Rudolf Steiner & Anthroposophy
Through anthroposophy, an individual grows spiritually by applying uniquely human abilities to develop clear thinking and a truthful perception of the world. This practice, diligently applied, is at first the path to a better understanding of (and higher moral conduct in) the physical world. Eventually, it leads to insight into the workings of the spiritual world and heartfelt understanding of the lively interplay between the spiritual and physical worlds.
Anthroposophy was articulated by Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) in the course of a life devoted to teaching, writing, and social innovation. Steiner first attracted notice as a brilliant young scholar of German philosophy and natural science, which led to his being appointed editor of a new edition of the scientific works of Goethe. Later, Steiner’s work as a magazine editor and teacher in Berlin’s Free Workers’ University bolstered his reputation as a fierce advocate for universal education and self-improvement as a route to constructive social change.
As he developed his ideas, Steiner traveled and taught widely. In more than two dozen books and some six thousand transcribed lectures, Steiner articulated a path of inner development that drew upon all the world’s spiritual streams, but with special insight into human needs and abilities in the twentieth century and beyond. Rudolf Steiner consistently taught that social improvement and individual inner development must go hand in hand, and in the course of his career he sparked numerous educational, social, and artistic movements that flourish around the world today. These include Waldorf education, biodynamic agriculture, anthroposophical medicine, Camphill Villages, anthroposophical architecture, and numerous social movements and experiments.
Anthroposophy itself is not taught in Waldorf schools, but Waldorf teachers, including those educated at Sunbridge, use insights gained through their study of anthroposophy to understand and apply Rudolf Steiner’s insights into child development in a loving and lively way. Through these insights, Waldorf schools create a uniquely humane and nurturing environment for fostering the development of the entire child: head, hands, and heart.
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