Guest Lecture: From India with Love: Buddhism and the Globalization of Medieval Medicine

Speaker: Dominic Steavu (University of California Santa Barbara)

Date: November 3, 2022

Time: 5:00 – 7:00 pm PST

Location: 315 Wheeler Hall, University of California Berkeley


The Silk Roads were crucial conduits for the circulation of medical knowledge during the medieval period, but Buddhism in particular, with its vast network of temples and mobile legions of multilingual clerics, was decisive in shaping the therapeutic landscape of medieval China. Drawing primarily on examples from potency therapies related to sexual health and, to a lesser extent, from postural therapies such as yoga, we will examine how the Buddhist transmission of new notions from ayurvedic medicine and other systems was decisive in rediscovering and re-evaluating indigenous Chinese practices.


About the Speaker: Dominic Steavu is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara. He specializes in the history of Daoism and Chinese Buddhism and their intersection with the History of Medicine. He is also interested in reception history and global networks of knowledge transfer. He is the author of The Writ of the Three Sovereigns: From Local Lore to Institutional Daoism (2019), the co-editor of Transforming the Void: Embryological Discourse and Reproductive Symbolism in East Asian Religions (2016), and the editor of special issue of the Medieval History Journal on “Writings of Resistance in East Asian History” (2014).


Sponsors: Tang Center for Silk Road StudiesCenter for Buddhist StudiesGlorisun Global Network


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