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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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Buddhism and Khmer Communism

Buddhism and Khmer Communism

A Shared Conceptual Terrain

(p.43) Chapter Three Buddhism and Khmer Communism
Buddhism in a Dark Age

Ian Harris

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter identifies parallels between Buddhism and Khmer Communism and provides an overview of the nature of Khmer Rouge ideology. It considers the communist distaste against the tenets of Buddhism, citing the ways in which Buddhist concepts have eroded the progress that the communists strive for, such as the monks' lack of productivity or the concept of karma encouraging passivity among the populace. Yet at the same time there has been some acceptance of Buddhist values and moralism among communist ranks. After discussing these parallels, the chapter attempts to take a middle path that focuses on both external and indigenous factors that had shaped the uniquely virulent form of communism displayed during the Democratic Kampuchea period.

Keywords:   Khmer Communism, Khmer Rouge ideology, Buddhist tenets, Buddhist values, moralism

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