Richard Wilhelm

German sinologist, theologian and missionary (1873–1930)

Richard Wilhelm (10 May 18732 March 1930) was a German sinologist, missionary and a friend of Carl Jung.

Richard Wilhelm


  • Chinesisch ist die leichteste Sprache, wenn sie unbefangen gelernt wird, vom Sinn her eher als vom Einzelausdruck. Aber für neugierige Frager bietet die Sprache eitel Tücken.
    • Chinese is the easiest language when it is learned at ease, dwelling on its spirit rather than on the individual expression. But for inquisitive questioners, this language provides vain pitfalls.
    • Die Seele Chinas. Berlin, Hobbing, 1926

Quotes about Wilhelm

  • As a young man Wilhelm had gone to China in the service of a Christian mission, and there the mental world of the Orient had opened its doors wide to him. Wilhelm was a truly religious spirit, with an unclouded and farsighted view of things. He had the gift of being able to listen without bias to the revelations of a foreign mentality, and to accomplish that miracle of empathy which enabled him to make the intellectual treasures of China accessible to Europe. He was deeply influenced by Chinese culture, and once said to me, "It is a great satisfaction to me that I never baptized a single Chinese!" In spite of his Christian background, he could not help recognizing the logic and clarity of Chinese thought. [...] Clear and unmistakably Western as his mentality was, in his I Ching commentary he manifested a degree of adaptation to Chinese psychology which is altogether unmatched.
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