Dialogue Ireland Logo Resources Services Information about Dialogue Ireland
A to Z index


Founded by Rudolph Steiner (1861-1925), he formed a most complex movement. He was earlier a member of Theosophy and rebelled against the anti Christian approach they adopted. His educational theories and support for those with special needs mark him out as a pioneer. His interpretation of Christianity bears little relation to Classical Christianity, as the ‘Christian Community’, is really Gnostic. Here in Ireland the Camphill Communities near Kilcullen, Thomastown, Wexford, Kerry and Monaghan do great work.

Anthony Storr in his book, Feet of Clay, concludes with following comments, Steiner was undoubtedly a man of high ideals and high intelligence who inspired other people and who certainly did far more good than harm. Yet his so-called ‘thinking’, his supposed power of supersensible perception, led to a vision of the world, the universe, and of cosmic history which is entirely unsupported by any evidence, which is at odds with practically everything which modern physics and astronomy have revealed, and which is more like science fiction than anything else. The claims he made for himself are astonishing. He had complete confidence that his own subjective powers of ‘spiritual perception’ revealed the truth about the universe in ways beyond the reach of orthodox science, and that the discoveries which he made in this way could be applied to every department of life, from medicine and agriculture to the education of both normal and handicapped children. This mild, gentle, good, kindly man had, at some level of his personality, an unshakeable conviction that he ‘knew’. It was this utter certainty, so characteristic of gurus, which brought him followers, and made it possible for his disciples to believe in his spiritual science and embrace his teaching as a philosophy of life. Steiner’s belief system is both idiosyncratic and incredible; but what he achieved in humanitarian terms is remarkable and enduring.

"Spotlight on Anthroposophy" published in the Cultic Studies Review by Sharon Lombard, who is a major contributor to the PLANS board, which is a very good summary of Steiner theory and practice, and includes comprehensive References.