Title

Pre-Angkor Khmer Religion and State

Document Type

Article

Department

Religious Studies (CMC)

Publication Date

2011

Abstract

This article surveys recent scholarship on Southeast Asian religion and state formation by using the pre-Angkor Khmer religio-political organizational patterns as a case study. It begins by situating the debate in the broader chronological frame of both the pre-Angkor and Angkor periods by outlining both the India-centric, ‘Khmer Hinduism’ model and the Khmer-centric, indigenous model for religio-political formation. It then shifts its focus to the pre-Angkor period and uses the recent work of Michael Vickery and Alexis Sanderson to discuss the debate concerning the influence of Śaivism on pre-Angkor Khmer state and society. In doing so, it argues that the idea of a ‘state’, combined with the recognition of a distinction between élite religio-political constructions and the common experience and practice of religion, serves to reconcile Vickery’s and Sanderson’s arguments. The article ends with a discussion of new avenues of research that have opened up in the last decade.

Rights Information

© 2011 Daniel Michon. Religion Compass © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

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