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Art as Spiritual Activity - Rudolf Steiner Anthroposophy bookArt As Spiritual Activity
Rudolf Steiner's Contribution to the Visual Arts
Selected lectures by Rudolf Steiner
Edited and Introduced by Michael Howard

Art as Spiritual Activity introduces a fresh and original way for thinking about, creating, and viewing art.

The most fundamental issue for the arts today . . . is the spiritual foundation of the arts . . . .  Steiner demonstrates that our individual creative activity is not solely a personal affair. Our creations do not originate out of nowhere, nor solely out of ourselves, but from an objective world of spirit with which we are intimately related in the depths of our being. He shows that our creations have significance beyond ourselves and beyond the recognition they receive: works of art are vehicles of spiritual qualities. In bringing these spiritual qualities into the sphere of human life, the artist becomes responsible for the spiritual effects the work of art has on the artist, other people, and ultimately on human evolution.                        — Michael Howard, from the book

Rudolf Steiner saw his task as the renewal of the lost unity of science, the arts, and religion; thus, he created a new, spiritual scientific-and-religious art in anthroposophy. The implications of his work in this direction — recognized by such diverse artists as Wassily Kandinsky and Joseph Beuys — are only now coming fully to light.

In his introduction of more than 100 pages, Michael Howard takes the reader through these thought-provoking chapters: Is Art Dead? To Muse or Amuse; Artistic Activity as Spiritual Activity; The Representative of Humanity; Beauty, Creativity, and Metamorphosis; New Directions in Art.

Trans: C. E. Creeger (Selected lectures, incl. numerous photographs); 325pp
Anthroposophic Press
ISBN: 0 88010 396 5; paperback

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Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) called his spiritual philosophy 'anthroposophy', which he defined as 'the consciousness of one's humanity', and the disciplined methods of studying this he termed ‘spiritual science’.  As a highly developed clairvoyant and spiritual initiate, he spoke from his direct cognition of the spiritual world. However, he did not see his work as religious or sectarian, but rather sought to found a universal 'science of the spirit'.

His many published works (written books and lectures) - which include his research into the spiritual nature of the human being, the evolution of the world and humanity, and methods of personal development - invite readers to develop their own spiritual faculties.  He also provided indications for the renewal of many human activities, including education - both general and special - agriculture, medicine, economics, architecture, science, philosophy, religion and the arts. He wrote some 30 books and delivered over 6000 lectures across Europe, and in 1924 founded the General Anthroposophical Society which today has branches throughout the world.
 


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