Steiner, Rudolf

Steiner, Rudolf

biographical name

(born Feb. 27, 1861, Kraljevic, Austria—died March 30, 1925, Dornach, Switz.) Austrian-Swiss social and spiritual philosopher, founder of anthroposophy. He edited the scientific works of Johann W. von Goethe and contributed to the standard edition of Goethe's complete works. During this period he wrote The Philosophy of Freedom (1894). Coming gradually to believe in spiritual perception independent of the senses, he called the result of his research “anthroposophy,” centring on “knowledge produced by the higher self in man.” In 1912 he founded the Anthroposophical Society. In 1913 he built his first Goetheanum, a “school of spiritual science,” in Dornach, Switz. In 1919 he founded a progressive school for workers at the Waldorf Astoria factory, which led to the international Waldorf School movement. Steiner's other writings include The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity (1894), Occult Science (1913), and Story of My Life (1924).

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