Faculty Favorites: Mr.Wahlgren

Today we’re featuring one of Mr. Wahlgren’s favorite books, The I Ching, a book of ancient texts translated by Richard Wilhelm and Cary F. Baynes. Why is this his favorite book? The I Ching is full of “wisdom still relevant after two thousand years,” says Mr. Wahlgren. Want to check it out? Read the synopsis below:


The I Ching, or Book of Changes, is one of the 1st efforts of the human mind to place itself within the universe. It has exerted a living influence in China for 3000 years and interest in it has spread in the West.

Set down in the dawn of history as a book of oracles, the Book of Changes deepened in meaning when ethical values were attached to the oracular pronouncements; it became a book of wisdom, eventually one of the Five Classics of Confucianism, and provided the common source for both Confucianist and Taoist philosophy.

Wilhelm’s rendering of the I Ching into German, published in 1924, presented it for the 1st time in a form intelligible to the general reader. Wilhelm, who translated many other ancient Chinese works and who wrote several books on Chinese philosophy and civilization, long resided in China. His close association with its cultural leaders gave him a unique understanding of the text of the I Ching. In the English translation, every effort has been made to preserve Wilhelm’s pioneering insight into the spirit of the original.

This 3rd edition, completely reset, contains a new forward by Hellmut Wilhelm, one of the most eminent American scholars of Chinese culture. He discusses his father’s textual methods and summarizes recent studies of the I Ching both in the West and in present-day China. The new edition contains minor textual corrections, bibliographical revisions and an index.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com