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Karl König Archive Series

The Seasons and their Festivals

Human, Earthly and Cosmic Rhythms

August 2022
More details
  • Publisher
    Floris Books
  • Published
    30th August 2022
  • ISBN 9781782507901
  • Language English
  • Pages 192 pp.
  • Size 5.43" x 8.5"

Through his work as a physician, Karl König explored the relationship between the rhythm of the seasons, the Christian festivals, thinking in particular about their effect on human individuals and communities.

This fascinating collection of König's essays, lectures, and notes looks into the cycle of the year and the various aspects of the Christian festivals, from Easter to the Twelve Holy Days of Christmas. He discusses the idea that people can derive inner strength from festival celebrations through an active social life and participation in community, and that a strong, healthy community life relies on celebrating the festivals throughout the year.

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.