Rudolf Sreiner Dornach

Rudolf Steiner 1861-1925

Rudolf Steiner was born on the 27th of February 1861 in Kraljevec (Kingdom of Hungary). He studied at the College of Technology in Vienna and obtained his doctorate at the University of Rostock with a dissertation on Theory of Knowledge which concluded with the sentence: «The most important problem of human thinking is this: to conceive the human being as a free personality founded on himself». Thereafter he worked as an editor of Goethe's writings on natural science in Weimar, and as private teacher, editor and lecturer in Berlin.

He had an intensive exchange with the personalities involved in the cultural life and arts of his time. However, unlike them, he experienced another side of reality, the spiritual realm, which was accesible for him through the exploration of consciousness, in the same way, as the visible world is accesible for the natural scientist through the instruments of external research. This enlarged perspective enabled him to give significant impulses in multiple areas such as art, pedagogy, curative education, medicine, agriculture, architecture, economy and social sciences, aiming towards a spiritual renewal of civilization.

He gave to his movement the name «Anthroposophy» (Wisdom of Man). After separating from the german section of the Theosophical Society, where he acted as general secretary, he founded the Anthroposophical Society. Since the construction of the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland, the Anthroposophical Society has its own seat. Rudolf Steiner died on 30th March 1925 in Dornach. 

His work comprises, besides his numerous writings, transcripts of approximately 6000 lectures, which are mostly edited in the Complete Works.

Rudolf Steiner's biography


Rudolf Steiner was born on the 27th of February 1861 in Kraljevec (Kingdom of Hungary), today Croatia. (In the image above he is standing next to his younger sister). He spent his childhood in Pottschach, where his father worked as a telegraphist for the austrian railway. His family, composed of his parents and a younger sister and a brother, lived in the building of the railway station, close to the tracks.
The life in this environment let him experience the polarity between nature and technology.


At the age of 18, he began to study at the College of Technology in Vienna. Initially he studied disciplines like biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics. However, his deepest inquiries were related to the essence of human being, and thus, he intensified his dedication to philosophy. The phenomenon of the «Consciousness of the Self» became one of his main concerns.


As he was 29 years old he began to work at the Goethe-Schiller Archive in Weimar. Beside editing Goethe's writings on natural sciences, he edited the Complete Works of Schopenhauer and Jean Paul (at Cotta). In this period he wrote four books, among them «The Philosophy of Freedom», and he also started giving lectures. He could meet personalities like Ernst Haeckel, Hermann Grimm and Friedrich Nietzsche.


During his time in Berlin, he was the editor of the Magazin für Literatur, and also became teacher at the Worker's Educational School. He was chairman of the circle «Die Kommenden», where he could meet weekly the contemporanean art and cultural scene.
His lectures given in theosophical groups built the basis for the anthroposophical society, which he founded 1913.


After moving to Dornach and with the construction of the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland, the Antroposophical movement began to be visible in the world. In many areas of life and knowledge, Steiner gave completely new impulses: in pedagogy, medicine, agriculture, art, architecture, religion and politics. These groundbreaking impulses continue developing up to thepresent.