Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy

(Jo D) #1

Hey all :slight_smile:
I’d like to ask your thoughts and opinions on anthroposophy and Rudolf Steiner.
I don’t agree with Steiner, but I’d be interested to hear your thoughts and views. I won’t claim to fully understand or know everything about him but have had an upbringing surrounded by anthroposophy so I have a fair understanding and feel of what it is about.
What do you make of his teachings and beliefs? Do you think they are Biblical?
What do you think of the Christian Community Church which he inspired?
Any other thoughts or opinions?
Thank you and I look forward to hearing your views :smiley:

(Kathleen) #2

Hi, @MoveMountains! I must admit that I have never heard of this movement. :upside_down_face: Do you have any links to articles that would give us a better understanding of who Steiner is and what anthroposophy entails? :slight_smile:

(Jo D) #3

Hmm yes, I think anthroposophy is more heard of in the German-speaking world, and of course by those who follow it in pockets of society around the world. Steiner’s works were some 350 volumes or something and he wrote about so many things it’s tricky to confine his approaches to a link, but here are a few to some of the main websites where you can read a lot about him and his ideas… I hope they are helpful.

His ideas are pretty controversial and he’s been labelled many things, the internet is full of articles and posts of people sharing their thoughts on his teachings. I thought however that it would be interesting to hear what you all think too…

It seems clear that he’s not sticking to a known worldview in a, well for want of a better word “traditional” sense, and is giving a new worldview, but at the same time, there are certain aspects of Christianity and other worldviews that he has woven in. To be honest, the whole thing seems very odd to me, but having grown up around it and now understanding more and separating myself from his ideas it is also interesting to hear other views that are from all over the world and not just in articles or by journalists. I hope that makes some sort of sense…

Thanks for taking the time to ask and look into it :slight_smile:

(Kathleen) #4

This is fascinating! Thank you so much for sending the link. I have just started a second degree in counselling psychology, and I am curious if this movement will come up in any of our theory classes. Until then, I wonder if any of the folks in @Interested_in_Arts or @Interested_in_Philosophy or @Interested_in_Science groups have come across him in any study or the movement personally? Do weigh in if you have! :slight_smile:

(Anthony Costello ) #5

So, I don’t know much about Steiner, but just from looking at the website, it appears to me like a movement similar to Scientology, or Christian Science (founded by Mary Baker Eddy). It appears to be fundamentally atheistic. I would have a lot of epistemic questions for a group like this: e.g. like “How do you know this or that is true?” I tend to see in movements like this a lot of assertions about the world, with very little evidence or arguments offered for why such claims are true.

As to your question, I would just say that if the movement doesn’t teach at least the following, then I don’t see how they can be Biblical: “God, who exists, and who is Triune as Father, Son and Spirit, plans and actualizes the redemption of sinful human beings through the atoning sacrifice of His incarnate Son, Jesus Christ, the God-man, and through Him alone.”

I think if they were to reject any part of that, then they cannot be considered Christian. I would put them in the category of “non-belief.” Now, if they affirm the above, I think that we might consider them Christian, but then the question of Orthodoxy would still have to be answered, as in, if they accept that Jesus Christ is the only means through which man can come into a saving relationship with the Triune God, who is God, then subsequent questions might follow.


(Jo D) #6

Hi Anthony,
Thanks for your response :slight_smile:
I would agree with your questions regards their truth claims, that is something that interests me a lot, as I can’t quite see where they get the basis for many of the teachings, except through Steiner’s claims.

The questions and essence in the second and third parts of your comment are what confuses me the most. Having visited and been to several of their church services (The Christian Community Church with a lot of Steiner’s influence) in a bid to better understand their theology, I have only come up with more questions.
They do go so far as to say that they believe in an existing God, the Trinity as Father, Son and Spirit. However as far as I understand they’ve put their own twist to it, in precisely what way I’m still trying to fathom.
One of my main questions was/is the area surrounding what they believe in as regards redemption through Jesus the Son alone. One priest referred to sin as a sickness that could be overcome, but he didn’t directly link that to Jesus as being the only way, which confused and concerned me. I’m not sure what significance Jesus has for them, because of the whole idea that everyone has they’re own spiritual way of approaching God and they don’t seem to pinpoint the idea of being “born again” and I am unclear as to what they believe is the ultimate point and method of salvation. They do mention Christ a lot, but in a different way from Jesus, almost as if they were two different persons.
Again I’m just trying to understand and this may not be totally correct, but it’s what I’ve picked up from those in the community. I hope to be clearer on it and to ask more questions in the future, but it is an odd outlook that they have and as a teen, it’s daunting to ask these big questions of such a group. I hope that makes sense… Some of them go to the same choir as me, so I shall try and ask them at some point, they’re generally very well-meaning nice people, I just don’t get their ideology. I’ll post here again if I have any responses from them…


(Anthony Costello ) #7


This movement sounds a lot like Mary Baker Eddy’s “Christian Science” movement, also established in the 19th century. The 19th century in the West was an era of emerging cultic activity, or what some historians call “restoration movements.” They tended to try and combine modernistic assumptions about the metaphysical world with classical Christianity, similar to what we tend to do today in the area of morality and ethics.

However, some of these movements, like Joseph Smith’s Mormon religion, were also centered around so-called prophets, men or women who considered themselves divinely chosen to “restore” Christianity to its real or original sense. These movements often developed alternative histories of the church, suggesting that “real” Christianity had been obscured by later corruptions both in the church and to the text of Scripture itself. In that sense a lot of these 19th century movements resemble both early Gnosticism, and also Islam. While a lot of these movements have been exposed for their deceptive strategies (especially Joseph Smith’s activities), the belief systems that emerged still linger.

I don’t know much about these, but one of our professors here at Talbot who specializes in Cult and Occult, Kevin Lewis, is very aware of all these groups. Here is a series of lectures on various groups that he did a few years ago:

I wonder if approaching these folks with the words of Scripture might help. Perhaps just asking them questions that they haven’t fully engaged with yet might get them to come back to a more bible-centered Christianity. Showing who Jesus is from the Scriptures might be something they don’t deal with often; it would be interesting to know what their view of the Bible is? And I think this kind of scriptural engagement could be done while also affirming some of the things that maybe are good about their particular community or even some of their messages.

God bless your heart and your mind as you further address these people and these particular issues.

in Christ,