Cambodian Buddhism: History and Practice

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University of Hawaii Press, 2008 - History - 352 pages
2 Reviews
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 of contemporary Buddhist groupings.l
 

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Contents

Buddhism in Cambodia From Its Origins to the Fall of Angkor
1
The Middle Period and the Emergence of the Theravada
26
Theravada Buddhism in Cambodia Territorial and Social Lineaments
49
Literary and Cult Traditions
81
Cambodian Buddhism under Colonial Rule
105
Buddhism and Cambodian Nationalism
131
Liberation The Religiopolitical Dimension
157
Cambodian Buddhism after the Khmer Rouge
190
Evidence Chart Based on Materials Discussed in Chapter 1
233
Ecclesiastical Hierarchies in the Two Cambodian Buddhist Orders
236
Abbreviations
239
Notes
241
Glossary
301
Khmer Word List
305
Bibliography
309
Index
343

Conclusion
225
Cambodian Inscriptions Discussed in the Book
231

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About the author (2008)

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.

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