History and Practice
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: University of Hawai'i Press
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Surprisingly little material specifically related to Cambodian Buddhism has been written in English. A brief glance at the bibliography accompanying this book demonstrates the truth of this assertion. Rather more is available in French, as one would expect from the ex-colonial power, but much is out of...
1. Buddhism in Cambodia: From Its Origins to the Fall of Angkor
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The great pioneering works of French scholarship on ancient Cambodia were primarily concerned with the construction of royal chronologies and with the problem of how Hinduism had been transplanted in an alien setting.1 The towering figure in the field, George Coed�s, had been trained as a Sanskritist...
2. The Middle Period and the Emergence of the Theravada
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Sr�vakay�na Buddhism had been present in Cambodia well before the fall of Angkor, but the precise nature of its occurrence remains elusive and it is difficult to divine any social influence the movement might have exercised. Whether the Sr�vakay�na was represented by one school or by many is impossible to say. ...
3. Theravada Buddhism in Cambodia: Territorial and Social Lineaments
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In common with most cultures of the region, the Cambodians contrast the world of settled, rice-growing existence with the wilderness beyond. From the end of the Angkorian period until the 1840s the country had no roads of significance, and a royal chronicle relates: “In former times there was little dry...
4. Literary and Cult Traditions
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Cambodian literature is customarily divided into two major categories. The first encompasses all explicit works of religious instruction (gambhir), including canonical, cosmological, and ritual Buddhist texts; commentaries on these; annals and chronicles; works of moral and political instruction...
5. Cambodian Buddhism under Colonial Rule
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Cambodia’s weakness after the fall of Angkor meant that it could offer little resistance to the oscillating influences and rivalry of its two stronger neighbors, Vietnam and Thailand, which tended to dominate its internal affairs. The Cambodian royal family periodically divided into antagonistic pro-Thai and...
6. Buddhism and Cambodian Nationalism
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Southeast Asian Buddhist monks have often participated in movements of contestation. From the Burmese sack of Ayutthaya in 1767 to the establishment of the Chakri dynasty in 1782, civil war raged in Thailand. Among the combatants, clans of monks proficient in the use of swords and guns attempted to carve...
7. Liberation: The Religio-political Dimension
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A Kampuchean People’s Revolutionary Party (KPRP) history written in 1991 mentions a number of insurrections during the early 1930s, including the “uprising of two monks: Achar Mean and Achar Pring, etc.” The Vietnamese sources on which these assertions are based acknowledge that there is no evidence that...
8. Cambodian Buddhism after the Khmer Rouge
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In May 1978, Heng Samrin gave a speech in Cambodia’s eastern zone revealing the existence of a dissident grouping within the Khmer Rouge. He called on “all patriotic forces regardless of political and religious tendencies,” including “Buddhist monks and nuns,” to join a united front to help “topple the reactionary...
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Buddhism has had an active presence in Khmer population zones for approximately one and a half millennia. During that time it has manifested a variety of differing forms, while its influence has ebbed and flowed both among members of the ruling elite and in the wider population. It was an important...
Appendix A. Cambodian Inscriptions Discussed in the Book
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Appendix B. Evidence Chart Based on Materials Discussed in Chapter 1
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Appendix C. Ecclesiastical Hierarchies in the Two Cambodian Buddhist Orders
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Khmer Word List
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Publication Year: 2005