Rudolf Steiner was a leading philosopher, scientist, social reformer, and author of the early 20th century. He worked to address the need for social renewal in post-World War I Europe, and his ideas continue to have worldwide influence on the arts, sciences, medicine, agriculture, and philosophy.
Yet it is in the area of education that Steiner has had perhaps the greatest impact. In 1919, he founded a school for children of workers from the Waldorf-Astoria Cigarette Factory in Stuttgart, Germany. His humanistic approach took hold, and today Waldorf education is thriving at more than one thousand schools in sixty countries.
Rudolf Steiner was born in Austria in 1861. He studied mathematics, physics, and philosophy at the Vienna Polytechnic and earned a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Rostock. He became the natural science editor for an edition of Goethe's work before becoming an editor at Goethe's archives.
In 1897, Steiner moved to Berlin where he became the head of the German Section of the Theosophical Society and then the founder of the Anthropsophical Society. In this role, Steiner lectured extensively throughout Europe on his spiritual science and its implications for education, social activism, architecture, the arts, medicine, and more. He authored more than 60 books and published 6,000 lectures, including The Philosophy of Freedom.
I have rejoiced at the achievements his great personality and his profound humanity have brought about in the world.
- ALBERT SCHWEITZER, NOBEL PEACE LAUREATE