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Buddhism in a Dark AgeCambodian Monks under Pol Pot$
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Ian Harris

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835613

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835613.001.0001

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Unraveling of the Buddhist State

Unraveling of the Buddhist State

(p.12) Chapter One Unraveling of the Buddhist State
Buddhism in a Dark Age

Ian Harris

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter maps out events from the ascension of Norodom Sihanouk to the Cambodian throne and the beginnings of a “Buddhist socialism” to Lon Nol's ascent to power to the final days of the “Buddhist State.” It also discusses the tensions arising between the communist and government factions, which had posed a significant impact on the Buddhist saṅgha. To illustrate this, the chapter traces the sociopolitical developments (even the outside involvement of Chinese and Vietnamese political parties) which intensified the polarization of the saṅgha, with some monks supporting the coup leaders, some remaining dyed-in-the-wool monarchists, and others having already joined the communist cause. The government in turn had sought to use pliant monks to counteract communist propaganda in the countryside.

Keywords:   Norodom Sihanouk, Lon Nol, Buddhist State, Buddhist socialism, saṅgha polarization, communism

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