Some more thoughts on how to define 'Anthroposophist'

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Another way of approaching the question would be to ask, "Who would Anthroposophists recognizes their own?" Those who qualify would be those who in general accept the greater portion of Rudolf Steiner's teachings, or at least are among those who don't actively reject significant portions of it. This disqualifies those who pick and choose and make their own philosophy of racial superiority out of bits and pieces of Rudolf Steiner's work, for in doing this they reject Steiner's central principles. This also disqualifies those who go through a shorter or longer phase of their life in which they are enthusiastic supporters of Anthroposophy only to reject it later, either from neglect or by actively turning against it. These can be said to have had an anthroposophical phase in their life, but the description 'Anthroposophist' cannot be applied to describe their life as a whole. This excludes Max Seiling and Gregor Schwartz-Bostunitsch, among others from the ranks of "Anthroposophists".
We have a clear and solid definition of an Anthroposophist if we limit ourselves to those students of Steiner who have exhibited an enthusiastic support for the whole (and not just a part of) Anthroposophy and Rudolf Steiner's teaching from the moment they accept them up to the end of their life.
By this definition the list of historically tainted personalities becomes much shorter. Rudolf Hess is not an Anthroposophist. Ernst Uhli still qualifies, and I have to examine the facts upon which he is supposed to be a racist and Nazi more closely. I should also note that if we focus only on the small circle of personalities who are guilty of the historical sin of supporting aspects of National Socialism during their lifetimes and neglect to look at the anthroposophical movement as a whole during that time period we will build a distorted picture. Looking at just a few examples could misleadingly create the impression that there was widespread and enthusiastic support for Nazism among Anthroposophists. In reality the vast majority of Anthroposophists deplored the developments in Germany under Hitler's regime. This was the regime, after all, which banned the Anthroposophical movement and seized all its assets in 1935.

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This page contains a single entry by Daniel Hindes published on March 25, 2004 8:59 PM.

Some thoughts on how to define 'Anthroposophist' was the previous entry in this blog.

Polemic and history clarified is the next entry in this blog.

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