Christoph Antweiler#

Short laudatio by Anne Buttimer#


Christoph Antweiler is presently the best known and most interesting member of the younger generation of German—speaking anthropologists. After studying geology and palaeontology and taking a diploma there he switched to anthropology,did fieldwork in Ghana, Turkey and lndonessia and got an Assistant Professorship in Cologne. Subsequently, he held positions in developmental anthropology, got an Associate Professorship in Trier (i996) and finally a chair in Bonn (2008). Ln distinction to the mainstream of German-speaking anthropology, Antweiler is not content with stressing cultural differences, entering into the spirit of other cultures and explaining them to the West. Behind all these differences, he looks to that which is common to all mankind ("socio—cultural universals").As his choice of subjects shows, Antweiler started with an interest in human developement, which he preserved through all his career. He has the gift to organize great bodies of literature and to present them in an accessible, readable form. Moreover, he strives to make anthropological knowledge accessible to society. He thus spent much work on bibliographical and museological studies. But his main imteus is the fructification of all this knowledge for man's reflexion on himself. His book “Was ist den Menschen gemeinsam?" (2007, 2009) has triumphantly proved this; it had a great impact on the German anthropological community and beyond and has made him widely known.

Antweiler does not focus like so many anthropologists on extra-European cultures; he brings anthropology so to say back. Thus he also publishes in English (there is also a Portuguese book in preparation).

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