In this article, I examine the materiality of Buddhist relics and statues to explore the ways in which the methodology of material culture studies can beused for the future of Buddhist art history. Western art historians in the late 70`s actively used scholarship in material culture studies in examining therelationship between man-made objects and culture. Although Buddhism respects the rules for abstinence, self-discipline, and asceticism in general, thedisplay of beautifully adorned religious objects or the lavish decoration of the shrine is allowed. The rules recorded in Buddhist texts such as theAvatamsaka Sutra or the Lotus Sutra dot not prevent Buddhists from making precious, highly decorative Buddhist objects that are worshiped as sacred things.Thus the spirituality of Buddhist objects is not in conflict with the materiality. Buddhist relics and statues are two of the most venerated objects in theBuddhist community since they are believed to have the same essence as the historical Buddha Shakyamuni or a Buddhist saint. Buddhist relics such as Buddha`s bones and teeth are so much worshipped that many opulent reliquaries and votive objects were made. The Buddhist statue is only a man-made object, but itis always venerated as a sacred, devotional object by Buddhist monks and laymen. These precious objects, however, could appear only as curious materialobjects in the eyes of a non-Buddhist. How can they be worshiped as sacred objects by Buddhists? What enables it is the sanctity of these material objectsendowed by Buddhist culture and society. Sometimes the material object has the sanctity by nature, but sometimes acquires the sanctity only through thepractice of a special ritual. The Buddhist statue as a man-made object needs to gain the sanctity through the ritual practice such as the eye openingceremony or the enshrinement ritual of sariras or of Dharani texts. In consecrating those material objects, special rituals are performed by the Buddhistcommunities in order to bestow sanctity. Sometimes the holy objects by nature also need a special ritual such as an exhibition or a procession in order torestore its sanctity. Those material objects of religious art have to be consecrated by the rituals and then they are immediately turned into sacred thingsfor the veneration of the religious communities. They can obtain and sustain the sanctity through the ritual. Here, materiality, sanctity, and ritualscombine to constitute the essence of Buddhist art and they are of great importance in understanding the material dimensions of Buddhist art.