Although Angkor Wat is one of the most famous religious structures in the world, it is in many ways an anomaly. Many of the Khmer god-kings (devarajas) had massive temple mountains built to mark their reigns. In many significant ways, Angkor Wat both participates in that tradition and deviates from it. This lecture by Dr. Robert DeCaroli will examine this history of Khmer Kingship and examine the significance and meaning of Angkor Wat in light of that tradition. The art and design of the massive religious complex holds the secret to understanding its purpose.
Dr. Robert DeCaroli is a Professor of South and Southeast Asian art history at George Mason University. He is a specialist in the early history of Buddhism and has conducted fieldwork in India, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia. He co-curated Encountering the Buddha: Art and Practice across Asia exhibition at the Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, and has been was awarded a Getty Research Institute Fellowship as well as currently a Robert N.H. Ho Family Foundation Research Fellow. His books include Haunting the Buddha: Indian Popular Religions and The Formation of Buddhism and Image Problems: The Origin and Development of the Buddha's Image in Early South Asia, as well as several articles and book chapters.
From past lectures:
Robert's presentation was brilliant - great use of commentary and imagery. So glad I didn't miss this! -- Rob H.
FANTASTIC!!! I think the two lectures he has done for you are better than those for the Smithsonian. HIs Ajanta and Borobudur lectures strike a perfect pitch --very instructive but not too in the weeds." -- Christine B.