Synopses & Reviews
This study shows that Western medicine and traditional Chinesemedicine coexisted harmoniously in China in the 19th century and into the 20th century. The book describes the diversity of healingmodalities in 19th-century China across the range of social classes, nationalities, and genders, as Western medicine was introduced byChristian missionaries and traditional Chinese practitioners sought to modernize Chinese medicine through the creation of educational andresearch institutions and scientific journals. The study also describes how Chinese people use medicine as an instrument ofcultural and political identity and looks at the Japanese influence on modern China. The book’s readership includes those in history ofscience and postcolonial studies, as well as Chinese medicine. Black and white historical photos are included.Annotation ©2015 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)
Medical care in nineteenth-century China was spectacularly pluralistic: herbalists, shamans, bone-setters, midwives, priests, and a few medical missionaries from the West all competed for patients. In the century that followed, pressure to reform traditional medicine in China came not only from this small clutch of Westerners, but from within the country itself, as governments set on modernization aligned themselves against the traditions of the past, and individuals saw in the Western system the potential for new wealth and power.
Out of this struggle emerged a newly systematized Chinese medicine that had much in common with the institutionalized learning and practices of the West. Yet at the same time, Western missionaries on Chinese shores continued to modify their own practices in the traditional style, hoping to appear more approachable to Chinese clients.
This book examines the dichotomy between Western and Chinese medicine, showing how it has been greatly exaggerated. As missionaries went to lengths to make their medicine more acceptable to Chinese patients, modernizers of Chinese medicine worked to become more scientific by eradicating superstition and creating modern institutions. Andrews challenges the supposed superiority of Western medicine in China while showing how traditional Chinese medicine was deliberately created in the image of a modern scientific practice.