Åke Hultkrantz (1920–2006) was a Swedish scholar of comparative religion and shamanism. Born in Kalmar, Sweden, he and went on to study comparative religion, ethnology, and history at the University of Stockholm in 1939. After graduating in 1943, he continued studying ethnology, receiving a PhD in 1946. Throughout his career, Hultkrantz was a professor at Brandeis University, the University of California at Santa Barbara, the University of Montana, the University of Stockholm, and universities in England, Germany, and Finland. He is the author of over four hundred papers and twenty-five books on ethnology, comparative religion, and folklore.