Tibetan Medicine in the Contemporary World: Global Politics of Medical Knowledge and Practice, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Tibetan Medicine in the Contemporary World

Global Politics of Medical Knowledge and Practice, 1st Edition

Edited by Laurent Pordié


288 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415666701
pub: 2011-04-15
Hardback: 9780415447898
pub: 2008-01-22
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203932544
pub: 2012-08-21
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The popularity of Tibetan medicine plays a central role in the international market for alternative medicine and has been increasing and extending far beyond its original cultural area becoming a global phenomenon. This book analyses Tibetan medicine in the 21st century by considering the contemporary reasons that have led to its diversity and by bringing out the common orientations of this medical system. Using case studies that examine of the social, political and identity dynamics of Tibetan medicine in Nepal, India, the PRC, Mongolia, the UK and the US, the contributors to this book answer the following three, fundamental questions:

  • What are the modalities and issues involved in the social and therapeutic transformations of Tibetan medicine?
  • How are national policies and health reforms connected to the processes of contemporary redefinition of this medicine?
  • How does Tibetan medicine fit into the present, globalized context of the medical world?

Written by experts in the field from the US, France, Canada, China and the UK this book will be invaluable to students and scholars interested in contemporary medicine, Tibetan studies, health studies and the anthropology of Asia.

'Winner of the ICAS Colleagues Choice Award 2009"


'Tibetan medicine in the contemporary world is an excellent compendium which, offering a variety of approaches, has been able to present a lucid picture of the non-homogeneous nature of the Tibetan medical system in the contemporary world. It will be read with great interest by students and researchers in the fields of medical anthropology and Tibetan studies alike.' - Alicja Rucinska - Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (N.S.) 15, 409-455

'The collection is a major contribution to the growing body of literature on the impact of globalisation on ‘indigenous’ medicines of Asia. Many of the issues it raises as well as the conceptual value of ‘neo-traditionalism’ are not limited to Tibetan medicine alone. Scholars working on ‘indigenous’ healing traditions, particularly in Asia, but also beyond, will find in this collection much to which they can relate and from which they can learn.' - Projit Bihari Mukharji, McMaster University - Social History of Medicine 2009

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Preface by Margaret Lock Introduction 1. Tibetan Medicine Today. Neo-traditionalism as an Analytical Lens and a Political Tool Laurent Pordié Part 1: Modern institutionalization 2. Inventing Tradition: Tibetan Medicine in the Post-socialist Contexts of China and Mongolia Craig R. Janes & Casey Hilliard 3. Place and Professionalization: Navigating Amchi Identity in Nepal Sienna R. Craig 4. The Diffusion of Tibetan Medicine in China: A Descriptive Panorama Chen Hua Part 2: Today’s Politics of Knowledge 5. Integration or Erasure?: Modernizing Medicine at Lhasa’s Mentsikhang Vincanne Adams & Fei-Fei Li 6. Hijacking Intellectual Property Rights. Identities and Social Power in the Indian Himalayas Laurent Pordié 7. Tibetan Medicine and Biodiversity Management in Dolpo, Nepal. Negotiating Local and Global Worldviews, Knowledge and Practices Yildiz Aumeeruddy-Thomas & Yeshi C. Lama Part 3: Tibetan Medicine and the West 8. The Integration of Tibetan Medicine in the United Kingdom: The clinics of the Tara Institute of Medicine Colin Millard 9. Tibetan Medicine Revisited in the West. Notes on the Integrative Efforts and Transformative Consequences Occurring in Massachusetts, USA Ivette Vargas 10. An Ancient Medicine in a New World: A Tibetan Medicine Doctor’s Reflection from ‘Inside’ Eliot Tokar Conclusion 11. The Politics of Tibetan Medicine and the Constitution of an Object of Study: Some Comments Geoffrey Samuel List of contributors

About the Editor

Laurent Pordié is a Research Lead with the Cluster of Excellence at the University of Heidelberg, Germany

About the Series

Needham Research Institute Series

Joseph Needham's 'Science and Civilisation' series began publication in the 1950s. At first, it was seen as a piece of brilliant but isolated pioneering. However, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, it is clear that Needham's work has succeeded in creating a vibrant new intellectual field in the West. The books in this series cover topics relating broadly to the practice of science, technology and medicine in East Asia, including China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. The emphasis is on traditional forms of knowledge and practice, but without excluding modern studies which connect the topics with their historical and cultural context.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / General
MEDICAL / History
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General