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The Collected Works of Rudolf Steiner Series 217

Becoming the Archangel Michael's Companions

Rudolf Steiner's Challenge to the Younger Generation (CW 217)

Rudolf Steiner
Introduction by Christopher Bamford
Translated by René M. Querido
Preface by Carlo Pietzner
December 2006
More details
  • Publisher
  • Published
    1st December 2006
  • ISBN 9780880106092
  • Language English
  • Pages 240 pp.

13 lectures, Stuttgart, October 3–15, 1922 (CW 217)

“This cycle of lectures 'to the younger generation' speaks of a pathway to a Michaelic harvest for ears that have the goodwill to hear.” —Carlo Pietzner

Rudolf Steiner presented these lectures to about a hundred German young people who hoped to bring Waldorf education into the culture of their time and for the future. Steiner stressed upon his listeners the great importance of "self-education" as a prerequisite to all other education. His was an attempt to guide the youth toward understanding themselves within the world situation.

Steiner showed how the stream of generations had been interrupted by eighteenth-century intellectualism, emphasizing that they would have to reject the general acceptance of impersonal social routine, dead intellectual thinking, and personal and social egoism. Steiner discussed the need, instead, for a form of education permeated by art and feeling, which brings inner nourishment that can grow throughout one's life. It was his view that, without such an education, society will not reach a future built on moral love and mutual human confidence—a truly human culture.

A previous edition of these lectures was published as The Younger Generation: Educational and Spiritual Impulses for LIfe in the Twentieth Century (1967). Original German title: Geistige Wirkenskräfte im Zusammenleben von alter und junger Generation. Pädagogischer Jugendkurs (GA 217). 

This Collected Works edition includes a new introduction, notes, and an index.

Rudolf Steiner

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.