Cambodian Buddhism in the United States

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Carol A. Mortland
  • Albany, NY: 
    State University of New York Press
    , September
     366 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Erik W. Davis forthcoming.


The first comprehensive anthropological description of the Khmer Buddhism practiced by Cambodian refugees in the United States over the past four decades.

Cambodian Buddhism in the United States is the first comprehensive anthropological study of Khmer Buddhism as practiced by Khmer refugees in the United States. Based on research conducted at Khmer temples and sites throughout the country over a period of three and a half decades, Carol A. Mortland uses participant observation, open-ended interviews, life histories, and dialogues with Khmer monks and laypeople to explore the everyday practice of Khmer religion, including spirit beliefs and healing rituals. This ethnography is enriched and supplemented by the use of historical accounts, reports, memoirs, unpublished life histories, and family memorabilia painstakingly preserved by refugees. Mortland also traces the changes that Cambodians have made to religion as they struggle with the challenges of living in a new country, learning English, and supporting themselves. The beliefs and practices of Khmer Muslims and Khmer Christians in the United States are also reviewed.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Carol A. Mortland is a retired professor and the coeditor (with David W. Haines) of Manifest Destinies: Americanizing Immigrants and Internationalizing Americans, and (with May M. Ebihara and Judy Ledgerwood) Cambodian Culture Since 1975: Homeland and Exile.

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