The Essential Steiner: Basic Writings of Rudolf Steiner: Knowledge, Nature, and Spirit; Spiritual Anthropology; Historical Vision; Esoteric Christianity; Society and Education

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9780060653453: The Essential Steiner: Basic Writings of Rudolf Steiner: Knowledge, Nature, and Spirit; Spiritual Anthropology; Historical Vision; Esoteric Christianity; Society and Education

Here is a compact, accessible, illuminating introduction to the basic writings of the great modern spiritual teacher who has been an immense influence on contemporary education, literature, art, science, and philosophy. Robert McDermott offers selections from sixty of Rudolf Steiner’s published works, showing the extraordinary range, vision, and power of his thought.

In his introduction McDermott recounts Steiner’s life and work, from his childhood and education to his work as a natural scientist, philosopher, scholar, educator, artist, interpreter of culture, and seer. He places Steiner in relation to major traditions of thought and explores the reasons why. Although Steiner is credited with major cultural contributions and as the founder of the worldwide Waldorf school movement, he remains remarkably little known by both the academic community and the general public. Selections from Steiner’s writings are presented in five chapters with introductory commentaries:

  • Knowledge, Nature, and Spirit: early writings (1894-1904) on philosophy of nature, spiritual thinking, and the knowledge of higher worlds;
  • Spiritual Anthropology: on Steiner’s theory of human nature as a combination of the physical, etheric, soul-life, and spiritual;
  • Historical Vision: Steiner’s interpretation of history from Egyptian and Buddhist culture, to the Greeks and the modern age;
  • Esoteric Christianity: Steiner’s esoteric interpretation of the Christ event and Christian revelation;
  • Society and Education: on social philosophy and education, of particular releveance to contemporary issues.
Back in print at last, The Essential Steiner is an invaluable compendium and an accessible introduction to the foundational works of Anthroposophy.

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About the Author:

Robert McDermott, Ph.D., is president emeritus and chair of the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). His publications include Radhakrishnan (1970); The Essential Aurobindo (1974, 1987); The Essential Steiner (1984); (with Rudolf Steiner) The Bhagavad Gita and the West (2009); and The New Essential Steiner (2009). He has also published on William James, Josiah Royce, M. K. Gandhi, the evolution of consciousness, and American thought. His administrative service includes president of the New York Center for Anthroposophy; president of the Rudolf Steiner [summer] Institute; chair of the board of Sunbridge College (New York) and of Rudolf Steiner College (California). He was a member of the council of the Anthroposophical Society in America (1996–2004). He is the founding chair of the board of the Sophia Project, an anthroposophic home in Oakland, California, for mothers and children at risk of homelessness. He is a Lindisfarne fellow, a Fetzer mentor, and a member of the Esalen Corportion.

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Rudolf Steiner
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