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Rudolf Steiner (February 27, 1861 – March 30, 1925) was an Austrian philosopher, literary scholar, architect, playwright, educator, and social thinker. He is the founder of anthroposophy, "a movement based on the notion that there is a spiritual world comprehensible to pure thought but accessible only to the highest faculties of mental knowledge" and many of its practical applications, including Waldorf education, biodynamic agriculture, anthroposophical medicine, and new artistic impulses, especially eurythmy.
Steiner advocated a form of ethical individualism, to which he later brought a spiritual component. In his epistemological works, he advocated the Goethean view that thinking itself is a perceptive instrument for ideas, just as the eye is a perceptive instrument for light.
He characterized anthroposophy as follows:
- "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."
- -Rudolf Steiner, Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts (1924)
- 1 Biography
- 2 Practical initiatives
- 3 Breadth of activity
- 4 Question of scientific methodology
- 5 Steiner criticism
- 6 Quotes about Rudolf Steiner
- 7 References
- 8 Bibliography
- 9 External links
Childhood and education
Steiner's father was a huntsman in the service of Count Hoyos in Geras, and later became a telegraph operator and stationmaster on the Southern Austrian Railway. When he was born, his father was stationed in Murakirály in the Muraköz region, then part of Hungary (present-day Donji Kraljevec, Međimurje region, northernmost Croatia). When he was two years old, the family moved into Burgenland, Austria, in the foothills of the eastern Alps.
In his childhood, Steiner was interested in mathematics and philosophy. From 1879 to 1883 he attended the Technische Hochschule (Technical University) in Vienna, where he studied mathematics, [physics], and chemistry.
At 21, on the train between his home village and Vienna, Steiner met a herb gatherer who "talked with plants" [How to reference and link to summary or text] and studied occult matters. The herb gatherer introduced Steiner to his master. The master advised Steiner him to study Darwin and Haeckel, Fiechte and Schelling. Steiner then decided to try to acknowledge and synthesise the philosophies of these authors. [How to reference and link to summary or text]
In 1891 he earned a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Rostock in Germany with his thesis Truth and Science.
Writer and philosopher
In 1888, Steiner was invited by the Grand Duchess Sophie of Saxony to edit the complete edition of Goethe's scientific works in Weimar, where he worked until 1896. During this time he also collaborated in a complete edition of Arthur Schopenhauer's work. Steiner also wrote articles for various magazines, including a magazine devoted to combatting anti-semitism, during this time. Steiner was one of the defenders (with Emile Zola) of Alfred Dreyfus, a Captain in the French army falsely accused of treason because he was Jewish.
Steiner wrote his philosophical work, Die Philosophie der Freiheit (The Philosophy of Freedom) in 1894, which argued that humans can become spiritually free beings through the conscious activity of thinking (see section on 'Philosophical Debate').
In 1896, Friedrich Nietzsche's sister, Forster-Nietzsche, asked Steiner to set the Nietzsche archive in Naumburg in order. Her brother by that time was no longer compos mentis. Forster-Nietzsche introduced Steiner into the presence of the catatonic philosopher and Steiner, deeply moved, subsequently wrote the book Friedrich Nietzsche, Fighter for Freedom.
In 1897, Steiner left the Weimar archives and moved to Berlin. He became the owner and chief editor of the literary journal Magazin für Literatur, where he hoped to find a readership sympathetic to his spiritual philosophy.
A turning point in Steiner's life came when, in the August 28, 1899 issue of this magazine, he published an article entitled "Goethe's Secret Revelation" on the esoteric nature of Goethe's fairy tale, The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily. This article led to an invitation by the Count and Countess Brockdorff to speak to a gathering of theosophists on the subject of Nietzsche. Steiner continued speaking regularly to the members of the Theosophical Society, eventually becoming the head of its German section. It was also within this society that Steiner met Marie von Sievers, who was to become his second wife.
Beginning around this time, c. 1900, till his death in 1925, Steiner articulated an ongoing stream of "experiences of the spiritual world" — experiences he said had touched him from an early age on. Steiner aimed to apply his training in mathematics, science, and philosophy to produce rigorous, verifiable presentations of those experiences. He began to attempt to introduce a spiritual approach into many disciplines and practical fields of work, including medicine, education, science, architecture, special education, social reform, agriculture and drama.
Steiner believed that non-physical beings existed everywhere and that through freely chosen ethical disciplines and meditative training, anyone could develop the ability to experience these beings. Steiner believed that such discipline and training would help a person to become a more creative and loving individual.
Steiner aimed to be phenomenological.Steiner read the philosophical work of Franz Brentano - with whom he had studied - and Wilhelm Dilthey, who were both part of the phenomenological movement in European philosophy. Steiner was also influenced by Goethe's phenomenological approach to science.
Separation from the Theosophical Society
Like the theosophists, Steiner encouraged the development of artistic efforts within the Society. Steiner, however, strongly objected when the leaders of the Theosophical Society declared that Krishnamurti was the new World Teacher (Krishnamurti himself later repudiated the attempt to make him into a messiah, shocking many Theosophists).
Steiner quickly denied Krishnamurti could be a reincarnation or second coming of the Christ, and held that Christ's earthly incarnation in Jesus was a unique event. Steiner held that what trained spiritual vision could discover about most of the rest of humanity — namely that the human being goes through a series of repeated earth lives — did not apply to the spiritual being Christ. Christ, he said, would reappear in "the etheric" — the realm that lives between people and in community life — not in a single individual. This and other doctrinal differences fuelled a confrontation between Steiner and the Theosophical leader Annie Besant which eventually led Steiner and most of the German branch of theosophists to separate from the main body of this group, and found the Anthroposophical Society in 1912.
The society grew rapidly. Fueled by a need to find a home for their yearly conferences, which regularly included performances of plays written by Eduard Schuré and Steiner himself, the decision was made to build a theater and organizational center. In 1913, construction began on the first Goetheanum building, in Dornach, Switzerland. The building, designed by Steiner, was built to significant part by volunteers who offered craftsmanship or simply a will to learn new skills. Once World War I started in 1914, the Goetheanum volunteers could hear the sound of cannon fire beyond the Swiss border, but despite the war, people from all over Europe worked peaceably side by side on the building's construction. In 1919, the Goetheanum staged the world premiere of a complete production of Goethe's Faust. In this same year, the first Waldorf school was founded in Stuttgart, Germany.
The Goetheanum developed as a wide-ranging cultural centre. On New Year's Eve, 1922, the first Goetheanum building was burned down by arsonists. Steiner immediately began work on a second Goetheanum building — this was to be finished in 1928, three years after Steiner's death.
During the Anthroposophical Society's Christmas conference in 1923, he founded the School of Spiritual Science, intended as an open university for research and study. This university, which has various sections or faculties, has grown steadily; it is particularly active today in the fields of education, medicine, agriculture, art, natural science, literature, philosophy, and economics.
As a young man, Steiner already supported the independence of educational institutions from governmental control. In 1907, he wrote a long essay, entitled "Education in the Light of Spiritual Science", in which he described the major phases of child development and suggested that these would be the basis of a healthy approach to education.
In 1919, Emil Molt invited him to lecture on the topic of education to the workers at Molt's factory in Stuttgart. Out of this came a new school, the Waldorf school, and Waldorf Education — sometimes known as Steiner Education — which has grown to be one of the largest independent schooling systems in the world. There are now nearly 1,000 Waldorf/Steiner schools worldwide; see the List of Waldorf Schools.
For a period after World War I, Steiner was extremely active as a lecturer on social questions. A petition expressing his basic social ideas (signed by Herman Hesse, among others) was very widely circulated. His main book on social questions, Die Kernpunkte der Sozialen Frage (available in English today as Toward Social Renewal) sold tens of thousands of copies. Today around the world there are a number of innovative banks, companies, charitable institutions, and schools for developing new cooperative forms of business, all working partly out of Steiner’s social ideas. One example is The Rudolf Steiner Foundation (RSF), incorporated in 1984, and as of 2004 with estimated assets of $70 million. RSF provides "charitable innovative financial services". According to the independent organizations Co-op America and the Social Investment Forum Foundation, RSF is "one of the top 10 best organizations exemplifying the building of economic opportunity and hope for individuals through community investing."
Steiner suggested that the cultural, political and economic spheres needed to develop independently and without mutual interference for each of them to thrive. He suggested that the resulting Threefold Social Order would dissipate tensions that otherwise would lead to serious conflicts in the years to come.
Architecture and sculpture
Steiner designed 17 buildings, including the First and Second Goetheanums. These two buildings, built in Dornach, Switzerland, were intended to house a University for Spiritual Science. Three of Steiner's buildings, including both Goetheanum buildings, have been listed amongst the most significant works of modern architecture.
As a sculptor, his works included the wood carving The Representative of Humanity (1922) which is on display at the Goetheanum in Dornach.
Together with Marie von Sievers-Steiner, Rudolf Steiner developed the art form Eurythmy, sometimes referred to as "visible speech and visible song". According to the principles of Eurythmy, there are archetypal movements or gestures that correspond to every aspect of speech - the sounds, or phonemes, the rhythms, the grammatical function, and so on - to every "soul quality" - laughing, despair, intimacy, etc. - and to every aspect of music - tones, intervals, rhythms, harmonies, etc.
Eurythmy performances are held at the Goetheanum in Dornach, and theatres throughout the world. Eurythmy schools in many countries offer trainings.
As a playwright, Steiner wrote four "Mystery Dramas" between 1909 and 1913, including The Portal of Initiation and The Soul's Awakening. They are still performed today.
Medicine and biodynamic farming
From the late 1910s, Steiner was working with doctors to create a new approach to medicine. In 1921, pharmacists and physicians gathered under Steiner's guidance to create a pharmaceutical company called Weleda, which now distributes natural medical products worldwide. At around the same time, Dr. Ita Wegman founded a first anthroposophic medical clinic in Arlesheim, Switzerland (now called the Wegman Clinic).
In 1924, a group of farmers concerned about the future of agriculture requested Steiner's help; Steiner responded with a lecture series on agriculture. This was the origin of biodynamic agriculture, which is now practiced throughout much of Europe, North America, and Australasia. A central concept of these lectures was to "individualize" the farm by not bringing outside materials onto the farm, but producing all needed materials such as manure and animal feed from within what he called the "farm organism". Other aspects of Biodynamic farming inspired by Steiner's lectures include timing activities such as planting in relation to the movement patterns of the moon and planets and applying "preparations", which consist of natural materials which have been processed in specific ways, to soil, compost piles, and plants with the intention of engaging non-physical beings and elemental forces. Steiner, in his lectures, encouraged his listeners to verify his suggestions scientifically, as he had not yet done.
The renewal of religious life
In the 1920s, Steiner was approached by Friedrich Rittelmeyer, an eminent Lutheran pastor with a congregation in Berlin. Rittelmeyer asked if it was possible to create a more modern form of Christianity. Soon others joined Rittelmeyer - mostly Protestant pastors, but including at least one Catholic priest. Steiner offered counsel on renewing the sacraments of their various services, combining Catholicism's emphasis on a sacred tradition with the Protestant emphasis on freedom of thought and a personal relationship to religious life. Steiner made it clear, however, that the resulting movement for the renewal of Christianity, which became known as The Christian Community, was a personal gesture of help to a deserving cause. It was not, he emphasized, founded by the movement known as "Spiritual Science" or "Anthroposophy," but by Rittelmeyer and the other founding personalities with Steiner's help and advice. The distinction was important to Steiner because he sought with anthroposophy to create a scientific, not faith-based, spirituality. For those who wished to find more traditional forms, however, a renewal of the traditional religions was also a vital need of the times.
Breadth of activity
Steiner is certainly remarkable for the breadth of his achievements. The school movement he founded has become as successful as those of Maria Montessori. Biodynamic agriculture is one of the two pillars of the modern organic farming movement, and is as important today as the ideas of the other founder of modern organic agriculture, Albert Howard. Anthroposophic medicine has achieved as broad a range of medicinal remedies as Hahnemann's homeopathy; in addition, a broad range of supportive therapies — both artistic and biographical — have arisen out of Steiner's work. The homes for the handicapped based on his work are as successful as those of L'Arche. His paintings and drawings have been exhibited in museums and galleries, and his pupils include Joseph Beuys and other significant modern artists. His two Goetheanum buildings are generally accepted to be amongst the masterpieces of modern architecture, and other anthroposophical architects have contributed thousands of innovative buildings to the modern scene. The first institution to practice social banking was an anthroposophical bank working out of Steiner's ideas (GMB-Bochum, Germany). This list could be extended considerably.
Steiner's literary estate is correspondingly broad. Steiner's writings are published in about forty volumes, including essays, plays ('mystery dramas'), mantric verse and an autobiography. His collected lectures make up another approximately 300 volumes, and nearly every imaginable theme is covered somewhere here. (Steiner's complete works in German are searchable at the Rudolf Steiner Archive). Steiner's drawings are collected in yet another, independent series of volumes. Many publications have covered his architectural legacy and sculptural work.
Question of scientific methodology
Are science and spirituality compatible?
Though Rudolf Steiner originally studied natural science at the Vienna Technical University, his doctorate was in philosophy and very little of his work is directly concerned with the traditional realm of science, the natural world. His interest was in applying the methodology of science to realms that it does not normally explore: inner experience and the spiritual worlds. This has a rich tradition in Germanic culture, however. The term Geisteswissenschaft, in Steiner's work often translated as spiritual science, is ambiguous in the German language. It generally refers to the humanities, or more literally the humane sciences (philosophy, literature, and qualitative psychology and sociology). Steiner's work fits into this area more readily than into natural science.
A serious question about his work — indeed about all the Geisteswissenschaften — is whether scientific methodology is able to be applied to these realms, i.e. whether such explorations are truly reproducible and intersubjective. If they are not, they are not scientifically verifiable in the sense of modern natural science. Steiner saw that the results of his spiritual vision were difficult or impossible for others to reproduce. He suggested "open-mindedly" exploring and testing the results of his research as an alternative; he also urged others to follow a spiritual training that would allow them to directly apply the methods he used. His claim to have created a spiritual science, however, depends upon the reproducibility of his research itself; this has not been achieved to any significant degree.
Scientists, scholars and artists influenced by Steiner
The results of his work, however, have been taken up by a number of trained physicists, biologists, medical doctors, architects, philosophers, and other scholars. Research centers staffed by trained professionals in various fields of study do research along lines suggested or inspired by Steiner's ideas. Some works of some of the better known scientists and scholars who have been deeply influenced by Steiner are listed below.
- Henri Bortoft, The Wholeness of Nature
- Arthur Zajonc, Catching the Light
- Georg Unger, Forming Concepts in Physics
- Stephen Edelglas, The Marriage of Sense and Thought
- Craig Holdrege Genetics and the Manipulation of Life
- Wolfgang Schad, Man and Mammals: Toward a Biology of Form
- Jos Verhulst, Developmental Dynamics in Humans and Other Primates
- Dr. Robert Zieve, Healthy Medicine
- Victor Bott, Introduction to Anthroposophical Medicine
- Phenomenological science
- Zajonc and Seamon, Goethe's Way of Science, A Phenomenology of Nature
- Georg Kuehlewind, From Normal to Healthy
- Richard Tarnas, Passion of the Western Mind
- Theodore Roszak, Unfinished Animal
- Literature and literary criticism
- Owen Barfield, World's Apart
- Joseph Beuys
Steiner on a pedestal
The high regard in which Steiner is held within the Anthroposophical movement, which sees his teaching as foundational, has prompted some critics to see Steiner as a founder of a religion, not as a philosopher in the usual sense of the word. The idea, if there is a degree of truth to it, evolves from overzealous students, not from Steiner.
Steiner frequently asked his students to test everything he said, and not to take his statements on authority or faith. He also said that if it had been practicable, he would have changed the name of his teachings every day, to keep people from hanging on to the literal meaning of those teachings, and to stay true to their character as something intended to be alive and metamorphic. Nor was Steiner shy about saying that his works would gradually become obsolete, and that each generation should rewrite them. Individual freedom and spiritual independence are among the values Steiner most emphasized in his books and lectures.
Though the emphasis anthroposophists place on individual freedom and thought limits the tendency toward group-think and prevents anthroposophy from turning into a cult - if a cult is something that deprives its members of spiritual and intellectual freedom - a critical approach to the works of Steiner is not as common as some would like and not always welcomed within some Anthroposophic circles. Given Steiner's clear statements about political democracy being the proper kind of State for humanity, his consistent and emphatic support for liberty and pluralism in education, religion, scientific opinion, the arts, and in the press, not to mention his rejection of the idea that the State should take over economic life - one cannot justly link Steiner or his movement with a totalitarian intent; rather the reverse, for his whole philosophy is based upon individual freedom.
Steiner and Christianity
Steiner's views of Christianity diverge from conventional Christian thought in key places. Only a very simplified account of those views can be given here, because though they only amount to about 4% of his total works, that 4% still amounts to about 15 volumes of books and lectures — and many of the other 335 or more volumes contain additional scattered comments on Christianity. One central point of divergency is Steiner's views on reincarnation and karma; these are explicated in the article on Anthroposophy#Anthroposophy in Brief#Reincarnation and Karma.
Steiner also claimed 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.) In Steiner's descriptions, the divine "Christ Spirit", the Son-God of the Trinity, incarnated in the Nathan Jesus at the moment of the baptism by John; up until the moment of the baptism by John in the Jordan, the Nathan Jesus was a very great holy man, but not yet the divine Son of God.
The "Christ Being" is for 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, manifesting in all religions and cultures.
His view of the second coming of Christ is also unusual; he suggested that this would not be a physical reappearance, but meant the Christ being would become manifest in non-physical form, in the "etheric realm" — i.e. visible to spiritual vision and apparent in community life and — for increasing numbers of people beginning around the year 1933. He emphasized that the future would require humanity to recognize this Spirit of Love in all its genuine forms, regardless of how this is named. He also warned that the traditional name, "Christ", might be used yet the true essence of this being of love ignored.
Steiner and racism
- See the Main article Rudolf Steiner's views on races.
There have been accusations of racism made against Steiner. Steiner’s ideas about race are complex. Broadly speaking, he advocated treating every individual as unique, but also spoke about particular races (including his own) in ways that appear denigrating or offensive to many modern ears.
In 1998, the Dutch Anthroposophical Society created a commission to investigate whether Steiner made racist comments and whether racism existed in anthroposophy or Waldorf schools. The commission investigated these accusations, exploring every relevant comment ever made by Steiner in the 350 published volumes of his writings, lectures and letters. Their conclusions follow:
- The Commission emphasizes that Rudolf Steiner's concept of man is based on the equality of all individuals, and not on some supposed superiority of one race over another.
- The conclusion of the Commission is that sixteen statements, if they were in public by a person on his or her own authority, could be a violation of the prohibition of racial discrimination under the Criminal Code of the Netherlands.
- The Commission finds again that any suggestion that racism is an inherent part of Anthroposophy, or that conceptually Steiner helped prepare the way for the holocaust, has proven to be categorically wrong. As a matter of fact, the investigation of the Commission shows that, beginning in the year 1900, he clearly spoke and wrote against the dangers of anti-Semitism, including in the periodical of a German association against anti-Semitism.
In a widely-published event, the Commission announced on February 4, 1998, that there was no ground for accusations that the work of Steiner contains a racial doctrine or any statements made with the purpose of insulting persons or groups of people on the basis of their race.
As to Waldorf education, the Commission concluded, in agreement with the prior judgment of Dutch Government Education Inspectors (Onderwijsinspectie), that racism does not exist there. The Commission did, however, acknowledge the existence until quite recently of a custom of stereotyping in the subject of ethnology [in the Dutch schools], which could lead to discrimination and which must be prevented. As has been previously reported, the [Dutch] Waldorf schools took measures against this in 1995 and supplemented these in 1998 with their own anti-discrimination code and an independent commission that monitors compliance.
The chair of the commission was Ted A. van Baarda, director of the Humanitarian Law Consultancy in The Hague. He has written widely in journals and the popular media on issues of international law and morality.
However, because every member of the commission was also a member of the Dutch Anthroposophical Society, some critics [How to reference and link to summary or text] accused the commission of a conflict of interest.
Quotes about Rudolf Steiner
- My meeting with Rudolf Steiner led me to occupy myself with him from that time forth and to remain always aware of his significance...We both felt the same obligation to lead men once again to true inner culture. I have rejoiced at the achievement which his great personality and his profound humanity have brought about in the world.
- Albert Schweizer
- Encyclopedia Brittanica, Rudolf Steiner
- Steiner, Rudolf, Autobiography, Chapter One.
- Steiner, Rudolf, How to Know Higher Worlds, Chapter Six.
- *Bockemühl, J., Toward a Phenomenology of the Etheric World ISBN 0880101156
- Edelglass, S. et al., The Marriage of Sense and Thought, ISBN 0940262827.
- Steiner, Rudolf, Autobiography, Chapter Three and Riddles of the Soul (see footnote below). Brentano was also an important influence on Edmund Husserl and Jose Ortega y Gasset.
- Steiner, Rudolf, Goethean Science and Goethe's Conception of the World.
- Goulet, Patrice, "Les Temps Modernes?", L'Architecture D'Aujourd'hui, Dec. 1982, pp. 8-17.
- See this list of fully accredited training programs.
- IN CONTEXT #6, Summer 1984
- ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service
- Evans, M. and Rodger, I. Anthroposophical Medicine: Treating Body, Soul and Spirit
- Camphill list of communities
- *Both Goetheanum buildings are listed as among the most significant 100 buildings of modern architecture by Goulet, Patrice, Les Temps Modernes?, L'Architecture D'Aujourd'hui, December 1982.
- See also Great Buildings Online
- Dilthey and Husserl also defended the traditional Geisteswissenschaften in this sense: rational and thus scientific, yet not based upon empirical studies of the physical world. Dilthey in particular rejected the application of the empiricist criteria of natural science to critical studies of society and the human mind (cf. Dilthey's Einleitungen in die Geisteswissenschaften). Steiner refers explicitly to Dilthey's parallel ideas in Riddles of the Soul, p. 149ff in the German original text.
- (Steiner was not referring to the hypothetical ether of 19th century physicists, and on several occasions carefully distinguished his own use of the term from their use of it.)
The style and content of Steiner's works can vary greatly. Therefore, while it might be stimulating to read a single lecture or book by Steiner, it would probably be a mistake, having read even four or five of his books, to suppose one has a representative picture of the whole body of his work. Many works are available in web versions through the Rudolf Steiner Archive. The full German texts of all of Steiner's published works is searchable at the Rudolf Steiner Archiv. A list of all English translations of all works by Steiner is available at this site.
Out of the 350 volumes of his collected works (including roughly forty written books, and over 6000 published lectures), some of the more significant works include:
- Goethean Science
- Truth and Knowledge (doctoral thesis)
- Philosophy of Freedom (1894) E-version
- Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World-Conception (1886)
- Mysticism at the Dawn of Modern Age (1901/1925)
- Christianity as Mystical Fact (1902)
- Cosmic Memory: Prehistory of Earth and Man (1904)
- Theosophy (1904)
- How to Know Higher Worlds (1904-5)
- The Education of the Child (1907)
- An Outline of Esoteric Science (1910)
- Four Mystery Dramas - The Soul's Awakening (1913)
- Toward Social Renewal (1919)
- Fundamentals of Therapy: An Extension of the Art of Healing Through Spiritual Knowledge (1925)
- An Autobiography (1924-5)
- Reordering of Society: Capital and Credit (1919)
- Reordering of Society: Requirements of Spiritual, Social and Economic Life (1919)
- Reordering of Society: The Fundamental Social Law (1919)
- public lectures
- lectures for workmen at the Goetheanum
- lectures for members of the Anthroposophical Society
- An Esoteric Cosmology (1906)
- Occult Signs and Symbols (1907)
- The East in the Light of the West (1909)
- Man in the Light of Occultism, Theosophy and Philosophy (1912)
- Balance in the World and Man, Lucifer and Ahriman (1914)
- Preparing for the Sixth Epoch (1915)
- Supersensible Knowledge (1916)
- Cosmic and Human Metamorphoses (1917)
- Evil and the Future of Man (1918)
- On the life of the Soul (1923)
- Man as Symphony of the Creative Word (1923)
- Anthroposophy and the Inner Life (1924)
- Knowledge of the State Between Death and a New Birth (1926?)
- lectures for members of the School of Spiritual Science
- lectures about karma and reincarnation
- fine arts
- speech and drama
- art history
Education and science
- Study of Man (1918)
- Practical Advice To Teachers (1919)
- Collected Christmas lectures (various dates)
- Collected Easter lectures (various dates)
- Collected Ascension and Pentecostal lectures (various dates)
- Collected Michaelmas lectures (various dates)
- The Deed of Christ and the Opposing Spiritual Powers: Lucifer, Ahriman, Asuras. Mephistopheles and Earthquakes. (1909)
- The Bhagavad Gita and the Epistles of St. Paul (1912-13)
- Anthroposophy and Christianity (1914)
- Pre-Earthly Deeds of Christ (1914)
- Self Knowledge and the Christ Experience (1923)
- lectures for The Christian Community
- Davy, Adams and Merry, A Man Before Others: Rudolf Steiner Remembered. Rudolf Steiner Press, 1993.
- Hemleben, Johannes and Twyman,Leo, Rudolf Steiner: An Illustrated Biography. Rudolf Steiner Press, 2001.
- Lindenberg, Christoph Andreas, Rudolf Steiner: Eine Biographie (2 vols.). Stuttgart, 1997. ISBN 3-7725-1551-7
- Lissau, Rudi, Rudolf Steiner: Life, Work, Inner Path and Social Initiatives. Hawthorne Press, 2000.
- McDermott, Robert, The Essential Steiner. Harper Press, 1984
- Seddon, Richard, Rudolf Steiner. North Atlantic Books, 2004.
- Shepherd, A.P., Rudolf Steiner: Scientist of the Invisible. Inner Traditions, 1990.
- Schiller, Paul, Rudolf Steiner and Initiation. Steiner Books, 1990.
- Tummer, Lia and Lato, Horacio, Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy for Beginners. Writers & Readers Publishing, 2001.
- Lachman, Gary, Rudolf Steiner: An Introduction to His Life and Work, Tarcher, 2007.
- Rudolf Steiner Overview
- Rudolf Steiner and Criticism
- The Anthroposophy Network
- The Calendar of the Soul
- The Rudolf Steiner On-Line Archive
- Steiner Books
- Rudolf Steiner Foundation
- Camphill Association
- The Christian Community
- See photos from Motzstraße 30, Schöneberg, Berlin, where Rudolf Steiner lived from 1903 to 1923.
- The role of natural toys in Steiner Waldorf education
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