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|Title:||From Human Being to Drug: Discourses on the Human Body and the Making of Human Drugs in the “Man Division” of Bencao Gangmu (1596)|
man division;human drug;human body;thing;Bencao gangmu
|Issue Date:||2018-06-19 17:42:26 (UTC+8)|
For a long time, Chinese had applied human body parts for medical treatment and ritual healing. Numerous evidences in relation to their collection, production, efficacy and application were widely recorded in works of materia medica. In the late sixteenth century, Bencao gangmu (1596), the largest-ever volume of Chinese pharmacology, illustrated thirty-five ＂human drugs,＂ ranging from human hair, beard, pubes, nails, teeth, saliva, tear, sweat, blood, milk, semen, menstrual blood, urine, stool, bone, flesh, gallbladder to skull. This article will answer the questions as follows: What are the rationales for using human body parts as drugs? How do they draw the boundaries between the ＂edible＂ and ＂inedible＂ body parts? Why do certain kinds of human body parts require specific procedure before they are used as drugs? What are the ＂materiality＂ and ＂efficacy＂ of the ＂human drugs＂? What kinds of ethical issues and moral concern did they cause, particularly in Ming China? Last but not least, what are the epistemology and cosmology of human body as revealed in the discourses on the human drugs? In the approach of material culture, what I attempt to do is not only to find out how ＂human drugs＂ were characterized in Chinese materia medica, but also to depict the relationship between human beings and things, as well as the relationship between one thing and another. In addition to discourses on human body, this article also focuses on the application of human drugs in both Daoist and shamanistic ritual healings. It will also help us to rethink the neglected aspects of cannibalism in Ming China, as well as to evaluate the applicability of using anthropological concepts of dirt and pollution on historical studies.
|Relation:||中央研究院歷史語言研究所集刊, Vol.第88本, No.第3分, pp.589-641|
|Appears in Collections:||[歷史學系] 期刊論文|
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