Customer Service 703-661-1594
Karl König Archive Series

Seeds for Social Renewal

The Camphill Village Conferences

November 2009
More details
  • Publisher
    Floris Books
  • Published
    20th November 2009
  • ISBN 9780863157042
  • Language English
  • Pages 224 pp.

In these lectures, König explores the human being and social life, the individual and community, from an imaginative and often radical perspective. These explorations range majestically from masks and archetypal images, the threefold constitution in man and woman, the karma of vocation, and the fundamental social law, to the place of work, religion and culture within the threefold social organism, and karma and reincarnation.

The lectures arose from Dr. König’s experiences in establishing and building Camphill Communities with extraordinary people with special needs. They are important both for the work in Camphill, as well as more broadly in the field of social therapy and beyond.

This is a revised and expanded edition of the “Village Conference Lectures” of Karl König, previously published as In Need of Special Understanding.

“König’s insights in human development ought to be essential reading for all those working in education, healthcare and care, whether special needs or other, such as raising a family. He deserves to be read much more widely outside the Camphill movement.... I applaud the efforts of the people behind the Karl König archive to make his work available in print. It is a tremendous task, not only because of the volume of material but also because of its importance. Serious, yet very accessible; a work not just for Camphill.”

New View, summer 2010

C O N T E N T S:

Foreword by Christopher Bamford
Preface by Nick Poole
Editor’s Note

The Image of the Human Being in Village Life
Masks of Humanity and Leading Images
Light and Shadow
Constitutional Types and Human Threefoldness
The Threefold Constitution of the Human Being
Mask, Jewelry, Clothing—Three Aspects of the Ego
Becoming World – Becoming Human – Being Human
How Could Villagers Share in Running the Village?
The Threefold Human Being and Male and Female

Learning and Working—The Karma of Vocation
Learning and Working
Forces of Karma
The Threefold Social Organism

The Ego
The Threefold Social Order
Lucifer and Ahriman
The Will Seeking the Human Form
Three Tasks of the Village and the Three Great Errors
Karl König’s Discussion of Albumin
Karl König’s Blackboard Drawing
Facsimile of Karl König’s Notes


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.