Dr Olaf Czaja

Dr Olaf Czaja is a historian of Tibetan medicine. His main research interests are Tibetan history, art and medicine. He studied history of art, Indian, Tibetan and Mongolian studies at Leipzig, Bonn and Kathmandu. In 2007, he obtained his doctoral degree at Leipzig University with a dissertation on an Tibetan noble house, entitled: “Medieval Rule in Tibet: The Rlangs Clan and the Political and Religious History of the Ruling House of Phag mo gru pa”.

He was a research fellow of the Beyond Tradition project at the University of Westminster from 2015 to 2017, working on Tibetan pharmacology in general and drugs based on agarwood and pomegranate in particular by analysing Tibetan medical sources.

He presented findings at the 14th International Conference on the History of Science in East Asia (14th ICHSEA) in Paris in 2015 and at the XIVth Seminar for the International Association of Tibetan Studies in Bergen, Norway, in 2016.

He wrote three papers dealing with various aspects of Tibetan drugs:

The Administration of Tibetan Precious Pills. Efficacy in Historical and Ritual Contexts In Asian Medicine, vol. 10, 2015, 36–89.

The Substitution of Materia Medica in Tibetan Medicine: An Inquiry into Traditional Tibetan Treatises In East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine, ca. 91 pp. (accepted, 2017)

Cultural Translations and Shifting Medical Identities of Tibetan Drugs in China - A Textual and Ethnographic Study of Pomegranate and Eaglewood Formulas, Part 1, ca. 35 pp. (in the process of submission).

At present, he is preparing a monograph entitled “Rethinking the Base of Tibetan Drugs. A Study of Tibetan Pharmacology”.

Pen and glasses on written paper


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