Abstract

abstract:

This article begins with a historical overview, in which I offer a brief introduction to the Buddhist and Christian communities in Cambodia and call attention to critical moments of interaction between them, beginning with the entry of Christianity into the primarily Theravada nation of Cambodia in 1923, and continuing until the mass repatriation of refugee from Thailand back to Cambodia in the early 1990s. Transitioning into a more focused analysis thereafter, I highlight one particular case study, featuring the interface between the evangelical Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) denomination and their neighbors from the Theravada Buddhist community: religious leaders, politicians, and even colleagues in Christian ministry. The case study highlights the period between the arrival of the earliest CMA presence in Cambodia in the 1920s to the onset of the Cambodian Civil War(s) in 1970. As the case study will illustrate, although the relationship between the Buddhist and Christian communities in Cambodia has been characterized at times by animosity and at others by cooperation, it is certain that throughout Christianity's existence in Cambodia, it has been shaped by Buddhist contributions. The relationship between Buddhism and evangelical Christianity in Cambodia has been an ambivalent one that started out rather tense but has also been marked by key moments of cooperation that have shaped the development of Khmer evangelicalism in significant ways. Buddhists' contributions to the formation of Khmer evangelicalism include providing resources for church services in the early decades of the CMA's presence in Cambodia, impacting essential theological interpretations through consultancy in the process of translating the Khmer Bible, and allowing space for the preservation of the practice of Sabbath-keeping.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9472
Print ISSN
0882-0945
Pages
pp. 255-271
Launched on MUSE
2020-12-15
Open Access
No
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