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Introduction: Refocusing On Tibetan Medicine

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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book, which focuses on new anthropological and historical perspectives on Tibetan medicine. Since Western standards and national interests play a dominant role in the delivery of medicine today, and due to competition with state-supported biomedicine, Tibetan medicine is sometimes presented as a 'scientific' system (in the Western sense), stripped of its traditional 'supernatural' or religious elements. This is the increasing tendency within both China and the Tibetan exile community. However, Tibetan medicine is still often presented as a rather monolithic cultural tradition, being ancient and unchanged, and therefore 'authentic'. In general, the preservation of Tibetan medicine as a distinctive tradition has been stressed within the context of various political projects, not only within China and in the Tibetan exile, but also throughout various parts of the Himalayas.

Keywords: China exile community; monolithic cultural tradition; Tibetan exile community; Tibetan medicine



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    Proceedings of the Tenth Seminar of the IATS, 2003. Volume 10: Soundings in Tibetan Medicine — Recommend this title to your library
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