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David Goldberger

PhD candidate

D. Goldberger
+31 71 527 2171

David Goldberger doesn't have a desk at the university. Please send an email if you want to contact him. The above mentioned telephone number is the number of the secretariat.

More information about David Goldberger




Fields of interest

Inner alchemy, interaction of inner alchemy and Buddhism, popular healing, secret societies, martial arts, China and Japan cultural exchange.


PhD research

The Sinews Transformation Classic: A Chinese text on Medicine and Self-Cultivation in Its Cultural Contexts

Supervisors: Barend ter Haar, Paul van Els, Henny van der Veere 

The  Sinews Transformation Classic is a household name in the Chinese speaking world. Nonetheless, there is much we do not know about it; we are not sure when the first Sinews Transformation Classic was written and who wrote it; we do not know whether other texts influenced its unknown author; and we do not know what are the factors that contributed to its lasting fame and popularity in China. The first aim of this dissertation project must be to clarify these empirical issues. 

During the Ming, Qing and Republican periods several different versions of the  Sinews Transformation Classic appeared. Their contents show both continuity and change. These might reflect continuity and change of Chinese values, thought and tradition. Hence the significance of the research- the study of the  Sinews Transformation Classic gives a different perspective on China’s transition from a traditional to a modern world. How such a traditional text has remained interesting to a changing readership will be a core question of my project.




  • M.A. in Chinese history, Department of History, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, February 2010. 
  • Research: begun research in Taipei’s National Palace Museum Archives in 2004. 
  • Language Training: 2001-2003, daily Chinese classes in Taiwan Normal University’s language center. 
  • B.A in East Asian studies and Western history, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, May 2002 (Cum Laude).

PhD candidate

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies
  • SAS China
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