Buddhism and Medicine

An Anthology of Premodern Sources

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C. Pierce Salguero
  • New York, NY: 
    Columbia University Press
    , August
     704 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Geoffrey Samuel forthcoming.



This book has been reviewed in JAAR by James A. Benn.

From its earliest days, Buddhism has been closely intertwined with medicine. Buddhism and Medicine is a singular collection showcasing the generative relationship and mutual influence between these fields across premodern Asia. The anthology combines dozens of English-language translations of premodern Buddhist texts with contextualizing introductions by leading international scholars in Buddhist studies, the history of medicine, and a range of other fields.

These sources explore in detail medical topics ranging from the development of fetal anatomy in the womb to nursing, hospice, dietary regimen, magical powers, visualization, and other healing knowledge. Works translated here include meditation guides, popular narratives, ritual manuals, spells texts, monastic disciplinary codes, recipe inscriptions, philosophical treatises, poetry, works by physicians, and other genres. All together, these selections and their introductions provide a comprehensive overview of Buddhist healing throughout Asia. They also demonstrate the central place of healing in Buddhist practice and in the daily life of the premodern world.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

C. Pierce Salguero is associate professor of Asian history and religious studies at Pennsylvania State University’s Abington College. He is the author of Translating Buddhist Medicine in Medieval China (2014),Traditional Thai Medicine (2016), and numerous scholarly articles and popular works on Buddhism and traditional medicine in Asia.

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