The transmission of Indo-European medicine to China in the medieval period represents one of the most significant and best-documented instances of cross-cultural medical exchange anywhere in the premodern world. A survey of medieval Chinese Buddhist texts from approximately 150-1000 C.E. shows that Buddhism played a surprisingly central role in facilitating this instance of medical exchange. Dr. Salguero, organizer of a large international research project on this subject, will discuss how Buddhism and medicine were intimately intertwined in this period, and will raise a series of methodological and interdisciplinary challenges this fact poses for contemporary researchers in the History of Medicine and Religious Studies alike.
Dr. Pierce Salguero is a transdisciplinary medical humanities scholar who is fascinated by historical and contemporary intersections between Buddhism, medicine, and crosscultural exchange. He has a Ph.D. in History of Medicine from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (2010), and teaches Asian history, medicine, and religion at Penn State University’s Abington College, located near Philadelphia.
The major theme in his scholarship is discovering the role of Buddhism in the global transmission and local reception of knowledge about health, disease, and the body. He approaches this topic using methodologies from history, religious studies, translation studies, ethnography, and documentary filmmaking, among other fields.