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Title: Buddhism under Pol Pot

By: Ian Harris

Year: 2007

Language: 304 pages in English

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This new book by Ian Harris, Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Cumbria, UK, explores the fate of Buddhism before, during, and shortly after Democratic Kampuchea. Prum Phalla of the Documentation Center of Cambodia provided research assistance on this project. Dr. Harris begins with an examination of Buddhism under Sihanouk and Lon Nol, and then traces the origins of Khmer Communism and its relationship with Buddhism in Cambodia. He then looks at the fate of Buddhism early in the regime, including monk evacuations and flights abroad, defrocking, forced marriage, military service, and executions. The practice of Buddhism during the regime is also examined, including Buddhist rites and the fate of pagodas, images, and religious texts. Dr. Harris weighs the claims of monk deaths and pagodas destroyed during Democratic Kampuchea against his findings from extensive interviews and documentary research. He concludes that there was no policy for the systematic liquidation of monks in Democratic Kampuchea. Ian Harris and Prum Phalla: Ian Harris is Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Cumbria, UK and Tung Lin Kok Yuen, Visiting Professor on Buddhism and Contemporary Society at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Co-founder of the UK Association for Buddhist Studies (UKABS) and author of many works on Buddhist ethics and politics, his previous book was Cambodian Buddhism: History and Practice (2005). He is currently investigating the links between Buddhism and politics in pre-Pol Pot Cambodia.