Bodies of Glory. The Statuary of Angkor

Paul A. Lavy, Martin Polkinghorne

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Renowned worldwide today for its aesthetic qualities, the Hindu and Buddhist statuary of Angkor originally served as the embodiment of deities and ancestors, or what the Khmer considered ‘bodies of glory’ bridging generations and ensuring a form of immortality. This chapter provides an overview of the religious, political, cultural, and technological aspects of these statues during the Angkor and Post-Angkor periods of Khmer history. It seeks to understand the local and imported concepts that informed the religious significance of stone and metal statuary and to examine circumstances of production, consecration, veneration, distribution, and deployment as both expressions and generators of power. Because the importance of Angkor’s statuary outlasted its original contexts, consideration is also given to archaism, iconoclasm, reuse, and ritual disposal, as well as to the cultural continuities of a ‘glorious’ sculptural tradition that inspires devotion and appreciation to this day.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Angkorian World
EditorsMitch Hendrickson, Miriam T. Stark, Damian Evans
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-351-12894-0
ISBN (Print)978-0-8153-5595-3
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameRoutledge Worlds


  • Angkor
  • embodiment
  • Khmer Empire
  • statuary
  • sculpture


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