Schmidt, Wilhelm, 1868–1954, German linguist and anthropologist, a Roman Catholic priest. Educated at the universities of Berlin and Vienna, he entered the Society of the Divine Word in 1890. Residing mainly in Austria, he taught at the Univ. of Vienna, founded and directed an anthropological institute at Mödling, and, after 1938, was a professor at the Univ. of Freiburg. Schmidt devoted particular attention to the languages of S Asia, Australia, and Oceania. His books available in English translation are The Origin and Growth of Religion (1931), High Gods in North America (1933), The Culture Historical Method of Ethnology (1939), and Primitive Revelation (1939).
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