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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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Monk Mortality and the Destruction of Institutional Buddhism

Monk Mortality and the Destruction of Institutional Buddhism

(p.118) Chapter Six Monk Mortality and the Destruction of Institutional Buddhism
Buddhism in a Dark Age

Ian Harris

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter explores the ways in which the Khmer Rouge had undermined if not outright destroyed the institutions of Buddhism, especially by killing monks. From the beginning of the civil war that marked Lon Nol's overthrow of Sihanouk in 1970, Buddhist monks shared the sufferings of their fellow compatriots. In addition, the frequent use of pagodas for military purposes and the massive US bombardment of Cambodia's eastern provinces exacerbated the situation. However, despite the heavy mortality rate sustained by the population at large, there does not appear to have been a policy for the systematic liquidation of Buddhist monks in Democratic Kampuchea. In addition, the chapter attempts to quantify and provide a statistical analysis of monk deaths during this period, at the same time discussing the challenges and difficulties of such an undertaking.

Keywords:   Buddhist institutions, monk deaths, monk mortality, Buddhist monks, Khmer Rouge, Buddhist monks

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