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The Case for Anthroposophy

Extracts from “Riddles of the Soul” (CW 21)

Rudolf Steiner Translated and Introduced by Owen Barfield

124 pp.  
5 1/2" x 8 1/2"


Slip Cased

Published:  March 2018


  • The Chadwick Library Edition is an endeavor to republish—mostly in new or thoroughly revised English translations—several written works of Rudolf Steiner. The edition is named for the late horticulturist Alan Chadwick, whose life and work has served as inspiration to the small group from which the idea originated. Our extensive experience with special bindings led to the selection—for this “trade edition” of 750 books—of a leather spine binding, cloth sides, and a light slipcase. For the hand-numbered edition (100 books), the binding is full leather with a hand-gilt top of the pages in a fine, stiff, cloth-covered slipcase. The leather is blue calfskin, and the title stamping on the spines is in genuine gold leaf. All of this will be carried out by hand at one of the finest binders, Ruggero Rigoldi.

The Case for Anthroposophy is a complete English edition of one of the most important books by Rudolf Steiner, who said that the first essay was written not with a pen, but with “soul spades that want to rip away the planks that board up the world—i.e., clear away the limits to knowledge set by natural science—but want to do so through one’s inner work of the soul.”

In the second essay, Rudolf Steiner goes head-to-head with Max Dessoir, a typical materialist and foe of the spirit; Dessoir’s response to Steiner's essay is included as an appendix. Steiner also describes for the first time how the three soul forces (thinking, feeling, and volition) relate to the three organizations of the body: the nervous–sensory system; the rhythmic system; and the metabolic–limb system.

While not an easy text, The Case for Anthroposophy (Riddles of the Soul) offers a unique exploration of inner and outer frontiers, as well as the ways in which bridges are built to connect them. This book was always an important work for early anthroposophists, who worked deeply to penetrate Rudolf Steiner’s teaching of Spiritual Science.

Click here for the limited, numbered editions.

Click here to read more about the Chadwick Library Editions.

This volume is a translation of selections by Owen Barfield from German of Vom Seelenrätseln (GA 21).

Related Titles

  • Founding a Science of the Spirit : (CW 95)
  • Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts : Anthroposophy as a Path of Knowledge: The Michael Mystery (CW 26)
  • Anthroposophy (A Fragment) : A New Foundation for the Study of Human Nature (CW 45)
  • First Steps in Inner Development
  • The Language of the Consciousness Soul : A Guide to Rudolf Steiner’s “Leading Thoughts”
  • Initiation Science : And the Development of the Human Mind (CW 228)

    Related Titles by Subject:

    Anthroposophy: Classics in Anthroposophy ; Anthroposophy: Esoteric Studies and Anthroposophy: General