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Karl König Archive Series

Karl König's Path into Anthroposophy

Reflections from his Diaries

Peter Selg and Karl König
Introduction by Peter Selg
August 2008
More details
  • Publisher
    Floris Books
  • Published
    21st August 2008
  • ISBN 9780863156298
  • Language English
  • Pages 112 pp.

“I told him about my affinity for people with special needs and my question as to whether working with them could be my vocation. He invited me to work in the Camphill movement and recommended that I study Kaspar Hauser’s life and Rudolf Steiner’s writings about the Fifth Gospel.” —Erhard Fucke

This book follows Karl König's spiritual journey from his early years to the end of his life. Through the words of his diaries, in which his battles with health and his impatient temperament are recorded with merciless honesty, we can follow his inner path that led to profound insights into the nature of children with special needs. His personal struggles and innate spirituality laid the foundation for his work in the Camphill Schools and Villages.

Includes facsimile reproductions of some of König's original diary pages.

About the Karl König Archive: Karl König, the founder of Camphill, was a prolific lecturer and writer on a wide range of subjects from anthroposophy and Christology through social questions and curative education to science and history.

The Karl König Archive are working on a program of publishing these works over the coming years.

“The book is a little gem, of potential interest to anyone with an anthroposophical background but especially to those working within a Camphill setting...there are so many quotable entries that it is hard to decide which to bring forward for illustration...This little volume is rich in substance and will give readers lasting nourishment. It will also leave them eagerly looking forward to the further publications from Konig's diaries and papers which are currently being prepared.”

—Crispian Villeneuve, Camphill Correspondence

C O N T E N T S:

Introduction by Peter Selg

1. The Struggle for Existence
2. The Inner Path
3. Spiritual Work
4. The Spirituality of Camphill
5. Knowing and Supporting the Children

Translation of Diary Facsimiles


Peter Selg

Born 1963, Stuttgart.

1986–1993 Study of human medicine at the University of Witten/Herdecke, in Berlin and Zurich. Doctoral thesis: "Attempt to systematize Rudolf Steiner's human physiological ideas. An analysis of the entire lecture and written work (Witten/Herdecke 1995).

1993–2000 Further training as a specialist in child and adolescent psychiatry and psychotherapy. Senior physician in the psychiatric department for adolescents and young adults at the Herdecke Community Hospital.

2000–2002 Research associate at the Institute for Applied Epistemology and Medical Methodology (Freiburg).

2002–2006 Head physician at the Ita Wegman Clinic Arlesheim (adolescent psychiatry and psychotherapy); since 2006 establishment and management of the Ita Wegman Institute for Basic Anthroposophical Research

Since 2007 professorship for medical anthropology and ethics at the Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences (Alfter near Bonn); teaching in the Studium fundamentale and in the accompanying studies in anthroposophic medicine at the University/Witten-Herdecke

Since 2020, Co-leader of the General Anthroposophical Section of the School of Spiritual Science at the Goetheanum, Dornach, Switzerland

Karl König

Karl König (1902–1966) was born in Vienna, in Austria-Hungary, the only son of a Jewish shoemaker. He studied medicine at the University of Vienna and graduated in 1927, with a special interest in embryology. After graduating, he was invited by Ita Wegman to work in her Klinisch-Therapeutisches Institut, a clinic in Arlesheim, Switzerland for people with special needs. He married Mathilde Maasberg in 1929. Dr. König was appointed paediatrician at the Rudolf Steiner-inspired Schloß Pilgrimshain institute in Strzegom, where he worked until 1936, when he returned to Vienna and established a successful medical practice. Owing to Hitler's invasion of Austria, he was forced to flee Vienna to Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1938. Dr. König was interned briefly at the beginning of World War II, but on his release in 1940 he set up the first Camphill Community for Children in Need of Special Care at Camphill on the outskirts of Aberdeen. From the mid-1950s, König began more communities, including one in North Yorkshire, the first to care for those beyond school age with special needs. In 1964, König moved to Brachenreuthe near Überlingen on Lake Constance, Germany, where he set up another community, where he died in 1966.