Divine Word Missionaries

Anthropos Institute


Present Situation

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Anthropos Institute



“Anthropos Institute is an international network of individual members and member institutes dedicated to the scientific study of cultures and religions.” (Statutes 1.1)

It expresses the specialization of the Society of the Divine Word (Divine Word Missionaries) in the field of social and religious sciences and binds together SVD scholars and institutes specialized in these fields.


The beginnings of this tradition goes back to the Founder of the SVD, Arnold Janssen, who, besides being a man of faith and prayer was also a man of sciences. In his first major seminary, Sankt Gabriel near Vienna, at the beginning of the last century, he prescribed for the members of his Society not only the usual theological studies but also the then new specialization of missiology and especially ethnology, sociology, and linguistics.

The one who influenced the Founder in this direction and gave academic form to this tradition was Wilhelm Schmidt whom the Founder had previously sent to the University of Berlin where he studied linguistics.

While lecturing at Sankt Gabriel, the SVD seminary where the future missionaries were trained, Wilhelm Schmidt founded in 1906 the international journal Anthropos. Arnold Janssen decided that the Anthropos journal should be sponsored by the Society. For him the Anthropos journal and what it stood for, namely the study of cultures, languages and religions, was to be a continuous concern of his missionary Society, a hallmark of the same.

Wilhelm Schmidt in 1931 founded the Anthropos Institute in order to secure this anthropological tradition and soon there were branch institutes in India and Brazil. The overall leadership and the publication of the journal and eventually, of the book series remained though in the Anthropos Institute in Sankt Gabriel. During the Second World War the Anthropos Institute moved, for safety reasons, from Austria to Switzerland and in 1962 the Generalate of the Society moved it to Sankt Augustin, near Bonn.

Present Situation

The Institute went through a process of restructuring to adapt itself to the present global situation and it culminated in the approval of new Statutes in 2003, revised Statutes in 2007, and slightly-amended Statutes in 2015. From an institute understood as primarily a center in Europe, where the director resided and where the council met, it changed to a network of individual members and institutes worldwide coordinated by a person whose office is not tied to any center or country and by a coordinating council which meets using modern Internet technologies.

Dr. Roger Schroeder was been reappointed as coordinator for another term (2016-2018) and his office is in Chicago, USA. Elected as councilors for this term are Dr. Philip Gibbs, who resides in Madang, Papua New Guinea, and Dr. S.M. Michael, who resides in Mumbai, India. For any business related to the international network of Anthropos Institute, contact Schroeder at <rschroeder@ctu.edu>

At the beginning of 2017, there are 47 members of the Institute working in and/or associated with various institutions including some of the following:

  • Anthropos Institute Sankt Augustin: responsible for the publications of the Anthropos journal, the book series Collectanea Instituti Anthropos, Studia Instituti Anthropos, and Anthropology and Mission.
  • Institute of Indian Culture (former Anthropos Institute of India), Mumbai, India
  • Sanskriti: North Eastern Institute of Cultural Research, Guwahati, India.
  • Melanesian Institute, Goroka, Papua New Guinea
  • Tamale Institute of Cross-Cultural Studies, Tamale, Ghana
  • Aditya Wacana: Center for Studies of Religion and Culture, Malang, Indonesia
  • Nanzan Anthropological Institute, Nagoya, Japan
  • Anthropos do Brasil, Brazil
  • Sanskruti -- Institute of Dravidian Culture and Research, Hyderabad, India.
  • Sanskruti Kendra – Tribal Cultural and Research Centre, Sundargarh, India.


Official Publications

Anthropos Institute Sankt Augustin is responsible for the official publications: the Anthropos journal, the book series Collectanea Instituti Anthropos, Studia Instituti Anthropos, and Anthropology and Mission. Editor-in-Chief is Prof. Dr. Dariusz Piwowarczyk while Prof. Dr. Othmar Gächter and Prof. Dr. Joachim Piepke are on the Editorial Staff.

For details consult www.anthropos-journal.de