By Ian Harris

This pioneering research of the destiny of Buddhism in the course of the communist interval in Cambodia places a human face on a dismal interval in Cambodia’s heritage. it's the first sustained research of the generally held assumption that the Khmer Rouge below Pol Pot had a centralized plan to liquidate the full monastic order. according to an intensive research of interview transcripts and a wide physique of up to date manuscript fabric, it bargains a nuanced view that makes an attempt to maneuver past the bad monastic dying toll and completely review the wear to the Buddhist sangha under Democratic Kampuchea.

Compelling facts exists to indicate that Khmer Rouge leaders have been decided to seek down senior individuals of the pre-1975 ecclesiastical hierarchy, yet different elements additionally labored opposed to the Buddhist order. Buddhism in a gloomy Age outlines a three-phase strategy within the Khmer Rouge remedy of Buddhism: bureaucratic interference and obstruction, particular harassment, and eventually the removing of the stubborn and people on the subject of the former Lon Nol regime. The institution of a separate innovative kind of sangha administration constituted the bureaucratic part. The harassment of clergymen, either separately and en masse, was once in part as a result of the uprooting of the conventional monastic financial system within which lay humans have been discouraged from feeding economically unproductive clergymen. more youthful participants of the order have been disrobed and compelled into marriage or army provider. the ultimate act within the tragedy of Buddhism lower than the Khmer Rouge used to be the execution of these clergymen and senior ecclesiastics who resisted.

It was once tricky for institutional Buddhism to outlive the stipulations encountered through the decade less than examine right here. Prince Sihanouk’s overthrow in 1970 marked the tip of Buddhism because the relevant axis round which all different elements of Cambodian life revolved and made experience. And less than Pol Pot the lay inhabitants was once strongly discouraged from supplying its useful fabric aid. The publication concludes with a dialogue of the sluggish re-establishment and professional supervision of the Buddhist order through the People’s Republic of Kampuchea period.

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Buddhism in a Dark Age: Cambodian Monks under Pol Pot by Ian Harris

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