McDermott Robert - The new essential Steiner

Author : McDermott Robert
Title : The new essential Steiner
Year : 2009

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Preface. Initial encounters with Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy often lead discoverers to exclaim, “Why haven’t I encountered this until now?” As I recounted in the preface to the first edition of The Essential Steiner, “It was not until 1975, after I had taught comparative philosophy and religion for eleven years, had read widely and traveled around the world twice, that I came across the name Rudolf Steiner for the first time.” The first sentence of the introduction to that same volume asked a question that was very difficult to answer: “If, as his followers insist, Rudolf Steiner is a genius in twelve fields, why do we so seldom come across his name in colleges, in scholarly writings, and in the popular press?” Relative to his genius, generosity, and ability to explain and solve some of the deepest problems of our culture, it has been difficult to understand why Steiner’s influence has not been more evident during the more than eighty years since his death. Although Steiner’s contributions are now far more widely acknowledged than when The Essential Steiner was published twenty-five years ago, the reasons for his limited influence invite continuing review. Some who encounter Steiner’s work for the first time question whether someone who displays virtual omniscience, offering so much new and at times seemingly implausible information on topics both central and obscure, should be engaged at all. In his essay on Steiner (in the introductory section of this volume), the distinguished literary and cultural critic Owen Barfield asks, “Why should anyone accept that one man was capable of all those revelations?” This volume attempts to answer that question by presenting and explaining the content of his esoteric research, with its profoundly positive applications, and by stating the case for the esoteric method that Steiner practiced and recommended to others. ...

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