Member publication: Buddhism and Medicine: An Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Sources  

Pierce Salguero's picture

Dear colleagues, 

I am elated to announce the publication of the second volume of the Buddhism and Medicine series! This volume now brings the scope of the project into the contemporary period and into a global scale. Collectively, the two Buddhism and Medicine anthologies now include 97 chapters of translated texts produced by 85 scholars from Buddhist studies, history of medicine, and related fields. A hearty congratulations to the contributors, and my sincere thanks to all of them for pulling off a tremendous collaborative achievement!


  • Editor: C. Pierce Salguero
  • Title: Buddhism and Medicine: An Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Sources  
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0231189362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231189361


Description from publisher's website:

Over the centuries, Buddhist ideas have influenced medical thought and practice in complex and varied ways in diverse regions and cultures. A companion to Buddhism and Medicine: An Anthology of Premodern Sources, this work presents a collection of modern and contemporary texts and conversations from across the Buddhist world dealing with the multifaceted relationship between Buddhism and medicine.

Covering the early modern period to the present, this anthology focuses on how Buddhism and medicine were shaped by the forces of colonialism, science, and globalization, as well as ruptures and reconciliations between tradition and modernity. The anthology highlights diversity and innovation in the encounters between Buddhist and medical thought. Editor C. Pierce Salguero and an international collection of scholars specializing in the intersections of Buddhism and medicine present a range of different perspectives rooted in distinct times and places. The book includes translations relating to various aspects of Buddhism and healing across modern Asia, accounts by missionaries and colonial authorities, and materials from the contemporary United States and United Kingdom. The chapters contain a wide range of sources, such as translations of published and unpublished documents and transcripts of ethnographic interviews. Together, these diverse sources illustrate the many ways in which Buddhism and medicine have intersected in the past and how this nexus continues to be crucial in today’s global context.


Table of contents and contributors:

Early Modernity
1. Buddhist Monastic Physicians’ Encounters with the Jesuits in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Japan, as Told from Both Sides, by Katja Triplett
2. On Sickness, Society, and the New Self in Early Edo Japan: Soshin’s Dharma Words (Seventeenth Century), by Katja Triplett
3. Buddhism and Scholarly Medicine in Seventeenth-Century China: Three Preaces to the Work of Yu Chang (1585–1664), by Volker Scheid
4. An Eighteenth-Century Mongolian Treatise on Smallpox Inoculation: Lobsang Tsültim’s “The Practice of Preparing Medicine for the Planting of Heaven’s White Flower” (1785), by Batsaikhan Norov, Vesna A. Wallace, and Batchimeg Usukhbayar
5. Psychosomatic Buddhist Medicine at the Dawn of Modern Japan: Hara Tanzan’s “On the Difference Between the Brain and the Spinal Cord” (1869), by Justin B. Stein
6. No Sympathy for the Devils: A Colonial Polemic Against Yakṣa Healing Rituals (1851), by Alexander McKinley
7. “Enveloped in the Deep Darkness of Ignorance and Superstition”: Western Observers of Buddhism and Medicine in the Kingdom of Siam in the Colonial Era, by C. Pierce Salguero
Ruptures and Reconciliations
8. Three Tibetan Buddhist Texts on the Dangers of Tobacco (Late Nineteenth to Twenty-First Century), by Joshua Capitanio
9. Buddhism and Biomedicine in Republican China: Taixu’s “Buddhism and Science” (1923) and Ding Fubao’s Essentials of Buddhist Studies (1920), by Gregory Adam Scott
10. Reconciling Scripture and Surgery in Tibet: Khyenrap Norbu’s Arranging the Tree Trunks of Healing (1952), by William A. McGrath
11. Healing Wisdom: An Appreciation of a Twentieth-Century Japanese Scientist’s Paintings of the Heart Sūtra, by Paula K. R. Arai
12. Mantras for Modernity: Nida Chenagtsang’s "Mantra Healing Is an Indispensable Branch of Tibetan Traditional Medicine” (2015) and “A Rough Explanation of How Mantras Work” (2003), by Ben P. Joffe
13. Science and Authority in Tibetan Medicine: Gönpokyap’s “Extraordinarily Special Features of the Human Body” (2008), by Jenny Bright
14. “Eat Less Meat to Save the World”: Monk Changlyu’s The Book of Diagnosis and Natural Foods (2014), by Emily S. Wu
Hybridities and Innovations
15. Taiwanese Tantra: Guru Wuguang’s Art of Yogic Nourishment and the Esoteric Path (1966), by Cody R. Bahir
16. Making a Modern Image of Jīvaka: “First Encounters with Jīvaka Komārabhacca, the High Guru of Healers and the Inspiration for Sculpting His Image” (1969), by Anthony Lovenheim Irwin
17. Gross National Happiness: Buddhist Principles and Bhutanese National Health Policy, by Charles Jamyang Oliphant of Rossie
18. Using Buddhist Resources in Post-disaster Japan: Taniyama Yōzō’s “Vihāra Priests and Interfaith Chaplains” (2014), by Levi McLaughlin
19. Medicine Wizards of Myanmar: Four Recent Facebook Posts, by Thomas Nathan Patton
Meditation and Mental Health
20. Naikan and Psychiatric Medicine: Takemoto Takahiro’s Naikan and Medicine(1979), by Clark Chilson
21. A Contemporary Shingon Priest’s Meditation Therapies: Selections from the Writings of Ōshita Daien (2006–2016), by Nathan Jishin Michon
22. Mindfulness in Westminster: The All-Party Parliamentary Group’s Mindful UK(2014), by Joanna Cook
23. Medicalizing Sŏn Meditation in Korea: An Interview with Venerable Misan Sŭnim, by Lina Koleilat
24. Misuses of Mindfulness: Ron Purser and David Loy’s “Beyond McMindfulness” (2013), by David L. McMahan
Crossing Boundaries
25. Rediscovering Living Buddhism in Modern Bengal: Maniklal Singha’s The Mantrayāna of Rārh (1979), by Projit Bihari Mukharji
26. Conversations with Two (Possibly) Buddhist Folk Healers in China, by Thomas David DuBois
27. Interview with a Contemporary Chinese American Healer, by Kin Cheung and C. Pierce Salguero
28. “We Need to Balance Out the Boisterous Spirits and Gods”: Buddhism in the Healing Practice of a Contemporary Korean Shaman, by Minjung Noh and C. Pierce Salguero
29. Among Archangels, Aliens, and Ascended Masters: Quan Yin Bodhisattva Joins the New Age Pantheon, by C. Pierce Salguero
Buddhist Healing in Practice
30. Buddhism and Resistance in Northern Thai Traditional Medicine: An Interview with an Unlicensed Thai Folk Healer, by Assunta Hunter
31. Burmese Alchemy in Practice: A Conversation with Master U Shein, by Céline Coderey
32. Mental Illness in the Sowa Rigpa Clinic: A Conversation with Dr. Teinlay P. Trogawa, by Susannah Deane
33. Biographical Interview with the Tantric Meditator Tshampa Tseten from Bhutan, with a Translation of His “Edible Letters,” by Mona Schrempf
34. Japanese Buddhist Women’s “Way of Healing,” by Paula K. R. Arai
35. Conversations About Buddhism and Health Care in Multiethnic Philadelphia, by C. Pierce Salguero
Appendix: Geographic Table of Contents
List of Contributors


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