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Richard Wilhelm - The Chinese Fairy Book (1.1 MB)

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Richard Wilhelm (May 10, 1873, Tubingen, Germany - March 2, 1930, Stuttgart, Germany) was a German sinologist, as well as theologian and missionary. He is best remembered for his translations of philosophical works from Chinese into German that in turn have been translated into other major languages of the world, including English. His translation of the I Ching is still regarded as one of the finest, as is his translation of The Secret of the Golden Flower both were provided with introductions by the Swiss psychologist ... More >>>
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Author:      Richard Wilhelm
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Richard Wilhelm (May 10, 1873, Tubingen, Germany - March 2, 1930, Stuttgart, Germany) was a German sinologist, as well as theologian and missionary. He is best remembered for his translations of philosophical works from Chinese into German that in turn have been translated into other major languages of the world, including English. His translation of the I Ching is still regarded as one of the finest, as is his translation of The Secret of the Golden Flower both were provided with introductions by the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, who was a personal friend

About Author:

The son of a Thuringian glazier. 9 years old lost his father, raised by his mother and grandmother. In 1891 he entered the Theological Faculty of the University of Tubingen. After graduation, in 1895, he entered the seminary in Wimsheim, where in 1897 he transferred to Boll. The Bolle his mentor became a prominent theologian, a Social Democrat Blyumhardt Christoph (Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt, 1842-1919). This meeting was decisive for the choice of life and the development outlook of Richard. He was associated with Blyumhardtom and family ties: in 1899, became engaged to the daughter of his room. They were married in Shanghai.

In 1900, Richard Wilhelm joins the ranks of Die Deutsche Ostasienmission and sent to the Qingdao - the then ownership of Germany in Shandong Province. As part of the mission Wilhelm played the role of a teacher and a priest, passing rapidly mastering Chinese. He soon headed the German-Chinese School, which enabled him to make love in an environment of highly educated Chinese merchants and aristocrats, and to explore the Chinese culture deeply. It also allowed him to study in depth the Chinese classical literature, with its successes were so great that the Emperor Guang-hsu awarded him the honorary position of fourth grade. During the Russian-Japanese war of 1904-1905., R. Wilhelm engaged and diplomatic work, and only in 1907 by R. William was granted leave. The family at the time had five children.

In 1908, R. Wilhelm returned to China, leading the mission. Due to illness, he was forced to return to Germany in 1911, but a year later was again in China. After the Japanese occupation of Qingdao in 1914, missionary work has been associated with very great difficulty, almost clandestinely. In 1920, R. Wilhelm returned to Germany after living in China for 20 years.

Already in 1922, R. Wilhelm was in Beijing Embassy of Germany in an advisory capacity, simultaneously becoming a visiting professor at Peking University. During this period, he began the translation of the I Ching into German. Now this translation is considered a classic of Western Sinology.

In 1924 William was appointed as extraordinary professor at the Department of History reopens Frankfurt University of China. Full professor, he became in 1927. He died from the effects of tropical diseases, having had time to complete his main work - an eight Religion und Philosophie Chinas.

Richard Wilhelm's Scientific work:

As a scientist, Wilhelm is primarily famous for a number of translations of the most important monuments of Chinese civilization. Of his works devoted to the present, it should be noted a detailed diary, which he led in Qingdao, as well as works by contemporary Chinese economy. However, translations of Taoist sites now considered outdated, both because of the Christian interpretation, and due to the fact that William was not an expert in this religion.

Wilhelm maintained friendly ties and advised many prominent people of his time: Albert Schweitzer, Hermann Hesse, Martin Buber, Karl Gustav Jung, Rabindranath Tagore. Chinese Culture Research Wilhelm led to the complete rejection of missionary activity, and by his own admission, he was proud that did not pay any Chinese. Gradually, he moved to the criticism of Eurocentrism, believing that the religion and culture of the West and the East have equal rights and equal value.

Richard Wilhelm's Notable facts:

- The son of a missionary - Helmut Wilhelm (Hellmut Wilhelm, 1905-1990) also became a sinologist. In 1945 he published a popular Chinese-German dictionary, and since 1948 he lived in the United States, he taught at the University of Washington (Seattle).
- Trainer William - Blyumhardt was the founder of Christian socialism in Germany and Switzerland. His pupils were Karl Barth, Hermann Kyutter and Leonard Ragaz