Definitions

anthroposophy

anthroposophy

[an-thruh-pos-uh-fee]

Philosophy based on the view that the human intellect has the ability to contact spiritual worlds. It was formulated in the early 20th century by Rudolf Steiner and was influenced by theosophy. Steiner wanted to develop a faculty for spiritual perception independent of the senses, which he believed was latent in all human beings, and to this end he founded the Anthroposophical Society in 1912. Now based in Dornach, Switzerland, the society has branches worldwide.

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Anthroposophy is a spiritual philosophy based on the teachings of Rudolf Steiner (25 February 1861 – 30 March 1925) which postulates the existence of an objective, intellectually comprehensible spiritual world accessible to direct experience through inner development — more specifically through cultivating conscientiously a form of thinking independent of sensory experience. In its investigations of the spiritual world, anthroposophy aims to attain the precision and clarity of natural science's investigations of the physical world. Whether this is a sufficient basis for anthroposophy to be considered a spiritual science has been a matter of controversy.

Anthroposophy is a path of knowledge, to guide the spiritual in the human being to the spiritual in the universe…. Anthroposophists are those who experience, as an essential need of life, certain questions on the nature of the human being and the universe, just as one experiences hunger and thirst.

Anthroposophical ideas have been applied practically in areas including Steiner/Waldorf education, special education (most prominently the Camphill movement), biodynamic agriculture, anthroposophical medicine, and the arts. The Anthroposophical Society has its international center at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland.

History

The early work of the founder of anthroposophy, Rudolf Steiner, culminated in his Philosophy of Freedom (also translated as The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity and Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path). Here, Steiner developed a concept of free will which is based upon inner experiences, especially those which occur in the creative activity of independent thought.

By the beginning of the twentieth century, Steiner's interests were leading him further and further into explicitly spiritual areas of research. These studies were of interest to others who were already oriented towards spiritual ideas; among these was the Theosophical Society. Theosophy was in vogue in Esotericism in Germany and Austria during that time. Steiner took a leading role in the Society's section in Germany, becoming its secretary.

By 1907, a split between Steiner and the mainstream Theosophical Society began to be apparent. While the Society was oriented toward an Eastern and especially Indian approach, Steiner was trying to develop a path which embraced Christianity and natural science. The split became irrevocable when Annie Besant, then president of the Theosophical Society, began to present the child Jiddu Krishnamurti as the reincarnated Christ. Steiner strongly objected and considered any comparison between Krishnamurti and Christ to be nonsense; many years later, Krishnamurti also repudiated the assertion. Steiner's continuing differences with Besant led him to separate from the Theosophical Society Adyar; he was followed by the great majority of the membership of the Theosophical Society's German Section, as well as members of other national sections.

By this time, Steiner had reached considerable stature as a spiritual teacher. He spoke about what he considered to be his direct experience of the Akashic Records (sometimes called the "Akasha Chronicle"), thought to be a spiritual chronicle of the history, pre-history, and future of the world and mankind. In a number of works, Steiner described a path of inner development which he felt would enable anyone to attain comparable spiritual experiences. Sound vision could be developed, in part, by practicing rigorous forms of ethical and cognitive self-discipline, concentration, and meditation; in particular, a person's moral development must precede the development of spiritual faculties.

In 1912, the Anthroposophical Society was founded. After World War I, the Anthroposophical movement took on new directions. Projects such as schools, centers for those with special needs, organic farms and medical clinics were established, all inspired by anthroposophy. In 1923, faced with differences between older members focusing on inner development and younger members eager to become active in the social transformations of the time, Steiner refounded the Society in an inclusive manner and established a School for Spiritual Science. As a spiritual basis for the refounded movement, Steiner wrote the mantric poem Foundation Stone Meditation expressing the aspects of the human soul in relation to the outer and spiritual worlds. Steiner died just over a year later, in 1925.

The Second World War temporarily hindered the anthroposophical movement in most of Continental Europe, as the Anthroposophical Society and most of its daughter movements (e.g. Steiner/Waldorf education) were banned by the National Socialists (Nazis); virtually no anthroposophists ever joined the National Socialist Party.

By 2007, national branches of the Anthroposophical Society had been established in fifty countries, and about 10,000 institutions around the world were working on the basis of anthroposophy. In the same year, the Anthroposophical Society was called the "most important esoteric society in European history.

Etymology of anthroposophy

The term anthroposophy is from the Greek, virtually *ανθρωποσοφία, from ἄνθρωπος "human", and σοφία "wisdom". It is listed by Nathan Bailey (1742) as meaning "the knowledge of the nature of man" (OED). Earlier authors who used the term include Agrippa von Nettesheim and Immanuel Hermann Fichte. Steiner began using the word to refer to his philosophy in the early 1900s as an alternative to theosophy, the term for Madame Blavatsky's movement, itself from the Greek θεοσοφία, with a longer history with a meaning of "divine wisdom".

Anthroposophy in brief

Spiritual knowledge and freedom

Anthroposophical proponents aim to extend the clarity of the scientific method to phenomena of human soul-life and to spiritual experiences. This requires developing new faculties of objective spiritual perception, which Steiner maintained was possible for humanity today. The steps of this process of inner development he identified as consciously achieved imagination, inspiration and intuition. Steiner believed that the results of this form of spiritual research should be expressed in a way which can be understood and evaluated on the same basis as the results of natural science: "The anthroposophical schooling of thinking leads to the development of a non-sensory, or so-called supersensory consciousness, whereby the spiritual researcher brings the experiences of this realm into ideas, concepts, and expressive language in a form which people can understand who do not yet have the capacity to achieve the supersensory experiences necessary for individual research."

Steiner hoped to form a spiritual movement which would free the individual from any external authority: "The most important problem of all human thinking is this: to comprehend the human being as a personality grounded in him or herself." For Steiner, it was the human capacity for rational thought which would allow individuals to comprehend spiritual research on their own and to bypass the danger of dependency on an authority.

Steiner contrasted the anthroposophical approach with both conventional mysticism, which he considered lacking the clarity necessary for exact knowledge, and natural science, which he considered arbitrarily limited to investigating the outer world.

Nature of the human being

Steiner saw human beings as consisting of a physical body, the nature of which is common to the inorganic world; a life body (also called the etheric body) which all living creatures (including plants) possess; the bearer of sentience or consciousness (also called the astral body), held also by all animals, and the ego, in which is anchored the faculty of self-awareness unique to human beings.

Anthroposophy describes a broad evolution of human consciousness as follows. Early stages of human evolution possess an intuitive perception of reality, including a clairvoyant perception of spiritual realities. Humanity has progressively evolved an increasing reliance on intellectual faculties and a corresponding loss of intuitive or clairvoyant experiences, which have become atavistic. The increasing intellectualization of consciousness, initially a progressive direction of evolution, has led to an excessive reliance on abstraction and a loss of contact with both natural and spiritual realities, however; in order to go further new capacities must be developed which combine the clarity of intellectual thought with the imagination, and beyond this with consciously achieved inspiration and intuitive insights.

Anthroposophy speaks of the reincarnation of the human spirit: that the human being passes between stages of existence, incarnating into an earthly body, living on earth, leaving the body behind and entering into the spiritual worlds before returning to be born again into a new life on earth. After the death of the physical body, the human spirit recapitulates the past life, perceiving its events as they were experienced by the objects of its actions. A complex transformation takes place between the review of the past life and the preparation for the next life; the individual's karmic condition eventually leading to a choice of parents, physical body, disposition and capacities which will provide the challenges and opportunities needed for further development, which includes karmically chosen tasks for the future life.

Steiner described some conditions that determine the interdependence of a person's lives, or karma.

Christ between Lucifer and Ahriman

Lucifer and his counterpart Ahriman figure in anthroposophy as two polar, generally evil influences on world and human evolution. Steiner described both positive and negative aspects of both figures, however: Lucifer as the light spirit which "plays on human pride and offers the delusion of divinity", but also motivates creativity and spirituality; Ahriman as the dark spirit which tempts human beings to "deny [their] link with divinity and to live entirely on the material plane", but also stimulates intellectuality and technology. Both figures exert a negative effect on humanity when their influence becomes misplaced or one-sided, yet their influences are necessary for human freedom to unfold.

According to anthroposophy, each human being has the task to find a balance between these opposing influences, and each is helped in this task by the mediation of the Representative of Humanity, also known as the Christ being, a spiritual entity who stands between and harmonizes the two extremes.

Applications

Applications of anthroposophy include:

Steiner/Waldorf education

Out of the anthroposophical movement have come over 900 schools world-wide. These are called Steiner/Waldorf schools or simply Waldorf schools, after the first such school, founded in 1919. Sixteen Waldorf schools in 14 countries have been affiliated with the United Nations' UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network, a program which sponsors education projects which foster improved quality of education throughout the world, in particular in terms of its ethical, cultural and international dimensions. Waldorf schools receive full or partial governmental funding in some European nations and in parts of the United States (as Waldorf method public or charter schools). Since the first school opened in Germany in 1919, Waldorf education has spread to every continent, and has been characterized as "the leader of the international movement for a New Education," Schools based on Steiner/Waldorf education are found in a wide variety of communities and cultures: the impoverished favelas of São Paulo and the wealthy suburbs of New York City, in India, Egypt, Australia, Holland and Mexico Though most of the early Waldorf schools were teacher-founded, the schools today are usually initiated and later supported by an active parent community. Waldorf education is one of the most visible practical applications of an anthroposophical view and understanding of the human being.

Biodynamic agriculture

Biodynamic agriculture, the first intentional form of organic farming, began in the 1920s when Rudolf Steiner gave a series of lectures since published as Agriculture. Steiner is considered one of the founders of the modern organic farming movement.

Anthroposophical medicine

Steiner gave several series of lectures to physicians and medical students; out of this grew a complementary medical movement which now includes hundreds of M.D.s, chiefly in Europe and North America, and which has its own clinics, hospitals, and medical schools. One of the most studied applications has been the use of mistletoe extracts in cancer therapy.

Centers for helping those with special needs (including Camphill Villages)

Early in the twentieth century, when proper care for those with special needs was largely ignored in many countries, anthroposophical homes and communities were founded for the needy. The first was the Sonnenhof in Switzerland, founded by Ita Wegman in 1922; later, in 1940, the Camphill Movement was founded by Karl König in Scotland. The latter in particular has spread widely, and there are now well over a hundred Camphill communities and other anthroposophical homes for children and adults in need of special care in more than 22 countries around the world.

Architecture

Steiner himself designed around thirteen buildings, many of them significant works in a unique, organic-expressionistic style. Foremost among these are his designs for the two Goetheanum buildings in Dornach, Switzerland. Thousands of further buildings have been built by later generations of anthroposophic architects. Architects who have been strongly influenced by the anthroposophic style include Imre Makovecz in Hungary, Hans Scharoun and Joachim Eble in Germany, Erik Asmussen in Sweden, Kenji Imai in Japan, Thomas Rau, Anton Alberts and Max van Huut in Holland, Christopher Day and Camphill Architects in the UK, Thompson and Rose in America, Denis Bowman in Canada, and Walter Burley Griffin and Gregory Burgess in Australia.

One of the most famous contemporary buildings by an anthroposophical architect is an ING Bank building in Amsterdam, which has been given many awards for its ecological design and approach to a self-sustaining ecology as an autonomous building.

Eurythmy

In the arts, Steiner's new art of eurythmy gained early renown. Eurythmy seeks to renew the spiritual foundations of dance, revealing speech and music in visible movement. There are now active stage groups and training centers, mostly of modest proportions, in 12 countries.

Social Finance

Around the world today there are a number of banks, companies, charities and schools for developing co-operative forms of business which work out of Steiner's ideas about economic associations, aiming at harmonious and socially responsible roles in the world economy. The first anthroposophic bank was the Gemeinschaftsbank für Leihen und Schenken in Bochum, Germany, founded in 1974. Socially-responsible banks founded out of anthroposophy in the English-speaking world include Triodos Bank, founded in 1980 and active in the UK and Netherlands, and RSF Social Finance in San Francisco. RSF has been independently rated one of the top 10 organisations which "best exemplify the building of economic opportunity and hope for individuals through community investing.

Organizational development, counselling and biography work

Bernard Lievegoed, a psychiatrist, founded a new method of individual and institutional development oriented towards humanizing organizations and linked with Steiner's ideas of the threefold social order. This work is represented by the NPI Institute for Organizational Development in Holland and sister organizations in many other countries. Various forms of biographic and counselling work have been developed on the basis of anthroposophy.

Speech and drama

There are also anthroposophical movements to renew speech and drama, the most important of which have their basis in the work of Marie Steiner-von Sivers (speech formation, also known as Creative Speech) and the Chekhov Method originated by Michael Chekhov (nephew of Anton Chekhov).

Other areas

Other areas of anthroposophic work include:

Social goals

For a period after World War I, Steiner was extremely active and well-known in Germany, in part because he lectured widely proposing social reforms. Steiner was a sharp critic of nationalism, which he saw as outdated, and a proponent of achieving social solidarity through individual freedom. A petition proposing a radical change in the German constitution and expressing his basic social ideas (signed by Herman Hesse, among others) was widely circulated. His main book on social reform is Toward Social Renewal.

Anthroposophy continues to aim at reforming society through maintaining and strengthening the independence of the spheres of cultural life, human rights and the economy. It emphasizes a particular ideal in each of these three realms of society:

  1. Freedom in cultural life
  2. Equality of rights, the sphere of legislation and the judiciary
  3. fraternity in the economic sphere

Esoteric path

Paths of spiritual development

According to Steiner, a real spiritual world exists out of which the material one gradually condensed and evolved. Steiner held that the spiritual world can be researched in the right circumstances through direct experience, by persons practicing rigorous forms of ethical and cognitive self-discipline. Steiner described many exercises which he said were suited to strengthening such self-discipline; the most complete exposition of these is found in his book How To Know Higher Worlds The aim of these exercises is to develop higher levels of consciousness through meditation and observation. Details about the spiritual world, Steiner suggested, could on such a basis be discovered and reported, though no more infallibly than the results of natural science.

Steiner regarded his research reports as being important aids to others seeking to enter into spiritual experience. He suggested that a combination of spiritual exercises (for example, concentrating on an object such as a seed), moral development (control of thought, feelings and will combined with openness, tolerance and flexibility) and familiarity with other spiritual researchers' results would best further an individual's spiritual development. He consistently emphasised that any inner, spiritual practice should be undertaken in such a way as not to interfere with one's responsibilities in outer life.

In anthroposophy, artistic expression is also treated as a potentially valuable bridge between spiritual and material reality.

Prerequisites to and stages of inner development

For Steiner, the aim of spiritual development is to achieve "knowledge of higher worlds" (cf. his eponymous central work). Steiner's stated prerequisites to beginning on a spiritual path including a willingness to take up serious cognitive studies, a respect for factual evidence, and a responsible attitude. Central to progress on the path itself is a harmonious cultivation of the following qualities:

  • Control over one's own thinking
  • Control over one's will
  • Composure
  • Positivity
  • Impartiality

Steiner sees meditation as a concentration and enhancement of the power of thought. By focusing consciously on an idea, feeling or intention the meditant seeks to arrive at pure thinking, a state exemplified by but not confined to pure mathematics. In Steiner's view, conventional sensory-material knowledge is achieved through relating perception and concepts. The anthroposophic path of esoteric training articulates three further stages of supersensory knowledge, which do not necessarily follow strictly sequentially in any single individual's spiritual progress.

  • Through focusing on symbolic patterns, images and poetic mantras, the meditant can achieve consciously directed Imaginations which allow sensory phenomena to appear as the expression of underlying beings of a soul-spiritual nature.
  • By transcending such imaginative pictures, the meditant can become conscious of the meditative activity itself, which leads to experiences of expressions of soul-spiritual beings unmediated by sensory phenomena or qualities. Steiner calls this stage Inspiration.
  • By intensifying the will-forces through exercises such as a chronologically-reversed review of the day's events, a further stage of inner independence from sensory experience is achieved, leading to direct contact, and even union, with spiritual beings ("Intuition") without loss of individual awareness.

Exercises

Steiner described numerous exercises which he believed would bring spiritual development; other anthroposophists have added many others. A central principle is that "for every step in spiritual perception, three steps are to be taken in moral development." According to Anthroposophy, moral development reveals the extent to which one has achieved control over one's inner life and can exercise it in harmony with the spiritual life of other people; it shows the real progress in spiritual development, the fruits of which are given in spiritual perception. It also guarantees the capacity to distinguish between false perceptions or illusions (which are possible in perceptions of both the outer world and the inner world) and true perceptions, or, better said, to distinguish in any perception between the influence of subjective elements (i.e. viewpoint) and the objective reality to which the perception points.

Place in Western philosophy

Steiner built upon Goethe's conception of an imaginative power capable of synthesizing the sense-perceptible form of a thing (an image of its outer appearance) and the concept we have of that thing (an image of its inner structure or nature). Steiner added to this the conception that a further step in the development of thinking is possible when the thinker observes his or her own thought processes. "The organ of observation and the observed thought process are then identical, so that the condition thus arrived at is simultaneously one of perception through thinking and one of thought through perception."

Thus, in Steiner's view, we can overcome the subject-object divide through inner activity, even though all human experience begins by being conditioned by it. In this connection, Steiner examines the step from thinking which is determined by outer impressions to what he calls sense-free thinking. He characterizes thoughts which he considers to be without sensory content, such as mathematical or logical thoughts, as free deeds. Steiner believed that he had thus located the origin of free will in our thinking, and in particular in sense-free thinking.

Some of the epistemic basis for Steiner's later anthroposophical work is contained in the seminal work, Philosophy of Freedom,. In his early works, Steiner sought to overcome what he perceived as the dualism of Cartesian idealism and Kantian subjectivism by developing Goethe's conception of the human being as a natural-supernatural entity, that is: natural in that humanity is a product of nature, supernatural in that through our conceptual powers we extend nature's realm, allowing it to achieve a reflective capacity in us as philosophy, art and science. Steiner was one of the first European philosophers to overcome the subject-object split in Western thought. Though not well-known among philosophers, his philosophical work was taken up by Owen Barfield (and through him influenced the Inklings, a group which included such writers as J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis) and Richard Tarnas.

Possibility of a union of science and spirit

Steiner believed in the possibility of applying the clarity of scientific thinking to spiritual experience, which he saw as deriving from an objectively existing spiritual world. Steiner identified mathematics, which attains certainty through thinking itself, thus through inner experience rather than empirical observation, as the basis of his epistemology of spiritual experience.

Relationship to religion

The Christ as the center of earthly evolution

Steiner's writing, though appreciative of all religions and cultural developments, emphasizes Western tradition as having evolved to meet contemporary needs. He describes Christ and his mission on earth of bringing individuated consciousness as having a particularly important place in human evolution.

Steiner emphasized his belief that:

  • Christianity has evolved out of previous religions;
  • The being which manifests in Christianity also manifests in all faiths and religions;
  • Each religion is valid and true for the time and cultural context in which it was born;
  • The historical forms of Christianity need to be transformed considerably to meet the continuing evolution of humanity.

For Steiner, Christ is a being who unifies all religions. He believed that Christ is not any particular religious faith, but instead is the central force in human evolution. This Christ Being is, according to Steiner, not only the Redeemer of the Fall from Paradise, but also the unique pivot and meaning of earth's evolutionary processes and of human history, which he believed to be manifested in all religions and cultures.

This view has certain similarities to the concepts of Christogenesis advocated by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

Divergence from conventional Christian thought

Steiner's views of Christianity diverge from conventional Christian thought in key places, and include gnostic elements:

  • One central point of divergence is Steiner's views on reincarnation and karma.
  • Steiner differentiated three contemporary paths by which he believed it possible to arrive at Christ:
    • Through heart-filled experiences of the Gospels; this is the historically dominant path but Steiner believed it was now falling away.
    • Through inner experiences of a spiritual reality; this Steiner regarded as increasingly the path of spiritual or religious seekers today.
    • Through initiation, corresponding to the path of anthroposophical knowledge, whereby the reality of Christ's death and resurrection are experienced; Steiner believed this to be the path which people will tend to take in the future.
  • Steiner also believed that there were two different Jesus children involved in the Incarnation of the Christ: one child descended from Solomon, as described in the Gospel of Matthew, the other child from Nathan, as described in the Gospel of Luke. (The genealogies given in the two gospels diverge some thirty generations before Jesus' birth, and 'Jesus' was a common name in biblical times.)
  • His view of the second coming of Christ is also unusual; he suggested that this would not be a physical reappearance, but that the Christ being would become manifest in non-physical form, visible to spiritual vision and apparent in community life for increasing numbers of people beginning around the year 1933.
  • He emphasized his belief that the future would require humanity to recognize this Spirit of Love in all its genuine forms, regardless of how people named this being. He also warned that the traditional name, Christ, might be used yet the true essence of this being of love ignored.

The Christian Community

Towards the end of Steiner's life, a group of theology students (Lutheran as well as Catholic) approached Steiner for help in reviving Christianity, in particular "to bridge the widening gulf between modern science and the world of spirit." They approached a notable Lutheran pastor, Friedrich Rittelmeyer, already working with Steiner's ideas to join their efforts. Out of their co-operative endeavor, the Movement for Religious Renewal, now generally known as The Christian Community, was born. Steiner emphasized that this help was given independently of his anthroposophical work, as he saw anthroposophy as independent of any particular religion or religious denomination.

Reception of anthroposophy

Notable supporters

Anthroposophy has had many prominent supporters outside of the movement. Among these have been many writers, artists and musicians; these include Pulitzer Prize-winning and Nobel Laureate Saul Bellow, Andrej Belyj, Josef Beuys, Wassily Kandinsky, Nobel Laureates Selma Lagerlöf and Albert Schweitzer, Andrei Tarkovsky and Bruno Walter, and Alternative Nobel Prize winner Ibrahim Abouleish.

Religious nature

Anthroposophy has sometimes been called religious and there have been criticisms that any spiritual movement, anthroposophy in particular, is necessarily religious in nature. In 2005, a California federal court ruled that a group alleging that anthroposophy is a religion for Establishment Clause purposes did not provide any legally admissible evidence in support of its view; the case is under appeal. In 2000, a court case was brought in France against a government minister for describing anthroposophy as a cult; the court ruled that the minister's comments were defamatory.

Scientific basis

Though Rudolf Steiner studied natural science at the Vienna Technical University at the undergraduate level, his doctorate was in epistemology and very little of his work is directly concerned with the traditional realm of contemporary science, the natural world; when in his mature work he did refer to science it was often to present Goethean science as an alternative to what he considered the materialistic science of his contemporaries. His primary interest, however, was in applying the methodology of science to realms of inner experience and the spiritual worlds (Steiner's appreciation that the essence of science is its method of inquiry is unusual among esotericists), and Steiner called anthroposophy Geisteswissenschaft (lit.: Science of the mind, or cultural or spiritual science), a term generally used in German to refer to the humanities and social sciences; in fact, the term "science" is used more broadly in Europe as a general term which refers to any exact knowledge.
"[Anthroposophy's] methodology is to employ a scientific way of thinking, but to apply this methodology, which normally excludes our inner experience from consideration, instead to the human being proper."

As Freda Easton explained in her study of Waldorf schools, "Whether one accepts anthroposophy as a science depends upon whether one accepts Steiner's interpretation of a science that extends the consciousness and capacity of human beings to experience their inner spiritual world. Sven Ove Hansson has disputed anthroposophy's claim to a scientific basis, stating that its ideas are not empirically derived and neither reproducible nor testable. Carlo Willmann points out that as, on its own terms, anthroposophical methodology offers no possibility of being falsified except through its own procedures of spiritual investigation, no intersubjective validation is possible by conventional scientific methods; it thus cannot stand up to positivistic science's criticism. Peter Schneider calls such objections untenable on the grounds that if a non-sensory, non-physical realm exists, then according to Steiner the experiences of pure thinking possible within the normal realm of consciousness would already be experiences of that, and it would be impossible to exclude the possibility of empirically-grounded experiences of other supersensory content. Olav Hammer suggests that anthroposophy carries scientism \"to lengths unparalleled in any other Esoteric position\" due to its dependence upon claims of clairvoyant experience, its subsuming natural science under \"spiritual science\", and its development of what Hammer calls \"fringe\" sciences such as anthroposophical medicine and biodynamic agriculture justified partly on the basis of the ethical and ecological values they promote, rather than purely on a scientific basis.

Though Steiner saw that spiritual vision itself is difficult for others to achieve, he recommended open-mindedly exploring and rationally testing the results of such research; he also urged others to follow a spiritual training which would allow them directly to apply the methods he used eventually to achieve comparable results. Some results of Steiner's research have been investigated and supported by scientists working to further and extend scientific observation in directions suggested by an anthroposophical approach.

Statements on race

Anthroposophical ideas have been criticized from both sides in the race debate; for their strongly anti-racist stance:

  • From the mid-1930s on, National Socialist ideologues attacked the anthroposophical world-view as being opposed to Nazi racism and nationalistic principles; anthroposophy considered \"Blood, Race and Folk\" as primitive instincts which needed to be overcome.

as well as for \"rankings\" of races which occur in Steiner's philosophy:

  • \"...with regard to race, a naive version of the evolution of consciousness, a theory foundational to both Steiner's anthroposophy and Waldorf education, sometimes places one race below another in one or another dimension of development.\"

To clarify its stance, the Anthroposophical Society in America has stated:

We explicitly reject any racial theory that may be construed to be part of Rudolf Steiner's writings. The Anthroposophical Society in America is an open, public society and it rejects any purported spiritual or scientific theory on the basis of which the alleged superiority of one race is justified at the expense of another race.

See also

Notes

Further reading

  • Ahern, G. (1984): Sun at Midnight: the Rudolf Steiner movement and the Western esoteric tradition Aquarian Press.
  • Archiati, Pietro, The Great Religions: Pathways to our Innermost Being, Temple Lodge Press ISBN 1-902636-01-5
  • Archiati, Pietro, Reincarnation in Modern Life: Toward a New Christian Awareness. Temple Lodge Press. ISBN 0-904693-88-0
  • Barnes, Henry, A Life for the Spirit: Rudolf Steiner in the Crosscurrents of Our Time, Anthroposophic Press, 1997.
  • Davy, John, Hope, Evolution and Change", Hawthorn Press. ISBN 0-9507062-7-2
  • Edelglass, Stephen et al., The Marriage of Sense and Thought, Lindisfarne Press. ISBN 0-940262-82-7
  • Forward, William and Blaxland-de Lange, Simon (eds.), Trumpet to the Morn (Golden Blade 2001), ISBN 0-9531600-3-3
  • Forward, William and Blaxland-de Lange, Simon (eds.), Working with Destiny II (Golden Blade 1998), ISBN 0-9531600-0-9
  • Gleich, Sigismund, The Sources of Inspiration of Anthroposophy, Temple Lodge Press ISBN 0-904693-87-2
  • Goebel, Wolfgang and Glöckler, Michaela, A Guide to Child Health. Floris Books. ISBN 0-86315-390-9
  • Gulbekian, Sevak (ed.), The Future is Now: Anthroposophy at the New Millennium, Temple Lodge Press ISBN 1-902636-09-0
  • Hauschka, Rudolf, At the Dawn of a New Age, Anthroposophic Press ISBN 0-919924-25-5
  • Hindes, James H. (1995) Renewing Christianity Floris Books
  • Klocek, Dennis, The Seer's Handbook: A Guide to Higher Perception, SteinerBooks 2006. ISBN 0-88010-548-8
  • König, Karl, The Human Soul, Floris Books ISBN 0-86315-042-X
  • Kühlewind, Georg, The Logos-Structure of the World: Language as a Model of Reality, Lindisfarne Press ISBN 0-940262-48-7
  • Lievegoed, Bernard, The Battle for the Soul: The Working Together of Three Great Leaders of Humanity, Hawthorn Press ISBN 1-869890-64-7
  • Lievegoed, Bernard, Man on the Threshold. Hawthorn Press ISBN 0-9507062-6-4
  • McDermott, Robert A., The Essential Steiner: Basic Writings of Rudolf Steiner, Lindisfarne Press ISBN 9781584200512.
  • Murphy, Christine (ed.), Iscador: Mistletoe and Cancer Therapy. Lantern Books, 2005. ISBN 1-930051-76-X
  • Nesfield-Cookson, Bernard, Michael and the Two-Horned Beast: The Challenge of Evil Today in the Light of Rudolf Steiner's Science of the Spirit, Temple Lodge Press ISBN 0-904693-98-8
  • Nesfield-Cookson, Bernard, Rudolf Steiner's Vision of Love: spiritual science and the logic of the heart. Rudolf Steiner Press'
  • Oort, Henk van, 'Anthroposophy' A Concise Introduction to Rudolf Steiner's Spiritual Philosophy'(2008)ISBN 978-1-902636-92-4
  • Paddock, Fred and M. Spiegler, Ed.(2003) Judaism and Anthroposophy. SteinerBooks
  • Pietzner, Carlo, Transforming Earth, Transforming Self, Camphill Books ISBN 0-88010-428-7
  • Prokofieff, Sergei, The East in the Light of the West, Temple Lodge Press ISBN 0-904693-57-0
  • Prokofieff, Sergei, The Occult Significance of Forgiveness. Temple Lodge Press. ISBN 0-904693-71-6.
  • Schaefer, Christopher and Voors, Tyno, Vision in Action. Lindisfarne Press ISBN 0-940262-74-6
  • Schwenk, Theodor Sensitive Chaos. Rudolf Steiner Press ISBN 1-85584-055-3
  • Shepherd, A. P. 1885–1968 :The Battle for The Spirit: The Church and Rudolf Steiner Anastasi
  • Shepherd, A. P., 1885–1968 : A Scientist of the Invisible: An introduction to the life and work of Rudolf Steiner Floris Books
  • Soesman, Albert (1990). The Twelve Senses" Hawthorn Press
  • Steiner, Marie, Esoteric Studies, Temple Lodge Press ISBN 0-904693-58-9
  • Steiner, Rudolf:
    • Intuitive Thinking As a Spiritual Path: A Philosophy of Freedom; Anthroposophic Press ISBN 0-88010-385-X
    • Theosophy, Anthroposophic Press
    • Cosmic Memory, Anthroposophic Press
    • How to Know Higher Worlds Anthroposophic Press 1994 ISBN 0-88010-508-9
    • An Outline of Esoteric Science Anthroposophic Press
    • Verses and Meditations. Rudolf Steiner Press ISBN 1-85584-197-5
    • Esoteric Development Anthroposophic Press
    • A Western Approach to Reincarnation and Karma Anthroposophic Press
  • Steiner, Rudolf and Welburn, Andrew, The Mysteries: Rudolf Steiner's Writings on Spiritual Initiation, Floris Books ISBN 0-86315-243-0
  • Suchantke, Andreas, Eco-Geography. Lindisfarne Press ISBN 0-940262-99-1
  • Swassjan, Karen, The Ultimate Communion of Mankind Temple Lodge Press ISBN 0-904693-82-1
  • Treichler, Rudolf, Soulways. Hawthorn Press ISBN 1-869890-13-2
  • Verhulst, Jos, Developmental Dynamics in Humans and Other Primates. Adonis Press ISBN 0-932776-29-9
  • Warren, Edward, Freedom as Spiritual Activity, Temple Lodge Press ISBN 0-904693-60-0
  • Welburn, Andrew Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy and the Crisis of Contemporary Thought Floris Books
  • Wilkes, John, Flowforms: The Rhythmic Power of Water Floris Books ISBN 0-86315-392-5

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