Translated by Robert F. Lathe and Nancy Parsons Whittake
These impassioned, radical lectures were given by Rudolf Steiner one month before the opening of the first Waldorf School – following two years of intense preoccupation with the social situation in Germany as World War I ended and society sought to rebuild itself. Steiner recognized that any solution to the life-gripping problems of the day must address not only economic and legal questions, but also that of a free spiritual life. For Steiner, only a proper nurturing of the virtues of imitation, reverence and love at the appropriate period in a child’s development can create mature adults who are inwardly prepared to fulfill the demands of a truly healthy social life. Only this nurturing can develop out of children adults who are capable of assuming the responsibilities of cultural”freedom,” social “equality,” and economic “brotherhood.”
Also included are three lectures on the social basis of education as well as a lecture to the workers of the Waldorf Astoria Cigarette Factory (following which they asked him to form a school) and a lecture to public school teachers.