The Newsletter 50 Spring 2009

Cambodia's religions, in ashes and in ink

Eisel Mazard

Harris, Ian. 2008. Cambodian Buddhism, History and Practice. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. (Paperback). 368 pages. ISBN 978 0824 83298 8.

The image on the cover of Ian Harris’s new history of religion is both familiar and unexpected: in place of the towering stone shrines that adorn so many Cambodian guidebooks, we see instead the fragility of a modern Buddha statue, cast in concrete. It was smashed to pieces and later re-assembled, with its steel structure now exposed, as bones laid bare.

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