Christian Missionary Sources as a Window: Daoist Views of the Body, Healing Practices, and Patient-Healer Relations
Posted on 20. Apr, 2010 by James Miller in Sixth International Daoist Studies Conference
|Title||Christian Missionary Sources as a Window: Daoist Views of the Body, Healing Practices, and Patient-Healer Relations|
|Year of Publication||2010|
|Keywords||Sixth International Daoist Studies Conference|
While some scholars have examined the work of Christian medical missionaries to China in light of their success or failure at transmitting biomedicine, this study examines missionary records, reading between the lines, in order to de- termine the means by which 19th and 20th centuries Chinese patients’ maintained ideas about Daoist health, longevity and the patient-healer relationship. Amidst encounters with the western biomedicine brought to them by missionaries in such areas as Changsha and Tianjin, Chinese patients described their illnesses, queried doctors and sought relief while adhering to Daoist concep- tions of health. While medical missionaries did not aim to record the persistence of Chinese patients’ adherence to Daoist health conceptions and practices, their writings can serve as a window to understanding the resilience of these ideas among many Chinese patients.