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Translating Buddhist Medicine in Medieval China

By C. Pierce Salguero

Publication Year: 2014

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press

Series: Encounters with Asia


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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. 1-22

Th e transmission of Buddhism from India to China in the fi rst millennium of the Common Era ranks among the most signifi cant and most well documented examples of cross- cultural exchange in the premodern world. Although the study of the global spread of Buddhism is most commonly undertaken by scholars of religion, this cross- cultural encounter involved much more than ...

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Chapter 1. The Buddhist Medical Transmission

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pp. 23-43

With the preliminaries behind us, we can begin our analysis by exploring the transmission and influence of Buddhist medicine. The arrival of Buddhist medicine in China represents the moment in world history that two relatively distinct Indo-European and Chinese medical models were brought into direct, sustained contact for the first time. Th is chapter begins by outlining the...

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Chapter 2. Translators and Translation Practice

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pp. 44-66

Though it is often convenient to discuss cross-cultural exchange from the perspective of transmission and influence, cultures are not historical actors and they do not impact one another directly.1 The crucial catalyst is always the translational activity of individual people. This chapter thus shifts from discussing the elements of Buddhist medical knowledge introduced...

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Chapter 3. Translating Medicine in Buddhist Scriptures

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pp. 67-95

This chapter explores in the aggregate the large number of medieval Chinese Buddhist scriptures containing medical knowledge in order to provide a corpus-level analysis of translation norms. As mentioned previously, the translation of Buddhist medical doctrine was never thoroughly standardized at the level of vocabulary. Individual translators rendered medical terms in a variety...

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Chapter 4. Rewriting Buddhist Medicine

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pp. 96-120

This chapter shifts gears from the broad analysis of norms to look more closely at how a handful of individual authors tailored their presentation of various aspects of Buddhist medicine in specific compositions. The texts under consideration in this chapter include commentaries, manuals, reference materials, and other writings that can be thought of as “Buddhist secondary sources” in...

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Chapter 5. Popularizing Buddhist Medicine

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pp. 121-140

This chapter explores one of the primary avenues for the popularization of Buddhist medicine in medieval China: narratives. Through the refashioning, resituating, and recirculating of stories about healing, many aspects of Buddhist medicine discussed in previous chapters were freed from the confines of abstruse scriptural language and narrow doctrinal contexts and were integrated into the vernacular culture. Out of the many cultural-linguistic elements of Chinese and ...

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pp. 141-148

The first half of the Tang dynasty represents the peak of the Indo-Sinitic cross-cultural encounter. By that time, numerous Buddhist scriptures focusing on all aspects of medicine had been translated into Chinese. Disparate ideas from across the range of Buddhist literature available in China had been augmented, collated, and commented upon by generations of pseudo-translators,...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. 149-150


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pp. 151-182

List of Chinese and Japanese Characters

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pp. 183-194


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pp. 195-238


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pp. 239-246


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pp. 247-247

E-ISBN-13: 9780812209693
E-ISBN-10: 0812209699
Print-ISBN-13: 9780812246117

Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 1 illus.
Publication Year: 2014

Series Title: Encounters with Asia
Series Editor Byline: Victor H. Mair, Series Editor See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 881552084
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Translating Buddhist Medicine in Medieval China

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Buddhist medicine -- China -- History.
  • Medicine, Chinese -- China -- History.
  • China -- Civilization -- Buddhist influences.
  • Buddhism -- China -- History.
  • Buddhist literature -- Translations into Chinese -- History and criticism.
  • Medicine -- Religious aspects -- Buddhism.
  • Medicine, Medieval -- China.
  • China -- Civilization -- 221 B.C.-960 A.D.
  • China -- Civilization -- 960-1644.
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