Rudolf Steiner - Life and Work

Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) was initially known and respected amongst specialist circles as a Goethe researcher, philosopher, writer and literary critic, and later became known throughout the world as founder of anthroposophy, Waldorf schools, artist and social reformer. In general his ideas ran counter to the conventional thinking of his day, turning contemporary views on their head and setting future initiatives on their feet. His biography is filled with inner dynamism and bears testimony to his unique creative power. With the greatest intensity he worked in an age of materialism to develop a new worldview, in which the relationship between human being and cosmos becomes the focus of awareness.

Major works

Cognitive questions dominated Rudolf Steiner’s life from his early youth onwards. His biography, The Course of My Life, thus reads for long stretches like a report on his advancing cognitive endeavours.

His biography took him to Vienna, Weimar, Berlin and Dornach, and as lecturer through many European countries. With great commitment he responded to the inner questions of other people and was in contact with many famous contemporaries, such as Else Lasker Schüler, Rainer Maria Rilke, Andrej Belyi, Ernst Haeckel and Hermann Grimm.

At the age of 33 he wrote his main philosophical work, The Philosophy of Freedom, which forms the basis for anthroposophical spiritual science. He deepened and expanded these ideas in approximately 30 further publications. In addition, he published many articles, essays and critiques on culture and contemporary history, and in 1903 founded the journal Lucifer-Gnosis and in 1921 the weekly Das Goetheanum.

It was important to him to have the content of anthroposophy communicated not just through the word, but also through art. He attempted to give form to his central concern, the idea of the free human being, in a nine-metre high sculpture; he determined how the cupolas of the first Goetheanum should be painted; he created sketches for motifs for the glass windows and he composed eurythmy forms for poems and musical works.

Complete Edition of Rudolf Steiners Works

His writings, lectures and letters, as also his artistic work, are available in the complete edition of his works [Rudolf Steiner Gesamtausgabe or GA], published by the Rudolf Steiner Nachlassverwaltung in Dornach, Switzerland.