Skip to main content

Distributed for National University of Singapore Press

Early Theravadin Cambodia

Perspectives from Art and Archaeology

A crucial reference for historians of Southeast Asia and those with a serious interest in the Buddhism and Buddhist art of Southeast Asia.

What explains the spread of Theravada Buddhism? And how is it entangled with the identity shifts that over the next four hundred years gave rise to the Buddhist state now called Cambodia? Early Theravadin Cambodia sheds light on one of the outstanding questions of Southeast Asian history: the nature and timing of major cultural and political shifts in the territory that was to become Cambodia, starting in the 13th century. This important collection challenges the conventional picture of Theravada as taking root in the void left by the collapse of Angkor and its Hindu-Buddhist power structure. Written by a diverse group of scholars from Cambodia, Thailand, the United States, France, Australia, and Japan, this volume is a sustained, collaborative discussion of evidence from art and archaeology, and how it relates to questions of Buddhist history, regional exchange networks, and ethnopolitical identities. Accessibly written and vividly illustrated, the book will be a crucial reference for historians of Southeast Asia and scholars of Buddhism.

288 pages | 114 color plates, 19 halftones | 7 1/4 x 9 1/4 | © 2022

Art and Archaeology of Southeast Asia: Hindu-Buddhist Traditions

Art: Middle Eastern, African, and Asian Art

Religion: South and East Asian Religions

Nus Press Pte Ltd image

View all books from Nus Press Pte Ltd


"While the recurring thread through the book is Theravāda Buddhism, its reach is broader than just students of Buddhism. Woodward’s, Poolsuwan’s, and Revire’s articles are of particular interest to art historians and Polkinghorne’s article makes references to the dangers of collecting in the nineteenth and twentieth century. Each article references Khmer art and culture, and all highlight the importance of Angkor within their personal fields."

The Review

Table of Contents

Introduction: Early Theravadin Cambodia: Terms of Engagement
Chapter 1: Angkor and Theravada Buddhism: Some Considerations
Chapter 2: Reading and Interpreting Jataka Tales during the Angkorian Period
Chapter 3: The Buddha Sculptures of Tham Phra (Buddha Cave): Implications for Understanding the Complex Religious Atmosphere of Western Thailand during the Early Second Millennium CE
Chapter 4: A Brief Overview of Key Theravada Buddhist Sculptures in Central Angkor from the 13th to 18th Centuries
Chapter 5: New Evidence at Western Prasat Top, Angkor Thom
Chapter 6: Back to the Future: The Emergence of Past and Future Buddhas in Khmer Buddhism
Chapter 7: 17th- and 18th-Century Images of the Buddha from Ayutthaya and Lan Xang at Angkor Wat

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press