From Monasteries to Hospitals: An Institutional History of Care for the Insane in East Asia

8:00 am to 9:00 am
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As Scheduled
James Robson, PhD, James C. Kralik and Yunli Lou Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations Harvard University

Abstract: There has been much recent attention paid to the relationship between Buddhism and medicine, especially in regard to numerous studies of the application of mindfulness as an efficacious therapy for everything from depression to schizophrenia. Despite the many comprehensive surveys of Buddhist medical literature across Asia, there remains a paucity of studies on the history of the institutional connections between Buddhist monasteries and the care for the “insane” from the premodern period to the present. This talk aims to introduce the long hidden history of the role monasteries played in this care up through the birth of modern mental institutions in East Asia. (Continuing medical education credit will be available.)

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