As human beings, we have a great longing for community, to feel part of something. Despite this apparent need, the opposite tendency is evident everywhere: a growing individualism leading to the breakdown of relationships, conflict and war.
How can we connect meaningfully with our fellow human beings and build successful communities, whilst also cultivating a healthy individuality?
Karl König considered that finding answers to these questions was one of the central tasks of anthroposophy, as well as its greatest potential downfall. Seventy years ago, he founded the Camphill Movement as a search for social renewal and healing from new sources.
As part of a growing dialogue between people within and outside of Camphill, a conference called Community Building in the Light of Michael took place at the Goetheanum in 2009. The contributions in this book originate from there; contributors include: • Cornelius Pietzner • Virginia Sease • Penelope Roberts-Baring • Sergei Prokofieff • Peter Selg • Bodo von Plato.
About the Author
Karl König (1902–1966) was born in Vienna, in Austria-Hungary, the only son of a Jewish shoemaker. He studied medicine at the University of Vienna and graduated in 1927, with a special interest in embryology. After graduating, he was invited by Ita Wegman to work in her Klinisch-Therapeutisches Institute, a clinic in Arlesheim, Switzerland for people with special needs. He married Mathilde Maasberg in 1929. Dr. König was appointed pediatrician at the Rudolf Steiner-inspired Schloß Pilgrimshain institute in Strzegom, where he worked until 1936, when he returned to Vienna and established a successful medical practice. Owing to Hitler’s invasion of Austria, he was forced to flee Vienna to Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1938. Dr. König was interned briefly at the beginning of World War II, but on his release in 1940 he set up the first Camphill Community for Children in Need of Special Care at Camphill on the outskirts of Aberdeen. From the mid-1950s, König began more communities, including one in North Yorkshire, the first to care for those beyond school age with special needs. In 1964, König moved to Brachenreuthe near Überlingen on Lake Constance, Germany, where he set up another community, where he died in 1966.
Richard Steel was born in 1952 in Oxford. He trained at the Camphill seminar in Föhrenbühl am Bodensee, where he lived with his family in a household with children and young people. He is an administrator for the estate of Karl König and works for the Karl König Archive in Berlin.