This work explores the British encounter with Buddhism in nineteenth century Sri Lanka. Its central concern is the way Buddhism was represented and constructed in the eyes of the British scholars, officials, travelers and religious seekers who first encountered it. The book traces the three main historical phases of the encounter from 1796 to 1900 and gives a sensitive and nuanced exegesis of the cultural and political influences which shaped the early British understanding of Buddhism and which would condition its subsequent transmission to the West. This work fills a significant gap in scholarship on Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka by concentrating on missionary writings and by a thorough exploration of original materials of several important pioneers in Buddhist Studies and Mission Studies. It expands the readers' understanding of inter-religious relations between Christians and Buddhists.