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Buddhist Monuments and Temples of Cambodia and Laos - Softcover

 
9781496998972: Buddhist Monuments and Temples of Cambodia and Laos
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This is the third volume in my series on Buddhist monuments and temples in South Asia, and the last one dealing with orthodox or Theravada Buddhism. The advent of Theravada Buddhism in Cambodia and Laos came during the 11th century, while Mahayana Buddhism came much earlier to Cambodia. Laos, however, with its constant contact with Thailand (Siam), inherited Theravada or the pure form of Buddhism. The specific origins of the peoples of these countries are uncertain due to the lack of historical documentation. Due to the constant wars and invasions between these and neighbouring countries such as Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand (Siam), many temples, monasteries and stupas suffered destruction, and statues and other religious artefacts were pillaged. Therefore there are far fewer historical temples and monuments than might have been expected. In fact Sri Lanka is the only Theravada country in which there are substantial ancient Buddhist monuments and temples remaining in good order and still in use. Furthermore, the history of these is well documented, the oldest ones dating back to the Buddha. It is impossible to comprehensively deal with such an expansive subject encompassing the two countries in this small volume. Therefore I have confined myself to areas and places which have grown in popularity, are of major importance and those which are easily accessible. During the course of writing the books in this series I have visited all the sites dealt within them and taken most of the photographs. It is sincerely hoped that this small volume will be useful to those who are interested in seeing the monuments described, and also kindle their interest in the study of this subject.

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About the Author:
Born in Sri Lanka, Vivian De Thabrew received his formal education at Royal College, Colombo, Sri Lanka and obtained his first and postgraduate degrees in the U.K. He has degrees in Pali and Sanskrit, Horticulture, Turf Culture and Library Studies. His experience in botany led him to investigate plants in tropical Asia, culminating in producing several books on aquatic plants and also turf culture. He has travelled in many South-east Asian countries, such as Cambodia, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam, and has made a special study of Buddhist history, architecture and iconography of the two main schools of Buddhism, namely Theravada (Orthodox) and Mahayana (Ritualistic). His knowledge of the two ancient oriental classical languages has enabled him to understand the intricate, deeply philosophical and historical representations found in the paintings, architecture and sculptures of ancient monuments and the present-day monastic edifices of living Buddhism. He is at present preparing his next book, 'Monuments and Temples of Orthodox Buddhism in Myanmar and Thailand' the second in this series.

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  • PublisherAuthorHouseUK
  • Publication date2014
  • ISBN 10 1496998979
  • ISBN 13 9781496998972
  • BindingPaperback
  • Number of pages104

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