of Chinese migration and transregional religious circulations in the twentieth century. 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.
He has published articles in journals such as Asian Ethnology, China Quarterly, Dongnanya yanjiu, Journal of Chinese Religions, Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia, Material Religion, New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies, and SOJOURN. His next project is entitled “Beyond the Borobudur: Buddhism in Postcolonial Indonesia.” This work considers the history and development of Buddhism in the world’s largest Muslim country since 1945.