Anthroposophie in Deutschland: Theosophische Weltanschauung und gesellschaftliche Praxis Helmut Zander: Books. Anthroposophie in Deutschland: theosophische Weltanschauung und gesellschaftliche Praxis Front Cover. Helmut Zander. Vandenhoeck und. The book Anthroposophie in Deutschland bears the characteristics of a political broadside by means of which the opponents – in this case Rudolf Steiner and.

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This is a virtually heretical claim in anthroposophist eyes; the received wisdom is that Steiner was an esotericist and an Initiate throughout his life, that all of his works from the different phases of his career are internally consistent, and that his mature teachings sprang fully fledged from his head as revelations from the” higher worlds”. The difficulty lies in the quality of these internal anthroposophist accounts; most such literature is of very little historiographical value.

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The book has provoked a furious reaction in some anthroposophical quarters, with official anthroposophist publications denouncing it as an uncomprehending attack on the movement. English Choose a language for shopping. While many of these traits continue to mark Waldorf schools today, Zander’s achievement lies in a meticulous historical contextualization of the disparate factors that gave rise to Steiner education ninety years ago as the best-known instance of applied anthroposophy.

The first Waldorf school was founded in Stuttgart in ; organized anthroposophical medicine began in ; the openly religious arm of the anthroposophist movement, the Christian Community, was launched in ; and biodynamic agriculture was initiated in Cookies come in two flavours – persistent and transient. At the same time, he drew heavily on the work of Blavatsky and other principal Theosophical thinkers, while adding elements from his own idiosyncratic reception of Rosicrucianism and further strands of European esotericism.

In not a few instances, this yields a critical re-assessment of established anthroposophist narratives and offers compelling alternative interpretations of central themes in the evolution of the movement. Zander notes that his task as a historian is not to pronounce judgment on Steiner’s claims to clairvoyance, much less to adjudicate the accuracy or inaccuracy of specific assertions about the higher worlds, but to inquire into the this -worldly circumstances out of which Steiner’s doctrines emerged.


The irate reaction to Zander’s work in certain anthroposophist circles may also foreshadow new trends in the dynamics of scholarly engagement with the occult. These case studies, comprising roughly half of the total text, condense a very large amount of information into an accessible format, and can be consulted as free-standing monographs by readers interested in particular aspects of organized anthroposophy.

Under scrutiny: Helmut Zander and a Berlin History Faculty – Perseus Verlag

His followers during this era touted Steiner as “Germany’s savior” and preached anthroposophy as the answer to the ills of modernity, above all materialism, collectivism, atheism, Western democracy, liberalism, Bolshevism, and cultural degeneration. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Ddeutschland on this propitious foundation, other scholars now have a firm basis for further research on the demanding topic of Rudolf Steiner and the movement he founded.

Subscribe to our newsletter Anthroposophje error text Name. Karma, reincarnation, and an esoteric conception of “national souls” played an ongoing role in Steiner’s discourse even as more directly social themes came to the fore. Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals.

A raft of indignant articles and two book-length rebuttals have appeared to date, while other anthroposophist responses have been more measured. This last point indicates deutschlnad more serious underlying concern with the book as a whole.

It evinces a decent circumspection toward and consideration for anthroposophical sensibilities while remaining true to its primary responsibility to the scholarly community. From this perspective, straightforwardly historical research like Zander’s can come as something of a shock. The Steiner that emerges from this thoroughly sourced portrait is a dynamic thinker responding to the challenges of his time and place, rather than a harbinger of eternal spiritual truths.

The results could sometimes seem eccentric. From a historical perspective, several of Zander’s interpretations-for the most part on relatively unimportant points-may reflect insufficient scrutiny of the primary sources.

Zander finds that Steiner assembled the basic components of the new approach to anthrpoosophie without a substantial prior plan, responding instead to the exigencies of establishing a novel institution under time constraints and with haphazard preparation.

A relatively cursory review of archival sources has identified several dozen anthroposophist members of the NSDAP, SS, and SA, and a comprehensive evaluation of the available files would likely yield considerably higher figures. Critical skills and independent thinking among the pupils were frequently discouraged. According to the original Anthropodophie model, children are incompletely incarnated beings whose process of incarnation anthropksophie be overseen by anthroposophically guided teachers; each child is assigned to one of the four classical temperaments, marked in part by physiological characteristics, and grouped accordingly; and every child is seen as progressing through an elaborate series of developmental stages based on an occult conception of individual evolution.


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Journal for the Study of Western Esotericismvol. Zander also confronts the charged question of anthroposophy’s politics, both implicit and explicit, in its early years.

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At Steiner’s death inanthroposophy enjoyed considerable if contentious standing within German culture, combining the allure of occult insight, spiritual rejuvenation, and an array of alternative lifestyle approaches associated with the Lebensreform movement and the German youth movement. Many of the characteristic features of Waldorf education, from its emphasis on music, artistic activities and mythology to its down playing of standard academic instruction, have their origins in Steiner’s somewhat ad xnthroposophie decisions.

ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. Theosophical Worldview and Social Practice Steiner told the original Waldorf teachers that left-handedness is a “karmic weakness” which must be “corrected” in children, and he frowned on the teaching of French because it “corrupts the soul”. As a range of recent studies have highlighted, many of the pioneers of scholarship on Western esotericism were themselves sympathizers or practitioners of esoteric paths, an understandable factor in light of the obtuse response so often encountered among mainstream academics dismissive of the entire field.

With the establishment of the Anthroposophical Society as an independent entity, Steiner and his followers expanded their efforts to renew various spheres of social life according to the strictures of” spiritual deutschlad, the overarching term Steiner gave to his teachings.