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Janet Gyatso
Harvard University (Cambridge, MA 02138-3800)
Medicine and Religion at the Apogee of the Tibetan Buddhist State

This project will result in a book on the intersections between Buddhism and medicine in 17th century Tibet. It looks at debates among medical writers on the status of empirical evidence and its relation to traditional Buddhist forms of authority. It explores distinctive configurations of medical culture developed through new forms of visual arts, writing practices, notions of sex and gender, and conceptions of experience. It considers the overlap of Buddhist ethics and medical ethics, and also ways that medicine claimed autonomy from religious culture. The result will be a set of reflections on religion, science, and their relations to the larger Buddhist civilization crystalized in the Fifth Dalai Lama's new centralized Tibetan state.

Project fields:
Nonwestern Religion

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2007 – 7/31/2008