Diasporic Dharma: Buddhism and Modernity across the South China Sea


The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Dissertation Fellowships in Buddhist Studies


This dissertation examines Chinese Buddhism in maritime Southeast Asia and inquires into the dynamics of transnational religious circulations in the modernization and globalization of Chinese Buddhism in the twentieth century. It investigates the transnational religious careers of three eminent monks—Chuk Mor (1913-2002), Yen Pei (1917-1996), and Ashin Jinarakkhita (1923-2002)—who were instrumental in the movement, exchanges, and innovation of Buddhist knowledge and institutions in the Chinese diaspora. The research reveals that overseas Chinese monks not only contributed to the creation of a hybrid Buddhist modernism, but also in making Southeast Asia into a new center for Chinese Buddhism.