Rudolf Steiner as a resource

An important question is how to combine honest scholarship with a desire to deepen one’s knowledge of Rudolf Steiner. One can adopt a statement by Steiner as a hypothesis, and try to gather evidence to confirm or contradict it. However, there’s always a danger with that kind of reasoning that one overlooks the contrary evidence. One can try to take Steiner’s statements as self-sufficient truths; there are dangers here too.

One method that I have developed increasingly in my courses on church history is to try to immerse myself in the material and discover its inner dynamic. For example in the case of Arius and Athanasius, I can feel the deep importance of what each is trying to uphold. I can describe the seeming contradiction between them. Arius has a vision of the cosmic logos, the creator-god at work in the world, part of the created order. Athanasius understands that the experience of Jesus Christ opens a window on the being of God himself.

With that dynamic in mind, and with the question whether there is some way that both could be right – ie that both are describing a different aspect of the logos, I can search in Steiner’s descriptions of the spiritual world to find concrete data that fills the space within the paradox. This doesn’t ‘solve’ the problem, but it gives me more to work with.

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2 Responses to “Rudolf Steiner as a resource”

  1. 2beaware Says:

    I don’t know these two gentlemen of whom you speak; but your method of approach to their argument is right out of what Steiner himself recommends and practiced himself. Indeed he even spoke to the need to be able to refute one’s own point of view. Thus do we seek perhaps to go around the circle and get all 12 points of view for any subject. Then perhaps it’s not really a matter of refutation but augmentation?

  2. Sue Vos Says:

    I’m not a scholar such as you describe, but I love how you have expressed this apparent paradox, in the example of Arius and Athanasius.

    Rudolf Steiner has placed much in the world which has helped me personally to deepen, explore and confirm, not only the mystery of my own experience of myself, my life but also of aspects of the “Truths of the Invisible”. I’ve also realised how easy it is to get stuck in what Steiner has said, without even questioning it. Even when we read Steiner, it may be a still be a case of “Seeing, they may see and not perceive; hearing, they may hear and not understand” (Mark 4:12) ……..

    It is good if we can read and receive what others have written, or the “truths” they have come to inwardly, without judgement, and place it alongside our own sense of what feels right, seeing how it fits into the big picture. True openness is vital in our quest for the truth.