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Kristofer Schipper, Influential China Scholar, Dies at 86


Kristofer Marinus Schipper, who was referred to 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 through the German occupation of Holland in World Struggle 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 kids to cover in protected houses.

The household survived the warfare, 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 have 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 choice for native democracy as an alternative of nice nationwide narratives,” stated Professor Goossaert, who teaches non secular research at 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 collection of French students who took Taoism critically. Most lecturers, nevertheless, centered on the extra conventional philological examine of deciphering often-obscure Taoist texts.

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In 1962, Professor Schipper went to Taiwan to review at the Academia Sinica and, based on a narrative he favored to inform his college students, was advised that Taoism didn’t exist as a faith.

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Supply: NYTimes

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