The transmission of Buddhism from India to China was one of the most significant cross-cultural exchanges in the premodern world. This cultural encounter involved more than the spread of religious and philosophical knowledge. It influenced many spheres of Chinese life, including the often overlooked field of medicine. Analyzing a wide variety of Chinese Buddhist texts, C. Pierce Salguero examines the reception of Indian medical ideas in medieval China. These texts include translations from Indian languages as well as Chinese compositions completed in the first millennium C.E.
Translating Buddhist Medicine in Medieval China illuminates and analyzes the ways Chinese Buddhist writers understood and adapted Indian medical knowledge and healing practices and explained them to local audiences. The book moves beyond considerations of accuracy in translation by exploring the resonances and social logics of intercultural communication in their historical context. Presenting the Chinese reception of Indian medicine as a process of negotiation and adaptation, this innovative and interdisciplinary work provides a dynamic exploration of the medical world of medieval Chinese society. At the center of Salguero's work is an appreciation of the creativity of individual writers as they made sense of disease, health, and the body in the context of regional and transnational traditions. By integrating religious studies, translation studies, and literature with the history of medicine, Translating Buddhist Medicine in Medieval China reconstructs the crucial role of translated Buddhist knowledge in the vibrant medical world of medieval China.
C. Pierce Salguero teaches Asian history at Penn State Abington and has written many books on Asian health and medical practices for general audiences.
Introduction Chapter 1. The Buddhist Medical Transmission Chapter 2. Translators and Translation Practice Chapter 3. Translating Medicine in Buddhist Scriptures Chapter 4. Rewriting Buddhist Medicine Chapter 5. Popularizing Buddhist Medicine Conclusion List of Abbreviations Notes List of Chinese and Japanese Characters References Index Acknowledgments