Rudolf Steiner Studies


Dr. Anderson’s Doctoral Thesis

My thesis is now available as a printed book: get it from Amazon or the Book Depository, etc.



His thesis, Dramatic Anthroposophy is published by Otago University and is the first academic assessment, world-wide, of Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual-esoteric worldview. This thesis is also the first doctorate to critique a Steiner literary work, namely one of his ‘mystery dramas’, The Portal of Initiation, which is itself a dramatization of an esoteric fairy tale by Johann W. von Goethe, Das Märchen. Academic involvement with Rudolf Steiner’s worldview is rare; in recent years however, there have been some academic papers on the practical application of Steiner’s teachings, such as in education or in social theories. The identification and contextualizing of the primary elements of Steiner’s ‘anthroposophy’ has not been previously attempted academically; this is in part because Steiner’s works were viewed as too mystical, and partly because they comprise some 360 volumes in German. Steiner’s drama The Portal of Initiation presents the experiences which befall a student seeking spiritual development, and as such incorporates all of his ‘anthroposophical’ teachings. As one examiner wrote in his assessment of this thesis, “Anderson succeeds fully in his intentions, and also sheds new light on Goethe, as well as on Steiner’s earlier, pre-anthroposophical epistemological theories.

NB: This is an academic thesis, 340 pps.