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The Medical Missionary’s Changing Conceptions of Traditional Chinese Medicine 1

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Chinese medicine and Western medicine first met when Western missionaries came to China in the late Ming and early Qing period. Initially, they regarded the two types of medicine as almost equals, but gradually their evaluation of traditional Chinese medicine became more negative. After the Opium War, with the establishment of missionary hospitals, Western medical missionaries commonly criticized the theories of Chinese medicine, denigrated its practitioners and questioned its value. However, after the founding of Republic of China, the emergence of medical schools in Christian universities provided favorable conditions for the in-depth study of traditional Chinese medicine; at the same time, the fact that Western trained Chinese medical men in China were providing an introduction to traditional Chinese medicine corrected many of the missionaries’ misinterpretations of its canonical texts. In particular, some medical missionaries who had worked together with practitioners of Chinese medicine for many years began to take a “sympathetic view” of the theories and clinical experience of traditional Chinese medicine and the value of its pharmacopeia, thus pioneering Western understanding and use of traditional Chinese medicine. Résumé Le premier face à face entre la médecine chinoise et occidentale eut lieu lorsque des missionnaires occidentaux arrivèrent en Chine entre la période tardive de l’ère Ming et la période précoce de l’ère Qing. Au départ, les missionnaires considéraient les deux types de médecines comme étant quasiment égaux, mais leur évaluation de la médecine chinoise devint de plus en plus négative avec le temps. Apres la guerre de l’Opium et l’établissement d’hôpitaux missionnaires, les médecins missionnaires occidentaux commencèrent à critiquer régulièrement les théories de la médecine chinoise, dénigrant ses praticiens et mettant en doute sa valeur. Toutefois l’émergence d’écoles de médecine dans les universités chrétiennes après la fondation de la République de Chine créa un contexte favorable à l’étude en profondeur de la médecine chinoise ; et le fait que le personnel médical occidental en Chine commença du coup à donner des cours d’introduction à la médecine chinoise permit de corriger les erreurs que les missionnaires commettaient quant à l’interprétation de ses textes canoniques. En particulier, certains missionnaires de la santé, qui avaient travaillé pendant de nombreuses années avec des praticiens de la médecine chinoise, commencèrent à développer une « approche bienveillante » en relation aux théories et pratiques cliniques de la médecine chinoise ainsi qu’à donner de la valeur à sa pharmacopée, innovant ainsi la compréhension et l’usage européen de la médecine traditionnelle chinoise.

1. fn11) The research is supported by the 5th Leading Academic Discipline Project of Shanghai Municipal Education Commission: Social Cultural History of Modern China. Project number: J50106. The Chinese version of the paper was published on The Historical Research (Beijing, No. 5, 2010) and the English version of it is revised with the expert editorial guidance of Professor Margo Gewurtz and the anonymous reviewers for this journal offered invaluable suggestions and are also gratefully acknowledged.
2. fn1012) Tao Feiya has published several books on Christianity in China.
3. fn23) As David Lindenfeld said, “world historians also recognize the importance of less tangible sorts of encounters, such as the sharing of knowledge and the meeting of ideologies and of religious beliefs and practices.” See David Lindenfeld, “Indigenous Encounters with Christian Missionaries in China and West Africa, 1800-1920: A Comparative Study,” Journal of World History, Vol. 16, No.3, Copyright, 2005 by University of Hawai’i Press, p. 327.
4. fn34) Mao Zedong, Lun renminminzhu zhuanzheng, see The Selected Works of Mao Zedong(〈毛泽东选集》), the second edition, Vol. 4, Beijing, the People’s Press, 1991, p.1471.
5. fn45) David Lindenfeld, “Indigenous Encounters with Christian Missionaries,” p. 329.
6. fn56) Xi, LIAN, The Conversion of Missionaries: Liberalism in American Protestant Missions in China, 1907-1932 (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997.)
7. fn67) Judith Farquhar, Knowing Practice: the Clinical Encounter of Chinese Medicine, (Boulder: Westview Press, 1994,) p.222.
8. fn78) Li Chuanbin, Tiaoyue tequazhidu xia de yiliaoshiye: jidujiao zaihua yiliaoshiye yanjiu (1835-1937), (〈条约特权制度下的医疗事业:基督教在华医疗事业研究(1835-1937) 》(Changsha, Hunan People’s Press, 2010); He Xiaolian, xiyi dongjian yu wenhua tiaoshi (〈西医东渐与文化调适》),(Shanghai Classic Press 2005)。M. Cristina Zaccarini,”Modern Medicine in Twentieth-Century Jiangxi, Anhui, Fujian and Sichuan: Competition, Negotiation and Cooperation”, Social History of Medicine, Vol. 23, No. 2 pp. 338–355.
9. fn89) M. Cristina Zaccarini,”Modern Medicine in Twentieth-Century Jiangxi….”.
10. fn910) Nicolas Standaert Edited, Handbook of Chritianity in China, Volume one, 635-1800, (Leiden: Brill, 2001), p. 786.
11. fn1011) Matteo Ricci & Nicolas Trigault, Li Madou Zhongguo Zhaji (De Christiana expeditioone apud Sinas suscepta ab Societate Jesu. Chinese), translated by He Gaoji, el al. (Beijing: Zhong Hua press, 1983), p. 34.
12. fn1112) Liu Tong & Yu Yizheng, Dijing Jingwu Lue 〈 帝京景物略 》 (Beijing: Beijing Ancient Books Press, 1980), p.207.
13. fn1213) Nicolas Standaert Edited, Handbook of Christianity in China, pp. 795-796.
14. fn1314) Jean-Baptiste Du Halde, Description géographique, historique, chronologique, politique, et physique de l'empire de la Chine et de la Tartarie chinoise, enrichie des cartes générales et particulieres de ces pays, de la carte générale et des cartes particulieres du Thibet, & de la Corée; & ornée d'un grand nombre de figures & de vignettes gravées en tailledouce, Volume four, translated by Zheng Dedi, (Zhengzhou : Daxiang Press, 2005), p. 30.
15. fn1415) Du Halde, Description geographique, pp. 52-53.
16. fn1516) Du Halde, Description geographique, p.142.
17. fn1617) George Staunton, An Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China, translated by Ye Duyi, (Shanghai; Shanghai Bookstore Publishing House, 1997), pp. 374-375.
18. fn1718) Ibid, 1997, pp. 222.401.
19. fn1819) Wong& Wu, History of Chinese Medicine, (Shanghai: The Mercury Press, 1936. Reprint: Shanghai: Shanghai Lexicographic Publishing House, 2009), p. 307.
20. fn1920) Wong & Wu, History of Chinese Medicine, p. 238.
21. fn2021) Roy Porter, The Cambridge Illustrated History of Medicine, translated by Zhang Daqin, et al. (Changchun: Jilin People’s Publishing House, 2000), p. 612.
22. fn2122) Dudgeon published medical papers on Edinburgh Medical Journal and Glasgow Medical Journal when he was in China. From Gao Xi: Dezhen Zhuan – Yige Yingguo Chuangjiaoshi yu WanQING YixueJindaihua (〈德贞传 —一个英国传教士与晚清医学近代化》) (Shanghai: Fudan University Press, 2009), p. 489.
23. fn2223) Benjamin Hobson, Quanti Xinlun (〈全体新论》), engraved and printed in 1850, block print edition in the London Missionary Society Mission Press, p. 1.
24. fn2324) Henry Porter, preface of Xingshen Zhizhang (〈省身指掌》), engraved and printed in 1861, Beijing Dengshikou Meihua Shuyuan. From Gao Xi: Dezhen Zhuan – Yige Yingguo Chuanjiaoshi yu WanQingYixueJindaihua (〈德贞传—一个英国传教士与晚清医学近代化》) (Shanghai: Fudan University Press, 2009), p. 298.
25. fn2425) Mrs. Bryson, John Kenneth Mackenzie: Medical Missionary to China (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1891), p. 102.
26. fn2526) The Medical Missionary Society in China, appendix, pp. 3-5, from Wu Yixiong: Between Religion and Secularity – Research on an Early Protestant Christian Missionary on the Coastal Area of Southern China (Guangzhou: Guangdong Education Press, 2000), p. 297.
27. fn2627) Wm. Gauld, Medical Missions, Records of the General Conference of the Protestant Missionaries of China: held at Shanghai, May 10-24, 1877 (Shanghai: Presbyterian Mission Press, 1878), p. 120.
28. fn2728) Benjamin Hobson, Zonglun Bingyuan ji Zhifa (〈总论病原及其治法》), Volume one of Neike Xinshu (〈内科新说》) (Beijing: Zhuji Shuju, published in Xianfeng Period [1851-1861]).
29. fn2829) Dugald Christie, Thirty Years in Moukden, 1883- 1913, Being the Experiences and Recollections of Dugald Christie, translated by Zhang Shizun et al. (Wuhan: Hubei People Press, 2007), pp. 30, 35.
30. fn2930) William Lockhart, The Medical Missionary in China: a Narrative of Twenty Year’s Experience (London: Hurst and Blackett, 1861), p. 115.; Hobson, Report of Chinese Hospital at Shanghai, for 1857, pamphlet (Shanghai, 1858); quoted in Lockhart, p. 155. From Edward V. Gulic, Peter Parker and the Opening of China, translated by Dong Shaoxin (Guilin: Guangxi Normal University Press, 2008), p. 38.
31. fn3031) J. Dudgeon, Xiyi Juou. Mailun, 1875, p. 9.
32. fn3132) Benjamin Hobson, Zhongxi Yixuelun (〈中西医学论》), Volume one from Xiyi Luelun (〈西医略论》) (Shanghai: Zhuji Shuju, printed during Xianfeng period [1851-1861]), p. 1.
33. fn3233) Ernst Faber, Zixi Cudong (〈自西徂东》) (Shanghai: Shanghai Bookstore Publishing House, 2002), p. 202.
34. fn3334) J. Dudgeon, Chinese Arts of Healing, CR. Nov, 1869, p. 164.
35. fn3435) Dugald Christie, Thirty Years in Moukden, p. 29.
36. fn3536) Records of the General Conference of the Protestant Missionaries of China, held at Shanghai, May 7-20, 1890, Shanghai: American Presbyterian Mission Press, 1890, p. 270.
37. fn3637) Dugald Christie, Thirty Years in Moukden, p. 32.
38. fn3738) Dugald Christie, Thirty Years in Mouken, p. 29.
39. fn3839) William A. P. Martin, A Cycle of Cathy, translated by Shen Hong, et al. (Guilin: Guangxi Normal University Press, 2004), p. 217.
40. fn3940) Kenneth S. Latourette, A History of Christian Missions in China (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1929), p. 460.
41. fn4041) Benjamin Hobson, Guan Shifu, &et al., Xiyi Wuzhong, edition of Xianfeng period (Shanghai: Zhuji Shuju, collected in Shanghai Library, Neike Xinshuo. Part 3. Dongxi Bencao Luyao) p. 1.
42. fn4142) Benjamin Hobson, Guan Shifu, &et al., Xiyi Wuzhong (〈西医五种》), p. 1.
43. fn4243) Geo. King, “A Cheap Substitute for Pepsin,” The Chinese Medical Missionary Journal,(hereafter: CMMJ) vol. V, no. 1 (Mar. 1891), pp. 24-25.
44. fn4344) James Boyd Neal, “Inorganic Native Drugs of Chinanfu,” CMMJ, vol. V, no. 4(Dec. 1891), pp. 193-204.
45. fn4445) Linda L. Barnes, Needles, Herbs, Gods, and Ghosts: China, Healing, and the West to 1848 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2005), pp. 239, 240.
46. fn4546) William Lockhart, Medical Missionary in China, pp. 113-114.
47. fn4647) John C. Thomson, “Surgery in China,” CMMJ, (Dec. 1892), pp. 219-220.
48. fn4748) Sophie M. Crane, “PCUS Overseas Medical Missions,” Manuscript prepared for the PCUSA Global Mission Unit, 1992, p.31-32 as cited in G. Thompson Brown, Earthen Vessels & Transcendent Power: American Presbyterians in China, 1837-1952 (New York: Orbis Books, 1997), p.225.
49. fn4849) William Scarborough, “Medical Missions,” CR, (May-June 1874), pp. 137, 144.
50. fn4950) Gao Xi: Dezhen Zhuan – Yige Yingguo Chuangjiaoshi yu wanqing yixue jindaihua 〈德贞 – 一个英国传教士与晚清医学近代化》 (Shanghai: Fudan University Press, 2009), p. 100.
51. fn5051) Paul A. Cohen, Tao Feiya’s translation, Ershi shiji wanqi zhongxi zhijian de zhishi jiaoliu (20 世纪晚期中西之间的知识交流), Journal of Literature, History and Philosophy, no. 4, (July, 1998), p. 22.
52. fn5152) John G. Kerr, Xiyao liushi 〈西药略释》, (Canton, Canton Hospital, 1887), p.1; Benjamin Hobson’s books were co- authored with two Chinese doctors, one is Chen Xiutang in Canton, the other is Guan Shifu in Shanghai.
53. fn5253) William Hobson, Quanti Xinlunz 〈全体新论》, block print edition in 1850, (Shanghai: the London Missionary Society Mission Press), p. 1; J. Dudgeon: Xiyi Juou 〈西医举隅 》, prefaced by Mao Yuxi, block print edition in 1875, collected in Shanghai Library; contrary translation by Hong Shiti, Wangguo Yaofang 〈万国要方》, prefaced by Li Hongzhang, collected in Shanghai Library, Meihua Shuguan, 13th reprint in 1918, pp. 11-14.
54. fn5354) He Xiaolian: Xiyi Dongjin yu Wenhua Tiaoshi (Shanghai: Shanghai Ancient Books Press, 2006), p. 6.
55. fn5455) Li Jinwei: History of Traditional Chinese Medicine (Haikou: Hainan Publishing House, 2007), pp. 398-399.
56. fn5556) R. J. Shields, M.D, “Why We Need Medical Schools,” CR, (Oct. 1913), p. 597.
57. fn5657) J. B. Neal, “Medical Schools in China,” CR, (Oct. 1913), pp. 595.
58. fn5758) Wong and Wu, History of Chinese Medicine, p. 643.
59. fn5859) B. E. Read, “Chinese drugs of therapeutic interest to western physicians,” Chinese Medical Journal,(hereafter: CMJ)vol. XXXVII, no. 7(July 1923), pp. 589-591.
60. fn5960) James L. Maxwell, “Chinese Materia Medica, Animal Drugs” reviewed by Bernard E. Read, CMJ, Volume XLV, no. 12 (Dec. 1931), p.1204.
61. fn6061) Wong and Wu, History of Chinese Medicine, pp. 643-644.
62. fn6162) W. Hamilton Jefferys & James L. Maxwell, The Diseases of China, Including Formosa and Korea (Philadelphia: P. Blakiston's Son & Co., 1911), p. 15.
63. fn6263) Jefferys & Maxwell, The Diseases of China, p. 23.
64. fn6364) Editorial: Chinese Medicine and Surgery, CMJ, vol. XXX, no. 6(Nov. 1916), p.432.
65. fn6465) Editorial, Chinese Med icine and Surgery, CMJ, vol. XXX, no. 6(Nov. 1916), p.435.
66. fn6566) Harold Balme, China and Modern Medicine: a Study in Medical Missionary Development (London: United Council for Missionary Education, 1921), pp. 15-16.
67. fn6667) Balme, China and Modern Medicine, p. 21.
68. fn6768) Balme, China and Modern Medicine, p. 22-23.
69. fn6869) Morse, William R., The three crosses in the purple mists: an Adventure in Medical Education under the Eaves of the Roof of the World (Shanghai: Mission Book Co., 1928), p. 131.
70. fn6970) Morse, The three crosses, pp. 125, 126, 127.
71. fn7071) Kwang-Ching Liu, American Missionaries in China, Papers from Harvard Seminars (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1970), p. 141.
72. fn7172) Edward H. Hume, “Christian Medicine in the New Day in China,” CR (June 1935), pp. 346-350.
73. fn7273) Edward H. Hume, The Chinese Way in Medicine (Westport, Connecticut: Hyperion Press, 1940), pp. 175-176.
74. fn7374) Edward H. Hume, Doctors East, Doctors West: An American Physician’s Life in China (New York: W. W. Norton&Co., 1946), p. 16.
75. fn7475) J Preston Maxwell & Chih Tung Feng, “The Old Obstetrical and gynecological work of China” CMJ, vol. XLI, no.7 (July 1927), pp. 643-647.
76. fn7576) Books on Chinese Medicine, CMJ, vol. L, no. 3(March 1936), pp. 285-286.
77. fn7677) Report of the Chinese Medical History Society October 1939- March 1940, CMJ, Vol. LVIII, no. 3(Sept. 1940), pp. 370-371.
78. fn7778) Sophie M. Crane, “PCUS Overseas Medical Missions,” Manuscript prepared for the PCUSA Global Mission Unit, 1992, p.8, See G. Thompson Brown, Earthen Vessels & Transcendent Power: American Presbyterians in China, 1837-1952, New York: Orbis Books, 1997, p. 225.
79. fn7879) Yang Nianqun, Remaking Patients (1832-1985) (Peking, China Renmin University Press, 2006), pp. 251-252.
80. fn7980) Wong and Wu, History of Chinese Medicine, p.3.
81. fn8081) K. C. Wong, “Was the Circulation of the Blood Known in Ancient China?” CMJ, vol. XXXVIII, no.7 (July 1924), pp. 577-578.
82. fn8182) K. C. Wong, “Chang Chung-king, The Hippocrates of China,” CMJ, vol. XXXVIII, no.11 (Nov. 1924), pp. 940-944.
83. fn8283) K. C. Wong, “China’s contribution to the Science of medicine,” CMJ, vol. XLIII, no.12(Dec. 1929), pp. 1193, 1194.
84. fn8384) Wong and Wu, History of Chinese Medicine, p. VII.
85. fn8485) There were one hundred and ninety six missionaries in China in 1900, the number reached 450 in 1913, and reached its crest of six hundred in 1925. Missionary hospitals numbered 326 in 1920, half of the total number of hospitals in that year. Yuet-wah Cheung, Missionary Medicine in China: A Study of Two Canadian Protestant Missions in China Before 1937 (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1988), p. 111.
86. fn8586) W. A. Tatchell, “The Qualification of the Medical Missionary,” CR (June 1909), pp. 321-325.
87. fn8687) A. H. Smith, “The Main Events of the Year in China as Related to Missions,” CR (Jan. 1914), pp. 12-13.
88. fn8788) William G. Lennox, “Medical Missions,” in Orville A. Petty; Laymen’s Foreign Missions Inquiry Fact-Finder’s Reports, China, New York and London: Harper & Brothers, 1933, pp. 437.
89. fn8889) E. V. Cowdry, “The Divergence of Art and Medicine in China – Some of its Causes and Consequences,” CMJ, vol. XL, no.8 ( Aug. 1926), p. 797.
90. fn8990) Daniel H. Bays & Grant Wacker, The Foreign Missionary Enterprise at Home: Explorations in North American Cultural History (Tuscaloosa and London: University of Alabama Press, 2003), p. 191.
91. fn9091) John L. Rawlinson, The Recorder and China’s Revolution: A Topical Biography of Frank Joseph Rawlinson (Notre Dame, Indiana: Cross Cultural Publications, Inc. 1991), p. 248.
92. fn9192) Lian Xi, The Conversion of Missionaries: Liberalism in American Protestant Missions in China, 1907-1932, (University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997.)
93. fn9293) Our Book Table, CR, (Nov. 1934), pp. 715.
94. fn9394) Paul A. Cohen, Tao Feiya’s translation: 20世纪晚期中西之间的知识交流, Journal of Literature, History and Philosophy, no. 4, (July, 1998), p. 21.

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Affiliations: 1: Professor of History and Director of the Center for Studies of Religion and Chinese Society Shanghai University, China


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