The Aims of Anthroposophy and the Purpose of the Goetheanum (CW 84)

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The Aims of Anthroposophy and the Purpose of the Goetheanum

11 lectures in various cities, April 9, 1923 – May 26, 1924 (CW 84)

In his final lectures to the general public, Rudolf Steiner speaks with great clarity and purpose about the inner and outer need for the anthroposophical impulse in modern times. Following the fire that destroyed the first Goetheanum building in Dornach, Switzerland, Steiner had focused his efforts on rebuilding and reorganizing the Anthroposophical Society. But he also continued to travel and speak to the public—in Prague, Vienna, and Basel—to explain the purpose of the Goetheanum and to elucidate the broader aims of his spiritual work.

These lectures, including a semi-public series in Dornach, are collected here in English for the first time, along with an introduction, notes and index.

C O N T E N T S: 

Editor’s Preface
Introduction by Matthew Barton

1. The Purpose of the Goetheanum and the Aims of Anthroposophy
2. Enhancing Human Powers of Perception to Develop Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition
3. Human Soul Life and the Development of Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition
4. Experience and Perception of the Activities of Thinking and Speech
5. The Physical World and Moral–Spiritual Impulses: Four Stages of Inner Experience
6. Perceiving the Etheric World
7. Soul’s Eternity in the Light of Anthroposophy
8. Human Development and Education in the Light of Anthroposophy
9. Supersensible Perception, Anthroposophy as a Contemporary Need
10. Anthroposophy and the Ethical and Religious Life
11. How Do We Gain Knowledge of the Supersensible World?

Notes and References
Rudolf Steiner’s Collected Works
Significant Events in the Life of Rudolf Steiner

This volume is a translation from German of Was wollte das Goetheanum und was soll die Anthroposophie? (GA 84).

About the Author

Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up (see right). As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.

Matthew Barton is a translator, editor, teacher, and poet, and taught kindergarten for many years at the Bristol Waldorf School. His first collection of poems was Learning To Row (1999). He has won numerous prizes for his work, including an Arts Council Writer’s Award and a Hawthornden Fellowship.

Additional information

Weight 19 oz
Dimensions 6 × 0.75 × 9 in


Matthew Barton




November 2020






CW 84


Rudolf Steiner Press


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