Cambodian Buddhism Deals with Social Media

Buddhism has had a unique role in Khmer state and society ever since its arrival. The members of the Sangha, the monk body, have adapted well to changing times – catastrophic interruptions notwithstanding – and continue to receive high respect from the monarchy, politicians, merchants, and the people generally. Khmer people rightly regard the temple as a communal center linking the monastic community with secular life, the teachings of the Buddha as the philosophy of life, and members of the Sangha as the teachers of the Dhamma.

The Dhamma, as taught by the Buddha, is the law that upholds social order and the path that liberates human beings from suffering. However, Buddhism recognizes change as an inescapable feature, and the rising age of social media means that communal interaction between Sangha members and the lay community is not the same as it was for centuries or even millennia. Is the Khmer Sangha ready for the Age of Social Media? Does Buddhist principle fit the digital world? What will happen to future Sangha generations if Khmer Buddhism is unable to position itself well in this digital era? Continue reading…

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