Deba Mitra Barua F'14

Deba Mitra Barua
Postdoctoral Fellow
Asian Studies
Rice University
last updated: 4/1/2020

The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships in Buddhist Studies 2014
Religion and Culture
University of Saskatchewan
Buddhism in Two Bengals from 1757 to 1988: Theravada Buddhism as a Minority Religion and its Transnational Connections
the Department of Asian Studies at Cornell University

Undivided Bengal was the last stronghold of Indian Buddhism. Southeastern Bengal is the only region where Buddhists, albeit as a minority, have maintained a living tradition. To date, Buddhism in Bengals remains less explored and unaccounted for in modern scholarship on Buddhism due to the generalization of Indian Buddhism’s demise in medieval India. This research addresses this omission by studying Buddhism in Bengals (1757-1988) from a perspective of minority religion. In addition, it contextualizes contemporary Buddhism in Bengal in the nexus of transnational connections with fellow majority Buddhists in Sri Lanka and Myanmar. To study Theravada Buddhism as a minority religion is rare, and to do so within transnational Buddhist networks is what uniquely characterizes this research.