An Encounter between Christian Medical Missions and Chinese Medicine in Modern History: The Case of Benjamin Hobson

Man Kong Wong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

This article discusses how and why Christian medical missionaries established their foothold in Chinese society through the medical career of Benjamin Hobson, who was active in China from the late 1830s to the 1850s. Apart from his evangelical work among the Chinese, one of his key contributions was the new medical vocabularies he created to communicate medical knowledge. In addition to literary considerations, Hobson had his strategies for sharing modern medical knowledge. Moreover, he was prepared to debate with the Chinese over the validity of the pulse theory. The debate did not happen, however. His intention to establish the case for the superior position of Western medicine was not contested. His medical texts, at best, became the necessary underpinning for introducing modern Western medicine to China. When Western medical college projects took place in China at the turn of the century, biomedicine took over as the key paradigm, with Hobson’s medical texts being of limited use.
Original languageEnglish
Article number583
Number of pages10
JournalReligions
Volume15
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2024

Scopus Subject Areas

  • History
  • Religious studies

User-Defined Keywords

  • Benjamin Hobson
  • Christian Medical Missions
  • medical vocabularies
  • modern Western medicine

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'An Encounter between Christian Medical Missions and Chinese Medicine in Modern History: The Case of Benjamin Hobson'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this