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Korean J Med Hist > Volume 24(1); 2015 > Article
Korean Journal of Medical History 2015;24(1): 163-194.
doi: https://doi.org/10.13081/kjmh.2015.24.163
의료선교사의 중의학에 대한 인식: 박의회보(博醫會報)를 중심으로(1887-1932)
A Study on the Awareness of Chinese Medicine by Medical Missionaries: Focused on The China Medical Missionary Journal (1887-1932)
Jeongeun Jo
Department of History, College of Humanities, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea. windymir@khu.ac.kr
Received: February 24, 2015;  Accepted: April 7, 2015.  Published online: April 30, 2015.
Protestant medical missionaries, who started entering China during the beginning of the 19th century, set the goal as propagating Western medicine to the Chinese while spreading the Christian gospel. Back in those days, China formed deep relations with their own ideology and culture and depended on Chinese medicine that caused major influence on their lives instead of just treatment behaviors. Accordingly, it is natural to see information about Chinese medicine in documents that were left behind. Yet, there are not many studies which dealt with the awareness of Chinese medicine by medical missionaries, and most were focused on the criticism imposed by medical missionaries regarding Chinese medicine. Thus, there are also claims amongst recent studies which impose how the medical missionaries moved from overlooking and criticizing Chinese medicine to gaining a "sympathetic viewpoint" to a certain degree. Still, when the documents left behind by medical missionaries is observed, there are many aspects which support how the awareness of Chinese medicine in medical missionaries has not changed significantly. In addition, medical missionaries actively used medicine like traditional Chinese drugs if the treatment effect was well known. Yet, they barely gave any interest to the five elements, which are the basics of traditional Chinese drugs prescription. In other words, medical missionaries only selected elements of Chinese medicine that were helpful to them just like how the Chinese were choosing what they needed from Western knowledge. The need to understand Chinese medicine was growing according to the flow of times. For instance, some medical missionaries admitted the treatment effect of acupuncture in contrast to claiming it as non-scientific in the past. Such changes were also related to how focused medical missionaries were on medical activities. The first medical missionaries emphasized the non-scientific aspect of Chinese medicine to verify the legitimacy of medical mission. Then, medical missionaries gradually exerted more efforts on medical treatment than direct mission activities so the need of Chinese medicine became greater. This was because Chinese relied on Chinese medicine the most and even used Chinese medicine terms that they knew to explain their conditions while getting treatment from doctors who learned Western medicine. Additionally, medicine missionaries witnessed patients getting better after receiving treatment so they could not completely overlook Chinese medicine. However, medical missionaries strongly believed in the superiority of Western medicine and considered that China certainly needed Western medicine from a scientific perspective. Chinese doctors who were close to medical missionaries and learned about Western medicine believed in Western medicine and thought that Chinese medicine only held historical value besides some fields like Chinese traditional drugs.
Key Words: christianity, medical mission, medical missionary, Chinese medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, traditional Chinese drugs, The China Medical Missionary Association, The China Medical Missionary Journal
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