Kristofer Schipper

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Kristofer Schipper 2009 photo:Dr.Yuan Bingling

Kristofer Marinus Schipper (23 October 1934, Järnskog, Eda Municipality), also known as Rik Schipper and by his Chinese name Shi Zhouren (Chinese: 施舟人), is a Dutch sinologist. Schipper grew up near Edam, Netherlands. He is an emeritus professor of Oriental studies at Leiden University, appointed there in 1993. Schipper is also appointed at the Sorbonne, religious studies, in Paris and is head of the École pratique des hautes études. He also teaches at Fuzhou University and Zhangzhou College. After his retirement he and his wife Dr. Yuan Bingling moved to Fuzhou (Fujian) in China.


Schipper studied in Taiwan. He was very interested in the ceremonies and rituals that are part of Taoism. Knowledge of the rituals may only be passed on within a family. He was adopted by a befriended family, so he could be trained in Taoism. In 1968 he was initiated as a priest in the Zhengyi School of Taoism. Schipper is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1995.[1] He organized and edited the first complete scientific study of the 1500 works contained in the Taoist Canon of the Ming Dynasty.

Young Taoist master during his initiation ritual in the Zhengyi order. (Photo: Kristofer Schipper, Gangshan, 1963)

Library of the Western Belvedere[edit]

In 2001 Kristofer Schipper and his wife Dr. Yuan Bingling founded the first library in China specialised in western art, literature, and culture, in Fuzhou. It is called the "Library of the Western Belvedere" or "Xiguan cangshulou 西观藏书楼" (Fuzhou University Global Civilization Research Center and Library of the Western Belvedere.)

With his library they intend to make western literature more accessible to Chinese scientists. The collection consists, in 2007, of about 25000 titles on literature, art history, and philosophy in many languages, such as English, French, German, Dutch, and other western languages. In 2004 Schipper was awarded the Order of Friendship of the Chinese government for establishing this library.


  • The Taoist Canon, ed. Kristofer Schipper and Franciscus Verellen, The University of Chicago Press 2005, ISBN 978-0-226-73817-8.
  • The Taoist Body. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.
Schipper, Kristofer, Tao. De levende religie van China, Amsterdam (Meulenhoff) 1988, ISBN 90-290-7731-X (5e druk 2006).
Translation by Schipper of his Le corps taoïste. Corps physique, corps social, Parijs (Fayard) 1982.
  • Zhuangzi, De innerlijke geschriften, transl. from the Chinese by Kristofer Schipper, Amsterdam (Meulenhoff) 1997, ISBN 90-290-5619-3
  • Zhuang Zi, De volledige geschriften. Het grote klassieke boek van het taoïsme, transl. from the Chinese and annotated by Kristofer Schipper, Amsterdam (Uitgeverij Augustus) 2007, ISBN 978-90-457-0085-4, 439 pg.


  1. ^ "Rik Schipper" (in Dutch). Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 14 July 2015.

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