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Being Human in a Buddhist World -- An Intellectual History of Medicine in Early Modern Tibet
Author Gyatso, Janet
PublisherColumbia University Press
Publisher Url
LocationNew York, NY, US [紐約, 紐約州, 美國]
Content type書籍=Book
Janet Gyatso is Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies at Harvard University, where she serves on the faculty of the Divinity School, in the Study of Religion, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, and Inner Asian and Altaic Studies. Her writing has centered on Tibetan Buddhism and its cultural and intellectual history from the perspective of large issues in the humanities about human experience and its literary presentation. She is the author of Apparitions of the Self: The Secret Autobiographies of a Tibetan Visionary, as well as several edited volumes.
AbstractThe book explores the disjunctions and conjunctions between Buddhism and medical science in Tibet, in light of a range of cultural, ethical, historiographical,and political issues. It also reflects upon Tibetan medicine in the context of other medical traditions in the period (12th-18th centuries), particularly but not only Ayurveda.

Critically exploring medical thought in a cultural milieu with no discernible influence from the European Enlightenment, Being Human reveals an otherwise unnoticed intersection of early modern sensibilities and religious values in traditional Tibetan medicine. It further studies the adaptation of Buddhist concepts and values to medical concerns and suggests important dimensions of Buddhism's role in the development of Asian and global civilization.
Through its unique focus and sophisticated reading of source materials, Being Human adds a crucial chapter in the larger historiography of science and religion. The book opens with the bold achievements in Tibetan medical illustration, commentary, and institution building during the period of the Fifth Dalai Lama and his regent, Desi Sangye Gyatso, then looks back to the work of earlier thinkers, tracing a strategically astute dialectic between scriptural and empirical authority on questions of history and the nature of human anatomy. It follows key differences between medicine and Buddhism in attitudes toward gender and sex and the moral character of the physician, who had to serve both the patient's and the practitioner's well-being. Being Human ultimately finds that Tibetan medical scholars absorbed ethical and epistemological categories from Buddhism yet shied away from ideal systems and absolutes, instead embracing the imperfectability of the human condition.
Table of contentsIntroduction
Part I: In the Capital
1. Reading Paintings, Painting the Medical, Medicalizing the State.
2. Anatomy of an Attitude: Medicine Comes of Age
Part II: Bones of Contention
3. The Word of the Buddha
4. The Evidence of the Body: Medical Channels, Tantric Knowing
5. Tangled Up in System: The Heart, in the Text and in the Hand
Coda: Influence, Rhetoric, and Riding Two Horses at Once
Part III: Roots of the Profession
6. Women and Gender
7. The Ethics of Being Human: The Doctor's Formation in a Material Realm
Conclusion: Ways and Means for Medicine
ISBN9780231164962 (精); 9780231538329 (E)
Created date2015.05.22
Modified date2016.08.23

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