Adherents have an outlook on life based on acceptance of the existence of a spiritual world they insist is around us, but for which the only evidence is the clairvoyant visions of Rudolf Steiner.
Guardian angels are to be communed with; “painful events…can be placed in to the lap of one’s angel” says the Handbook for Waldorf Class Teachers “…with a prayer towards the wisdom (and possibly repentance) of the following morning.”
Angels? Prayers? Repentance? Not the normal stuff of teaching guides.
A list in Wikipedia has Anthroposophy under Mysticism and Occult; Theosophy, which was the basis for Anthroposophy, is also there.
The NHS have decided that anthroposophy is a religion and their list of religions was drawn up for this reason;
“Consistent recording of a person’s religious or other belief system affiliation is required to support the planning, delivery and quality monitoring of holistic and pastoral care.”
Anthroposophy appears in the section called “other” between animist and black magic.
The Christian Community is the visible connection between Steiner followers and religious observance. In his post “Rudolf Steiner’s Christian Community” Gregoire Perra explains how this church seeks to distance itself from Rudolf Steiner in its public façade; the websites, including the one in Stroud, say that the church “…was guided into being through the immeasurable and selfless help of Dr. Rudolf Steiner.” What they should say is that The Christian Community is entirely based on anthroposophy, Steiner’s belief system. Steiner himself presided over the first service at the Goetheanum in Switzerland.
As proof of the Community’s connection to Steiner schools and other manifestations of anthroposophy, Mr Perra recounts his involvement over many years with the sect, to the extent of taking part in funeral vigils over 3 days and 3 nights with the dead body where the Gospel of John , chapter 15 to chapter 18 is read in a continuous loop (as is required in this belief system to stop the elemental spirits making off with the spiritualised bodily substance). He assisted as an official at ceremonies such as Christenings, funeral masses and marriages, and made sacrifices in his personal life in order to carry out these duties. When he wrote critically about Steiner education he was told his services were no longer required by the Christian Community.
Rejection by a religious group as a punishment for criticising Steiner schools? How very uncharitable…
He explains that the Christian Community exists to provide a venue for Steiner followers to carry out the rites associated with birth, death and marriage, and to save the need for attending other kinds of churches.
The Christian Community in Stroud is situated conveniently close to the anthroposophical medical centre and to Camphill Communities.
Mr Perra says that just as it is wrong for Steiner schools to say they are not anthroposophical, so it is wrong for the Christian Community to deny the extent of their involvement.
Camphill do not bother to deny their connection to anthroposophy, mainly because people do not ask the question very often. So too with biodynamics – the idea that a method of cultivation could be part of a belief system does not enter people’s heads.
A belief in supernatural entities and all the other features and rituals found in religion is what constitutes anthroposophy; a religion, certainly, and a nasty one at that. Its place in the list compiled by the NHS seems appropriate in every way.