“Anthroposophy is a path of knowledge, to guide the Spiritual in the human being to the Spiritual in the universe. It arises in the human being as a need of the heart, of the life of feeling; and it can be be justified only inasmuch as it can satisfy this inner need.”

-Rudolf Steiner-

Rudolf Steiner

Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) was a philosopher, scientist, artist, social reformer, writer, architect and scholar.

During his lifetime Steiner travelled and lectured widely through Europe and Britain. Recognising the need for social change, he stood at the vanguard of society, with the ideas and new perspectives that he brought to many professions and fields. Today they continue to provide inspiration and fresh impulses for cultural life around the world.

His early work was informed by the writings of Johann Wolfgang Goethe, of which he was a translator and commentator. He began the Anthroposophical Society in Germany in 1912 out of his work with the Theosophical Society.

In the early 1920s Steiner began to work with members of the Society to form practical institutions and activities of Anthroposophy including the first Waldorf School. During this time Steiner also founded the School of Spiritual Science. The School had a number of ‘sections’, which still exist today, including those dedicated to education, medicine, performing arts (including eurythmy) and agriculture as well as many more.

For further reading on the life and work of Rudolf Steiner a good starting point is Rudolf Steiner: A Biography by Christoph Lindenberg (Author), Jon Mcalice (Translator), 2012 and Rudolf Steiner: An Introduction to His Life and Work by Gary Lachman, 2007.

Anthroposophy recognises that each individual human is a physical, soul and spiritual being, and that we each find meaning and purpose through relationships to each other, to the world around us, and to the wider universe.  At the beginning of the 20th century, Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) initiated a new science which he called Anthroposophy (from the Greek: anthropos = human being; sophia = wisdom). Rudolf Steiner’s life achievement is that through Anthroposophy as a scientific method of acquiring knowledge, the reality of a spiritual world and its connection to the evolution of the human being can be known. Encompassing all aspects of life in its material, psychological and spiritual manifestations, it is the basis for a way of knowing that relates Art, Science and Religion. Rudolf Steiner wrote many books in which he formulated the basis of Anthropopsophy, These include The Philosophy of Freedom, Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Occult Science – An Outline. He also lectured extensively during his lifetime and many of his lectures are in print.
Anthroposophy offers a comprehensive interpretation of human and world evolution, and the methods through which each human being can independently receive insights into fundamental human questions like ‘why am I here?’ ‘what is my task?’ ‘what does the world have to do with me and I with the world?’. Anthroposophy also helps each individual to strengthen and enrich relationships within their respective communities.

The General Anthroposophical Society was founded by Rudolf Steiner at Christmas in 1923. At present there are about 52,000 members worldwide. The Society is the home of the School of Spiritual Science which is organised into different sections related to specific fields of work, e.g. medicine, natural science, social science, humanities, etc.
The Anthroposophical Society in Ireland was founded at Whitsun in 1989, and there are about 200 members at present. There are regular meetings of the Society as a whole. Around the country, smaller groups also meet, in which members study and work together on specific themes and projects.