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In: Knowledge and Context in Tibetan Medicine
In: Knowledge and Context in Tibetan Medicine

Abstract

The Tibetan medical tradition contains multitudes; its diagnoses are at once empirical and ritual and its prognoses derive from both observation and intuition. The present chapter examines a genealogy of instructions for prasenā divination and channel examination, demonstrating their distinct instances of historical emergence but also tracing their intersections within the corpus of Tibetan medical literature. This study concludes where most studies begin—namely with the Four Tantras—arguing that the orthodox instructions for channel examination in Tibet are best understood as the synthetic product of diverse intellectual developments that took place primarly over the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth centuries.

In: Knowledge and Context in Tibetan Medicine
Volume Editor: William A. McGrath
Knowledge and Context in Tibetan Medicine is a collection of ten essays in which a team of international scholars describe and interpret Tibetan medical knowledge. With subjects ranging from the relationship between Tibetan and Greco-Arab conceptions of the bodily humors, to the rebranding of Tibetan precious pills for cross-cultural consumption in the People’s Republic of China, each chapter explores representations and transformations of medical concepts across different historical, cultural, and/or intellectual contexts. Taken together this volume offers new perspectives on both well-known Tibetan medical texts and previously unstudied sources, blazing new trails and expanding the scope of the academic study of Tibetan medicine.
Contributors include: Henk W.A. Blezer, Yang Ga, Tony Chui, Katharina Sabernig, Tawni Tidwell, Tsering Samdrup, Carmen Simioli, William A. McGrath, Susannah Deane and Barbara Gerke

Abstract

The three excerpts translated below were selected from two of the earliest sources depicting the origins of medicine in Tibet. Despite their differences in terms of detail, style, and genre, each narrative emphasizes the Buddhist origins of either the Tibetan medical tradition itself, the tradition of canonical Buddhist medicine that was transmitted from India to Tibet, or even the entire field of healing knowledge. Read separately, each narrative promotes a distinct account of the origin and transmission of medical knowledge among mythical, legendary, and historical figures in India and Tibet. Read together, however, these three accounts depict attempts at the reconciliation of several competing narratives that were developing in the medical schools of twelfth- and thirteenth-century Tibet and that continue to affect the representation of the Tibetan medical tradition today.

In: Asian Medicine
In: Asian Medicine

Abstract

Asian Medicine is inaugurating a new type of article in this issue, the editorial forum. For our launch of this new format, an international range of scholars working on Asian medicine across different geographical, temporal, and disciplinary contexts were invited to respond to the question “Why study Asian medicine?” The perspectives they have expressed here reflect their diverse interests, motivations, and career trajectories across the spectrum of seniority.

In: Asian Medicine