SOAS University of London

Centre for the Study of Japanese Religions

Buddhist Medicine and Asian Medical Systems Workshop


Date: 20 June 2013Time: 9:30 AM

Finishes: 20 June 2013Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: 4421 (9:30 - 12:00); B104 (13:00 - 19:00)

Type of Event: Workshop

The workshop Buddhist Medicine and Asian Medical Systems wishes to be a platform for scholars working in the fields of religious and historical studies, history of medicine, and medical anthropology to explore the intersections of healing rituals and medical knowledge in comparative perspective. Through the discussion of ethnographic, textual and visual data drawn from different Asian contexts, we hope to stimulate a comparative discussion addressing common methodological concerns.

Specifically the workshop aims at:

  1. analysing the overlapping of therapeutic strategies emerging from medical and religious sources/practices;
  2. proposing possible approaches to ritualised forms of healing beyond notions of “magical medicine”
  3. exploring new avenues for comparative work on healing across different fields of knowledge.




9:30 - 9:45 Coffee
9:45 - 10:00 Welcome by CSJR Chair and Introduction to the Workshop
10:00 - 12:00 Panel 1
Chaired by Raj Pandey (Goldsmiths)

  • Benedetta Lomi (SOAS)
    Cur(s)es, Dharanis and Medical Remedies. Thinking Through Magical Medicine in Heian Japan
  • Katja Triplett (University of Göttingen)
    Hippiatry and Ritual Healing: Considering Japanese Buddhist Illustrated Manuscripts on Equine Medicine
  • Keith Howard (SOAS)
    Rhythms of Soul(s) in Shamanic Healing: Case Studies from Nepal (Tamu), Siberia (Sakha) and Korea.

 Chaired Q&A

12:00 - 13:00 Lunch Break

13:00 - 15:00 Panel 2
Chaired by Lucia Dolce (SOAS)

  • Michael Stanley-Baker (UCL China Centre for Health and Humanity)
    A Social Geography of the Medico-Religious Market in Medieval China
  • Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim (Goldsmiths)
    Tibetan Medicine from Dunhunag: Probing Borders between ‘Medicine’ and ‘Ritual’
  • Lars Laamann (SOAS)
    Torch-bearers of Modernity? Western Missionaries, Demonism and Exorcism in Modern China (1860s-1930s)

Chaired Q&A

15:00 - 15:30 Tea Break

15:30 - 17:30 Panel 3
Chaired by Kit Davis (SOAS)

  • Barbara Gerke (Humboldt University)
    Ritualised Pharmacology: Religious Empowerments of Mercurial Tibetan Medicines
  • Fabrizio Ferrari (University of Chester)
    The Myth of the AIDS-goddess: Truth or Fabrication? Stories of 'Bad Blood' in Bengali Folklore
  • Tullio Lobetti (SOAS)
    Healing (and) the Body, Comparative Ontological and Cosmological Perspectives

Chaired Q&A

17:30 - 18:00
Final Roundtable chaired by Lucia Dolce (SOAS)

18:00-19:00 Reception

Organiser: Benedetta Lomi

Contact email:

Contact Tel: 020 7898 4764

Sponsor: Centre for the Study of Japanese Religions and Faculy of Arts and Humanities, SOAS