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Friday, April 28, 2017

Wilhelm Schmidt

Wilhelm Schmidt SVD
(source: Anthropos)
no copyright infringement intended

Austrian linguist, anthropologist and ethnologist, Roman Catholic priest belonging to Societas Verbi Divini; as a linguist he proved the inner connections of the Mon-Khmer languages with idioms of the South Seas, and raised the hypothesis of a super-family spread from the South-East Asia toward the Oceanic isles (the Austric group of languages - it remained as a hypothesis, not widely accepted today); as an anthropologist, he was interested in the study of primitive religions; in opposition to evolutionary views he proposed the theory of a primitive monotheism (Urmonotheismus) as the "beginning of it all" (only later replaced by polytheism); he developed his ideas in a 12-volume opus published between 1912-1954, Der Ursprung der Gottesidee (The Origin of the Idea of God); there is another work by him from 1931 (The Origin and Growth of Religion. Facts and Theories - 324 pages), that would be perhaps more palatable for non-specialists interested for this kind of things (dilettanti appassionati so to speak - I'm one of those, by the way).

(German and Nordic Literature)



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