Buddhism At The Borders Of Trade: Colonial And Post-Colonial Discourses On Trans-Himalayan Economic Networks And Connectivity

Principle investigator (PI): Prof. David Palmer
Co-PI: Dr. Georgios T. Halkias
Start date: 2019
Fund source: Collaborative Research Fund of the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (C7052-18G)

This project will seek to explore the following research question: what is the religious impact of China’s intensification of ties and infrastructures linking it to the rest of Asia, now subsumed by the Chinese government under the label of the “Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)”? An unintentional effect of the BRI is to facilitate and intensify religious circulations between the nations of Eurasia. Religion is central to the culture and national identity of most BRI and adjacent countries, and, often, their political system and ideology as well. Other than business, religion is the main motivation for the sustained circulation of organized groups between Asian countries. In the past, the lasting impact of the Silk Road was primarily in the realms of both commerce and religion.

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