Home News Kristofer Schipper, Influential China Scholar, Dies at 86

Kristofer Schipper, Influential China Scholar, Dies at 86


Kristofer Marinus Schipper, who was generally known as Rik, was born on Oct. 23 1934, in Schardam, a rural city north of Amsterdam. His father, Klaas Abe Schipper, was a Mennonite pastor, and his mom, Johanna (Kuiper) Schipper, was a religious believer. Their non secular convictions impressed the couple to cover Jews throughout the German occupation of Holland in World Warfare II.

His father was detained and interrogated twice, every time for a number of months. His mom fled to Amsterdam, taking younger Rik and several other Jewish youngsters to cover in secure houses.

The household survived the battle, however his father’s well being suffered, and he died in 1949 at 42. (For his or her efforts on behalf of persecuted Jews, the couple had been later declared “Righteous Among the many Nations” by Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust remembrance middle.)

The wartime expertise had a profound impact on Professor Schipper.

“This actually formed his worldview, each his hatred of nationalism and his deeply humanistic desire for native democracy as a substitute of nice nationwide narratives,” stated Professor Goossaert, who teaches non secular research on the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris. “That’s how he learn Taoism.”

Professor Schipper got here to that realization slowly. He moved to Paris to review with the French Sinologist Max Kaltenmark, considered one of a sequence of French students who took Taoism severely. Most teachers, nonetheless, centered on the extra conventional philological examine of deciphering often-obscure Taoist texts.

In 1962, Professor Schipper went to Taiwan to review on the Academia Sinica and, in line with a narrative he preferred to inform his college students, was instructed that Taoism didn’t exist as a faith.