Centre for the History of Religion in Asia (CHRA)
The Centre for the History of Religion in Asia (CHRA) takes up the religions and societies of Asia in their historical development from the emergence of written records in the pre-common era to the modern period.
Journal: Asian Literature and Translation (ALT): A Journal of Religion and Culture ISSN: 2051-5863
The Story of Story in Early South Asia
Character and Genre across Hindu, Buddhist and Jain Narrative Traditions
A new three-year research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council
The Centre's Mission
Our activities and mission are best explained by a consideration of the words that we use to characterise what we do:
The Centre is an organisation that is designed to facilitate research and the communication of research findings to the widest possible public. It is made up of specialists in the languages and cultures of Asia who work individually and collaboratively to produce new knowledge about religion and society in that region.
We take History to be the source-critical substantiation or refutation of hypotheses in relation to data left by human agents no longer present to us. We also understand the academic discipline of history as entailing ongoing critical re-assessment of its terms of operation and methodologies.
We take Religion to be those forms of expression and practice in social groups that relate to culturally postulated superhuman agencies and/or forms of collectively or personally transformative knowledge. Given the vast variety of phenomena that might be taken to be ‘religiously related’, we interpret the term as a scholarly category created for the purpose of study.
We take Asia to be the area from the Iranian Plateau to the Japanese Archipelago incorporating the regions commonly referred to as West, South (the Indian sub-continent), Central, South-East and East Asia.
The Centre's Logo
Our logo was designed by Sita Deeg and shows the 7th century Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang reclining across Asia.