Speculum of Pain: Buddhism on Illness

Speculum of Pain: Buddhism on Illness


This workshop investigates the rich spectrum of therapies and healing resources that Buddhism has made available to its devotees in history and today — beyond the headlines and social media buzzwords associated with mindfulness. In virtually all periods and locations, Buddhism has provided individuals with intellectual tools to frame and understand illness, has shaped health-seeking behaviors in conscious and unconscious ways, and has offered a range of popular interventions and institutional structures for delivering healthcare. These approaches to healing have been adapted and elaborated across the centuries, and have often specifically played a major role in the popularization of the religion in new recipient cultures. Placing our contemporary interests in the benefits of meditation in this wider global context helps us to better appreciate the rich diversity of practical tools for mental and physical healing made available by Buddhism, and contextualizes contemporary developments within a historical framework that does not privilege the modern or Western vantage point.

PierceSalguero2 (1)Facilitator: Pierce Salguero, Ph.D. is an interdisciplinary medical humanities scholar with a Ph.D. in History of Medicine from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He teaches Asian history, religion, and culture at Penn State University’s Abington College, located near Philadelphia. The major theme in his scholarship is the interplay between the global transmission and local reception of Buddhist knowledge about health, disease, and the body. His publications include: Buddhism & Medicine: An Anthology of Premodern Sources (New York: Columbia University Press, 2017); Traditional Thai Medicine: Buddhism, Animism, Yoga, AyurvedaRevised edition (Bangkok: White Lotus Press, 2016); Translating Buddhism Medicine in Medieval China (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014); and “Cultural Associations of Water in Early Chinese and Indian Religion and Medicine.”
Date: Saturday, May 12, 9:30-1:30

Cost: $80


Speculum of Pain: Buddhism on Illness