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Anthroposophy and the History and Future of Environmentalism

Dan McKanan (Author)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 312 pages
ISBN: 9780520290068
October 2017
$29.95, £24.00
Other Formats Available:
For nearly a century, the worldwide anthroposophical movement has been a catalyst for environmental activism, helping to bring to life many modern ecological practices such as organic farming, community-supported agriculture, and green banking. Yet the spiritual practice of anthroposophy remains unknown to most environmentalists. A historical and ethnographic study of the environmental movement, Eco-Alchemy uncovers for the first time the profound influences of anthroposophy and its founder, Rudolf Steiner, whose holistic worldview, rooted in esoteric spirituality, inspired the movement. Dan McKanan shows that environmentalism is itself a complex ecosystem and that it would not be as diverse or as transformative without the contributions of anthroposophy.
Introduction: The Ecology of Environmentalism

Rudolf Steiner’s Holistic Vision

Biodynamics and the Origins of Organic Agriculture

Anthroposophical Initiatives and the Growing Environmental Movement

New Economies for Environmentalism

The Broader Ecology of Camphill

The Boundaries of Anthroposophy

Anthroposophy’s Gifts to the Environmental Movement

Dan McKanan is the Emerson Senior Lecturer at Harvard Divinity School and the author of several books on religion and social transformation, among them Touching the World: Christian Communities Transforming Society and Prophetic Encounters: Religion and the American Radical Tradition.
Eco-Alchemy makes a solid case for the importance of anthroposophist initiatives to the evolution of modern environmentalism. . . . It deserves a wide readership among those interested in esoteric spirituality, environmental politics, and the controversial interaction between religion and public affairs.—Reading Religion
“Throughout Eco-Alchemy, Dan McKanan’s sound judgment is evident. Without simplifying or exaggerating, but he gives space and respect to competing perspectives before offering a sensible middle position. All would be better if anthroposophists and ecologists would follow his wise opinions and recommendations.”—Robert McDermott, Professor of Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness, California Institute of Integral Studies

Eco-Alchemy makes an important contribution to our understanding of the environmental movement and, more specifically, the role of agriculture within that movement. In this well-written and informative book, Dan McKanan demonstrates that Rudolf Steiner and anthroposophy are critical to the evolution of contemporary environmentalism.”—Whitney Sanford, Professor of Religion, University of Florida

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