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Evil: Selected Lectures (Selected Lectures by Rudolf Steiner S)

2 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-1855840461
ISBN-10: 1855840464
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About the Author

Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up. As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.

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Product Details

  • Series: Selected Lectures by Rudolf Steiner S
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Rudolf Steiner Press (December 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1855840464
  • ISBN-13: 978-1855840461
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,591,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This book was something of a disappointment. "Evil" is supposed to contain Rudolf Steiner's definitive answer to the age-old problem of evil. While some texts included in the collection do address the problem, many others do not. Instead, we are forced to wade through complex and somewhat absurd speculations about the history of mankind (post-Atlantis) and its future evolution. If you don't already know a lot about Anthroposophy, the spiritual movement founded by the author, much of the book will strike you as bewildering or incomprehensible. Steiner connected evil to a number of spirit-beings (Lucifer, Ahriman and the Asuras), and its resolution to the incarnation and passion of the Christ. Yet, there is too little on these points in "Evil". The book feels more like a badly edited "teaser trailer". Perhaps it *is* intended that way, but if so, I'd still say a different approach would have been better...

So what is Dr. Steiner's solution to the problem of evil, then? I get the impression that "evil" is identical to destruction and disorder, while "good" is defined as creative evolution. Nothing is evil in and of itself. Rather, evil is a necessary thing that is out of place. It could be on the wrong level of existence, too late or too early in the evolutionary process, or too excessive. Both Lucifer and Ahriman - the two closest equivalents to the Devil in Anthroposophy - are in some sense necessary for human evolution. To simplify somewhat, Lucifer is the "fiery" element in man, while Ahriman is the "earthy" element. Christ is supposed to balance their influence, and in this way move evolution forward. Steiner also believes that evil can be transmuted to good, a quasi-alchemical process he somewhat surprisingly identifies with Manicheanism.
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