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49913Quote of the Month

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  • ted.wrinch
    Mar 31, 2012
      "Wouter Hanegraaff observes: "Historians of religion know that, no matter how
      definitive and irrefutable such scholarly arguments may be, they are seldom
      sufficient to destroy religious conviction." (Hanegraaff, Esotericism and the
      Academy: Rejected Knowledge in Western Culture, Cambridge University Press,
      2012, 75) Like other forms of spiritual belief, esoteric convictions frequently
      resist examination as such."

      Peter Staudenmaier, WC Message 23553

      Perhaps such 'convictions' and 'belief' are not destroyed by such 'arguments' because the arguments often merely dress up the prejudices of the age in scholarly garb, and then complain about supposedly inadequate 'esoteric assumptions' and 'esoteric reading strategies', whilst failing to understand what often motivates and informs such 'assumptions' and 'strategies'.

      In looking through our archives on this topic, I came across an interesting message from around six years ago that was forwarded to the list from Staudi in response to a message of Tarjei's (message 29598). Staudi offers his typical opinion on Steiner's philosophical writings, saying that:

      "...they contain a mildly interesting epistemology that was pretty much run of the mill for its time and place.."

      He continues with a comparison with Steiner's later, anthroposophical writings:

      "I have a much higher estimation of Steiner's pre-1900 philosophical writings than I do of his mature theosophical and anthroposophical works..."

      So he has a 'much higher estimation' of Steiner's philosophical writings than anthroposophy, the main focus of his decade-long scholarly work on Steiner's life and output. As he thinks Steiner's philosophical writings are 'run of the mill', he must have a very low opinion of anthroposophy; this is obvious from his messages to WC, except that he tries to claim from time to time that he doesn't think all of it is bad (usually this takes the unconvincing form of praising the practicality of the movement whilst denigrating the results).


      Ted Wrinch
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