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The 3rd Annual Conference will be held in Siem Reap in June this year with the theme of religious studies. Closing date for paper abstracts in 15th February 2012.

Siem Reap Conference on Special Topics in Khmer Studies
Religious Studies in Cambodia: Understanding the Old and Tracing the New
9-10 June 2012
Siem Reap

The epigraphical, architectural and iconographical material available to understand pre-modern Cambodian society and history all attest to the centrality of religion. Despite this importance, however, very few studies have been dedicated exclusively to the topic of religion. Indeed, the complexity held by this topic has many sources. The process once referred to as Indianization involved the transmission of the already composite system of Indian religions (Åšaivism, Vaiṣṇavism and Buddhism) into a barely known local system of beliefs. Recent discoveries from Buddhist studies — whether on discrepancies among texts and religious practices or on unveiled tantric texts and the wider recognition of tantric Buddhist aesthetic forms — add further layers to this complexity.

The aim of this conference is to take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of religion in order to render the richness of pre-modern Southeast Asian religions, and in particular, Khmer religion. By comparing pre-modern Southeast Asian civilisations, what can be understood of the common or characteristic choices of Indian religious features they each made? Consequently, what can be concluded about the local systems of beliefs followed at the time? How do contemporary religious systems reflect the strata of the Indian borrowings and reveal their own essence throughout their own evolutions?

More information, including participation and abstract submissions here.

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