Short Portrait: Joseph Henninger

Joseph Henninger
Joseph Henninger

Joseph Henninger was born in Wiesbaden in 1906. After finishing school in 1926 he joined the Steyler missionaries (SVD) and took up his studies of Philosophy in ST. Augustin. Moreover, he studied Theology at the Pontificia Universitas Gregoriana in Rome.

Henninger completed his theological in 1934 and subsequently came to Vienna, where he attended lectures on Ethnology, Prehistory and Physical Anthropology. Wilhelm Koppers was among his teachers. Furthermore, Henninger studied Assyriology in Rome for two semesters. In 1937 he graduated.

Since 1934 Henninger had been member of the Anthropos Institute. He became assistant editor of the Anthropos journal in 1936, a position he held until 1949. When Austria became part of the Third Reich in 1938, the Anthropos journal and the Anthropos Institute moved to Fribourg/Switzerland.

In 1945 Henninger completed his habilitation thesis. He began lecturing at the university in Fribourg and was announced professor in 1954. Moreover, Henninger became associate professor at the University in Bonn in 1964.

Ten years later Henninger took up a professorship at the Philosophical-Theological Faculty in St. Augustin, where he lectured throughout the following years.

Joseph Henninger died in St. Augustin in 1991.

The regional focus of his work lay on arabian countries in Northern and Eastern Africa, while the field of his interest included semitic cultures as well as theories of sacrifice and the research on Islam.

(Text written by Vincenz Kokot in March 2012, based on information provided by the Anthropos Institute)


Joseph Henninger (1906-1991), SVD

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