SCHMIDT, Heinrich Wilhelm Arnold

SCHMIDT, Heinrich Wilhelm Arnold. Hörde near Dortmund 16.2.1868 — Fribourg 10.2.1953. Father. Famous German Anthropologist and Linguist in Austria and Switzerland. From 1883 educated in the Netherlands, in 1890 joined S.V.D., 1892 ordained priest. In 1893-95 studied theology and Oriental languages at Berlin and Vienna. From 1895 taught ethnology and linguistics at Missionshaus in Mödling near Vienna. From 1927 Director of Papal Missiological and Ethnological Museum in Rome, from 1931 Director of Anthropos Institute in Mödling, Austria. Also taught from 1921 as PD at Vienna Uni­ver­sity, in 1925-38 as ord. Professor of Ethnology. After the Anschluss moved the Institute to Fribourg in Switzerland and from 1939 taught as Professor (ord. 1942) at Fribourg University. In 1946-48 Gastprofessor at Vienna. Among his students was W. Koppers.

As a linguist WS was mainly interested in Austro-Asian, Malayo-Polynesian and Australian languages, in anthropology in religion. He proposed the theory of original monotheism as the origin of all religions. In 1906 founded the famous journal Anthropos and became its editor. Founder (1906) and editor of the Anthropos journal.

Publications: Stellung der Pygmäenvölker in der Entwicklungsgeschichte der Menschheit. 1910.

Der Ursprung der Gottesidee. 1-12. Münster 1912-55 (a great work, each vol. with c. 800 p.).

Die Gliederung der australischen Sprachen. 1919; Die tasmanischen Sprachen. 1952.

– “The Religious Situation if the Andamans”, IA 53, 1923, 165-176 (from Anthropos 16-17, 1921-22, 1079ff.).

Die Sprachfamilien und Sprachenkreise der Erde. Heidelberg 1926.

Rasse und Volk. 1927; Rassen und Völker in Vorgeschichte und Geschichte des Abendlandes. 1-3. 1946-49.

Handbuch der vergleichenden Religionsgeschichte. Ursprung und Werden der Religion. 15+296 p. Münster 1930; Das Eigentum auf den ältesten Stufen des Menschheit. 1-3. 1937-42.

Sources: D.B.E.; J. F. Thiel, N.D.B. 23, 2007, 220f.; Wikipedia with photo (more in German version).

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