J. Brooks Jessup

Visiting Lecturer

East Asia — China

I am a historian of modern China with a focus on the religious, urban, and cultural history of the twentieth century. I received my PhD from Berkeley and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Free University of Berlin. My current book project, Shanghai Dharma: The Rise of Civic Buddhism in Modern China, examines the origins of Buddhist civic engagement in modern Chinese society. Reading Buddhist texts alongside archival documents and other non-Buddhist sources, I show how a new form of Buddhism aimed at benefitting the public good arose out of the encounter between Buddhist revivalism and urban modernity in Chinese cities during the first half of the twentieth century. I have also co-edited a book with Jan Kiely, Recovering Buddhism in Modern China, which was published in 2016 by Columbia University Press.

Dr. J. Brooks Jessup
Image Credit: Marcus Reichmann, Freie Universität Berlin