BORN IN AUSTRIA in 1861, Rudolf Steiner received recognition as a scholar when he was invited to edit the Kürschner edition of the natural scientific writings of Goethe. In 1891, Steiner received his Ph.D. at the University of Rostock. He then began his work as a lecturer. From the turn of the century to his death in 1925, he delivered well over 6000 lectures. His written works eventually included some fifty titles.
The philosophical outlook of Rudolf Steiner embraces such fundamental questions as the being of man, the nature and purpose of freedom, the meaning of evolution, the relation of man to nature, the life after death and before birth. Through a study of his writings, one can come to a dear, reasonable, comprehensive understanding of the human being and his place in the universe.
Among the activities springing from the work of Rudolf Steiner are the Bio-Dynamic Farming and Gardening Association which aims at improved nutrition resulting from methods of agriculture outlined by Rudolf Steiner; the art of Eurythmy, created and described by him as visible speech and visible song; the work of the Clinical and Therapeutical Institute of Arlesheim, Switzerland, with related institutions in other countries; the homes for the treatment of mentally retarded children; and new directions of work in such fields as Mathematics, Physics, Painting, Sculpture, Music Therapy, Drama, Speech Formation, Astronomy, Economics and Psychology.
The success of Rudolf Steiner Education (sometimes referred to as Waldorf Education) has proven the correctness of Steiner's concept of the way to prepare the child for his eventual adult role in and his contribution to modern society. Today there are some seventy Rudolf Steiner Schools in existence in seventeen countries including the United States, Canada, Mexico, and South America, with a total of 30,000 children enrolled.