Cambodian Buddhism: history and practice

Front Cover
University of Hawai'i Press, 2005 - History - 352 pages
0 Reviews
The study of Cambodian religion has long been hampered by a lack of easily accessible scholarship. This impressive new work by Ian Harris thus fills a major gap and offers English-language scholars a book-length, up-to-date treatment of the religious aspects of Cambodian culture. Beginning with a coherent history of the presence of religion in the country from its inception to the present day, the book goes on to furnish insights into the distinctive nature of Cambodia's important yet overlooked manifestation of Theravada Buddhist tradition and to show how it reestablished itself following almost total annihilation during the Pol Pot period. Historical sections cover the dominant role of tantric Mahayana concepts and rituals under the last great king of Angkor, Jayavarman VII (1181-c. 1220); the rise of Theravada traditions after the collapse of the Angkorian civilization; the impact of foreign influences on the development of the nineteenth-century monastic order; and politicized Buddhism and the Buddhist contribution to an emerging sense of Khmer nationhood. The Buddhism practiced in Cambodia has much in common with parallel traditions in Thailand and Sri Lanka, yet there are also significant differences. The book concentrates on these and illustrates how a distinctly Cambodian Theravada developed by accommodating itself to premodern Khmer modes of thought. Following the overthrow of Prince Sihanouk in 1970, Cambodia slid rapidly into disorder and violence. Later chapters chart the elimination of institutional Buddhism under the Khmer Rouge and its gradual reemergence after Pol Pot, the restoration of the monastic order's prerevolutionary institutional forms, and the emergence ofcontemporary Buddhist groupings.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

From Its Origins to the Fall of Angkor
1
The Medieval Period and the Emergence of the Theravada
26
Territorial and Social Lineaments
49
Copyright

11 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2005)

Ian Harris is Professor of Buddhist Studies in the Division of Religion and Philosophy. He was educated at the University of Cambridge and the university of Lancaster, and is the author of The Continuity of Madhyamaka and Yogacara in Early Indian Mahayana Buddhism (1991), Cambodian Buddhism: History and Practice (2005) and editor of Buddhism and Politics in Twentieth Century Asia (1999) and Buddhism, Politics and Power (2006). He is co-founder of the UK Association for Buddhist Studies and has written widely on aspects of Buddhist ethics and politics. He was Senior Scholar at the Becket Institute, St. Hug's College, University of Oxford (2001-04) and is currently Senior Research Fellow at the Documentation Centre of Cambodia, Phnom Penh.

Bibliographic information