Rudolf Steiner

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Steiner, Rudolf

(ro͞o`dôlf shtīn`ər), 1861–1925, German occultist and social philosopher. He was a leader in the founding of the German Theosophic Association (see theosophytheosophy
[Gr.,=divine wisdom], philosophical system having affinities with mysticism and claiming insight into the nature of God and the world through direct knowledge, philosophical speculation, or some physical process.
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). In time he abandoned theosophy and developed a distinctive philosophy which he called anthroposophy; this philosophy attempts to explain the world in terms of man's spiritual nature, or thinking independent of the senses. Translations of his works include Investigations in Occultism (1920) and Philosophy of Spiritual Activity (1922). He also wrote many works on Goethe.


See his autobiography (rev. tr. 1951, repr. 1970).

Steiner, Rudolf

An Austria-Hungarian philosopher, artist, scientist, and architect. His Geotheanum (illus.), Dornach, Switzerland (1913), was the epitome of Expressionism, with a strong Symbolist and Jugendstil flavor. It was built of reinforced concrete.

Steiner, Rudolf


Born Feb. 27, 1861, in Kraljevic, Croatia; died Mar. 30, 1925, in Dornach, near Basel. German mystical philosopher and founder of anthroposophy.

Steiner was influenced by the natural philosophy of Goethe, and in the period 1883–97 he edited the poet’s scientific writings. Steiner was also influenced by the evolutionary teachings of C. Darwin and E. Haeckel and subsequently by the philosophy of F. Nietzsche. In 1902, Steiner embraced theosophy, heading the German branch of the Theosophical Society; after a conflict with the society in 1913 over the proclamation of J. Krishnamurti as the new Messiah, Steiner founded the Anthroposophical Society with its center at Dornach, Switzerland.

Steiner attempted to transform theosophy into an experimental science, setting as its goal the revelation of the “secret” forces of man through the use of a system of special exercises that involved eurythmics, music, the contemplation of mysteries, and meditation. Steiner’s “spiritual science” claimed to combine German classical idealist philosophy and the natural scientific ideas of modern times with the various religious doctrines of antiquity and the Middle Ages (the ancient mysteries, Christianity, and Eastern religions), as interpreted in the spirit of occultism. Steiner’s writings ranged over such subjects as pedagogy, education, the arts, medicine, cosmology, and the history of religion.

In 1919, Steiner began developing Utopian ideas for overcoming the soulless, mechanistic economy on the basis of a spiritual approach to nature—for example, by transforming agriculture through the comprehension of the biorhythms of plants. Plato’s influence was evident in Steiner’s political utopia in his division of the social organism into three independent spheres—juridical, spiritual, and economic. Under conditions of the post-World War I crisis, Steiner’s doctrine gained widespread acceptance primarily in Germany; it had a definite effect on the artistic intelligentsia.

Steiner was also a playwright, sculptor, and architect; the Goe-theanum, an architectural complex that was built in Dornach in accordance with his design, exerted a considerable influence on architectural expressionism. The Anthroposophical Society was persecuted by the Nazis, who banned Steiner’s works after 1933. Since the 1960’s there has been a revival of Steinerism in Western Europe and the USA (for example, the therapeutic clinical center in Arlesheim, Switzerland).


Gesamtausgabe, vorträge, 2nd ed., vols. 1–18. Dornach, 1958–75.
In Russian translation:
Ocherk tainovedeniia. Moscow, 1916.
Misterii drevnosti i khristianstvo. Moscow, 1912.
Teosofiia. Moscow, 1915.


Belyi, A. R. Shteiner i Gete v mirovozzrenii sovremennosti. Moscow, 1917.
Wiesberger, H. R. Steiner: Das literarische und künstlerische Werk. Dornach, 1961. (Contains bibliography.)
Hiebel, F. R. Steiner im Geistesgang des Abendlandes. Bern-Munich, 1965.
Abendroth, W. R. Steiner und die heutige Welt. Munich, 1969.


References in periodicals archive ?
The Essential Steiner: Basic Writings of Rudolf Steiner (Great Barrington, MA: Lindisfarne Books, 2007).
It was an easy decision to make the new school building for the Motueka Rudolf Steiner school the focus of our Christmas donations.
Rudolf Steiner philosophy is closely associated with a child-centred perspective, with the goal of providing children with a basis for developing into free individuals who can fulfil their own unique destiny.
Sera el momento, quiza, de poner en valor las palabras de un pensador tan a priori excentrico como Rudolf Steiner que llego a senalar que <<todo lo que ocurre en el mundo exterior y que ha conducido a la presente catastrofe es, a la postre, el resultado de lo que se ensena en las universidades,, (2008, 225)?
9) This armchair in birch veneer, part of the collection of anthroposophic furniture from prewar Austrian thinker Rudolf Steiner, was shown by Paris gallery Franck Laigneau.
Abu Dhabi: The Rudolf Steiner education movement may be gaining in popularity in some parts of the world but could it actually work here in the UAE?
Anthroposophy, a 'science of the mind' created by Rudolf Steiner, applies to agriculture, medicine and education.
Asi, se ignoraron sus reflexiones sobre la forma y "las fuerzas plasmadoras", pero, sobre todo, se paso por alto que su actividad investigadora representaba para Goethe no solo la base de su propia formacion, sino tambien el fundamento de su obra poetica, interesantisimo senalamiento que volveremos a encontrar mas adelante cuando comentemos el estudio de Rudolf Steiner sobre Goethe.
Steiner education, based on the ideas of innovative Austrian academic Rudolf Steiner, focuses on the whole needs of children including academic, physical, emotional and spiritual.
They are run in line with educational theories of Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian academic born in 1861.
JENNIFER was a member of the drama club at the Rudolf Steiner School in New York before studying Music & Art and Performing Arts.
Early on in the first chapter we learn that Saariaho spent the thirteen years of her pre-collegiate education at the Rudolf Steiner School in Helsinki.