Toward a Global History of Buddhism and Medicine


  • C. Pierce Salguero Penn State University, Abington College



Buddhism, medicine, healing, cross-cultural exchange, circulation, networks


The close relationship between Buddhism and medicine that has become so visible thanks to the contemporary ‘mindfulness revolution’ is not necessarily unique to the twenty-first century. The ubiquitous contemporary emphasis on the health benefits of Buddhist and Buddhist-inspired practice is in many ways the latest chapter in a symbiotic relationship between Buddhism and medicine that is both centuries-long and of global scope. This article represents the first steps toward writing a book that explores the global history of Buddhism and medicine ‘from Sarnath to Silicone Valley’. It identifies patterns in the transmission and reception of texts and ideas, networks of circulation, and intersections with local and regional histories that shaped the history of Buddhist ideas and practices concerning physical health and healing.

Author Biography

C. Pierce Salguero, Penn State University, Abington College

Pierce Salguero is Assistant Professor of Asian History & Religious Studies at Penn State University, Abington College.


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How to Cite

Salguero, C. P. (2015). Toward a Global History of Buddhism and Medicine. Buddhist Studies Review, 32(1), 35–61.



Buddhism and Healing