Book ID: CBB460433093

Medicine and Memory in Tibet: Amchi Physicians in an Age of Reform (2018)


Hofer, Theresia (Author)

University of Washington Press
Publication date: 2018
Language: English

Publication Date: 2018
Physical Details: 283

Medicine on the Margins explores the ways in which Tibetan medical doctors have preserved and revitalized aspects of Tibetan medicine over the past fifty years. During decades of forced sociopolitical and economic upheaval in Tsang Province of China's Tibetan Autonomous Region--with medical texts destroyed or hidden, teachers and lamas imprisoned or otherwise silenced, and almost all trade in medicinal ingredients halted--they had little hope that their 'science of healing' (Sowa Rigpa) would again flourish. Today, however, Tibetan medicine is in vogue, promoted by the Chinese Communist Party as a pillar industry of Tibet and a valuable asset of Tibetans' 'nationality minority culture.' For urban Tibetans, traditional medicine is one of the few areas where a relatively liberal expression of Tibetan identity and language is possible. In urban, medically pluralistic settings it is an easily available resource, while in remote areas, its practice and transmission to the younger generation faces many challenges. The passing away of the last practitioner of a certain pulse-reading or compounding of an herbal formula, for example, could mean the end of a long chain of transmission. For reasons of lack of access, continued repression of nonofficial histories, fear, and loss of living memory, Tibetan medical doctors--the so-called amchi--have been little studied. This volume presents their story, showing how practitioners from Tsang have retained crucial links in the teaching of medical knowledge despite the near-annihilation of monastic Buddhism and 'medical houses. (Publisher)

Reviewed By

Review Kloos, Stephan (December 2019) Review of "Medicine and Memory in Tibet: Amchi Physicians in an Age of Reform". East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal (pp. 583-587). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Mullaney, Thomas Shawn
Canavan, Barbara C.
Chen, Zhenghong
Chorell, Torbjörn Gustafsson
Deister, Garcia Vivette
Ga, Yang
Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity
Journal of Asian Studies
Chinese Journal for the History of Science and Technology
Earth Sciences History: Journal of the History of the Earth Sciences Society
East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal
Columbia University
Harvard University
University of California Press
Yale University Press
Independent Institute
Physicians; doctors
East Asia, civilization and culture
Science and race
Medicine, traditional
Tao, Shiyan
Time Periods
20th century
20th century, late
20th century, early
12th century
21st century
University of Miami

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