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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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Buddhist Practice and Material Culture under the Khmer Rouge

Buddhist Practice and Material Culture under the Khmer Rouge

(p.90) Chapter Five Buddhist Practice and Material Culture under the Khmer Rouge
Buddhism in a Dark Age

Ian Harris

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter focuses on the manner in which Buddhist practice was restricted and finally extinguished by the Khmer Rouge. At the local level, policies were implemented in one of two ways, either dogmatically and with ill-considered fervor or in ways that still left scope for determined individuals, sometimes with the connivance of sympathetic officials, to maintain a minimal level of religiosity. In the case of a very limited number of courageous elderly monks and laypeople, living the life of a white-robed ascetic became an option, if only for a short period. A slightly larger group resolutely confronted their terrors and performed devotions in secret. But by far and away the largest proportion of previously active Buddhists rapidly and completely abandoned any semblance of the religious life.

Keywords:   Buddhist practice, Buddhism, religious policies, religiosity, Khmer Rouge, religious life

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