49092Re: Helmut Zander - The Biography 
- Jan 12, 2012Apropos of Ahern, our uber-rationalist friend Roger posted a review of of his book - 'The Sun at Midnight' - on Amazon a while ago. Roger of course does not think the book sufficiently 'objective' (hostile) and says:
"And there are a few errors I consider major. In his evident effort to be fair-minded, Ahern bends over backwards too far sometimes, minimizing such troubling matters as the racism that is deeply imbedded in Anthroposophy. He is also, in my opinion, too ready to take Steiner at his word, thus failing to adequately investigate the possibility that Steiner was a fraud who claimed powers ("exact clairvoyance") that do not and cannot exist."
As I said, I didn't find Ahern added much insight to what I'd already gained when I read him; I also didn't find his criticism, which is what I read the book for, very telling. But as we can see, he is a 'Steiner fan' compared to Roger, who is sure that 'clairvoyance does not exist' and thinks that Steiner was likely a 'fraud'. I don't think WC realise to what extent they have become simply an extremist Steiner hating cult.
--- In email@example.com, "ted.wrinch" <ted.wrinch@...> wrote:
> Catholic and atheist calumny united! I must say that your excerpts indicate an even lower standard of scholarship and greater level of bias than the low and high levels I'd already expected from the review I posted to the list some time ago. It is amazing that such cr*p counts as scholarship or that anyone that wanted to know about Steiner would be interested in reading it. And why would someone spend so much time and effort creating work on a historical figure they dislike so much? The strong antipathetic focus on Steiner's Christology, indicated by your excerpts, suggests one answer. That said, one assumes that there must be somethings of value in such a large amount of dead trees. In all this, there is also the question of motivation: Staudenmaier appears motivated to attack 3-folding; Zander, I suppose, is a continuation of the Catholic voice of opposition from Steiner's time.
> "Zander's work is the gold standard for scholarly research on the history
> of anthroposophy. That's why it irritates so many anthroposophists."
> I remember reading an assessment of Steiner's life and work by the British academic Geoffrey Ahern around 25 years ago when I was trying understand Steiner. His book was quite interesting as a collection of facts on various topics and, unlike Zander it seems, he did try to restrain his own antipathy. But the book really wasn't very good and I got little insight from it.
> Ted Wrinch
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "jmn36210" <jmn36210@> wrote:
> > [hebergeur image] <http://www.casimages.com>
> > I scanned the page above from Helmut Zander's biography of Rudolf
> > Steiner
> > [Rudolf Steiner - Die Biografie], so that you all could see, with your
> > own eyes
> > - how scholarly pursuits and in-depth research by top-level academics,
> > cannot but yield startling results and groundbreaking discoveries - that
> > boggle
> > the mind, that inevitably boggle the mind of lay, biased, and inexpert
> > people...
> > There are 16 pages of black-and-white photographs in H. Zander's
> > 500+page book.
> > Interestingly, to the Roman Catholic theologian[Ph.D., Catholic
> > Theology, in 1995],
> > historian, and Professor of Religious Studies in the Faculty for
> > Catholic Theology
> > at the University of Fribourg - that he is, a picture of Rudolf
> > Steiner's complete
> > sculptural Master-piece obviously was uncalled for...
> > Why then the small photograph of the head [top left], excised, as it
> > were,
> > from the Representative of Mankind?
> > Let me translate the sentence that I highlighted, at the bottom of the
> > page.
> > Zander is referring to the Representative of Mankind:
> > "The Theosophists (since 1912: Anthroposophists) were expected to
> > recognize
> > 'the Christ' therein - but from his facial features, they could see
> > Rudolf Steiner also."
> > Wow! Aren't you glad that there are academics and expert historians of
> > this caliber
> > around?
> > I mean this Catholic theologian, born in 1957, who was also awarded a
> > Ph.D.
> > in Political Science, back in 1987 - is now making a quantum leap
> > forward
> > in the domain of facial recognition and physiognomy?!?
> > Gee, the work of this historian is such an absolute thrill that we'll
> > jump to
> > chapter 19 of his unparalleled biography of RS, 'cause we're all just
> > dying for
> > the output of critical thinking and in-depth academic research, i.e.,
> > for solid
> > incontrovertible evidence, as unearthed by a cunning superior mind:
> > "A case can be made that Steiner has immortalized himself in 'the
> > Christ'.
> > Maybe he also used a portrait photograph [of himself] that stood near
> > the statue to that effect, to guide on while sculpturing, and maybe they
> > later
> > airbrushed this portrait out of the workshop photograph, in order to
> > smother
> > this trace of evidence"
> > Zander then mentions Ahriman:
> > "It would seem that Steiner incorporated his own shadow into this
> > figure.
> > But of course, that is [my] speculation."
> > Finally:
> > "And he would remain, beyond his death, at the center of the initiation
> > ceremonies of the Esoteric School - in the Christ-Steiner sculpture."
> > A case can be made, maybe, maybe, it would seem that, speculation?
> > What insipid blah, blah, blah!
> > Why all this precautionary pseudo-hypothetical bullshit? [Ooops!]
> > Helmut Zander resorts to this systematic and very deliberate technique
> > - in order to *academically* free himself from his venom.
> > Why do radiant white doves of the Church, turn into rattlesnakes and
> > scorpions - when they are confronted with the true Michaelic emissary
> > of the Solar God - and his monumental revelation?
> > Why do so-called Christians, accustomed to living in candlelight,
> > start foaming over the intense laser-like *coherent* spiritual light---
> > beamed
> > on the Mystery of Golgotha and Christ, and thus on the Mystery of Man -
> > by
> > the great Christian Initiate of the 20th century?
> > Peter Staudenmaier [WC - Message #22210]:
> > "Zander's work is the gold standard for scholarly research on the
> > history
> > of anthroposophy. That's why it irritates so many anthroposophists.
> > <snip>
> > In his publications, in his teaching, and in his public appearances,
> > Zander is an unusually thoughtful and respectful analyst of
> > anthroposophy,
> > offering extremely detailed and refreshingly sober historical
> > assessments
> > of the breadth of Steiner's work (...)"
> > Cheers,
> > Jean-Marc
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