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  • © 2015

Health Care in Eleventh-Century China

Authors:

  • Explores the relations of Chinese medicine and religious ritual

  • Examines the whole spectrum of therapeutic ritual in China

  • Explains curative roles of Daoism, Buddhism and therapeutic rites

  • Makes aspects of curative ritual accessible to non-specialists

Part of the book series: Archimedes (ARIM, volume 43)

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Table of contents (8 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xvii
  2. Some Definitions and Viewpoints

    • Nathan Sivin
    Pages 9-30
  3. The Question of Efficacy

    • Nathan Sivin
    Pages 31-52
  4. Classical Medicine

    • Nathan Sivin
    Pages 53-91
  5. Therapy in Popular Religion

    • Nathan Sivin
    Pages 93-128
  6. Therapy in Elite Religions

    • Nathan Sivin
    Pages 129-170
  7. Therapy in the State Religion

    • Nathan Sivin
    Pages 171-181
  8. Conclusions

    • Nathan Sivin
    Pages 183-192
  9. Back Matter

    Pages 193-223

About this book

By examining all the prevalent varieties of therapy from self-care to religious ritual, this book explores health care practices in China, before modern times. In ancient China most people were unable to afford a doctor, even in the unlikely case that one lived near their village and was willing to treat peasants. What did they do when their children got sick? The answer is to be found in this book, which goes far beyond the history of medicine. The author uses methods of medical anthropology to explain the curative roles of popular religion, Daoism, Buddhism and the therapeutic rites performed by imperial officials. Readers will discover the steady interaction of religious healing and classical medicine in this culture. This highly readable book builds on over forty years of study and analysis of early liturgical and medical writings and a wide variety of other sources. Its focus on the eleventh century throws new light on a period of rapid transition in many aspects of therapy and it will appeal to scholars and general readers alike.

Keywords

  • Daoist (Taoist) curative ritual
  • Northern Song dynasty
  • classical medicine
  • curative ritual
  • imperial liturgy
  • medical efficacy
  • placebo effect
  • popular religion

Reviews

“Sivin’s synthesis successfully shows how in eleventh-century China the therapeutic practices of elite physicians, officials, monks, priests or popular ritual masters, given their respective backgrounds, all converged towards a similar goal: finding an efficacious way to bring order to what was perceived as a disorder of the body, of society or of the spiritual world.” (Matthias Hayek, Medical History, Vol. 60 (4), October, 2016)

“In his book, Sivin integrates his research with the study of religious history, especially that of Daoism, and begins by examining how some of the most common religions treated diseases at that time. … Based on existing research on medicine and religions in the Song dynasty, this book represents health care in eleventh-century China in a whole new light, with its rich knowledge of medical anthropology, history of religion, Chinese medicine and Western medical history.” (Ka-wai Fan, Metascience, Vol. 25, 2016)

Authors and Affiliations

  • University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA

    Nathan Sivin

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Health Care in Eleventh-Century China

  • Authors: Nathan Sivin

  • Series Title: Archimedes

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-20427-7

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Medicine, Medicine (R0)

  • Copyright Information: Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-319-20426-0Published: 14 September 2015

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-319-36955-6Published: 22 October 2016

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-20427-7Published: 04 September 2015

  • Series ISSN: 1385-0180

  • Series E-ISSN: 2215-0064

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XVII, 223

  • Number of Illustrations: 2 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: History of Medicine, History, general, Anthropology

Buy it now

Buying options

eBook USD 119.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book USD 159.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book USD 129.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Other ways to access