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(1,775 words)

Author(s): Zander, Helmut
Concepts 1. The standard word ‘reincarnation’ is a coinage of the nineteenth century: it appeared in the movement known as → spiritism, and is based on the term ‘incarnation,’ the Christian theological ‘enfleshment’ of the Divine Word as Christ. The concept of reincarnation designates the return of someone's aspect of soul or spirit in another person, or, less frequently, in an animal or a plant. In European thought, for centuries, the → soul itself has stood for this aspect. Only in the nineteen…


(1,382 words)

Author(s): Lützenkirchen, Hans-Georg | Zander, Helmut
Nudity as an Exceptional Condition 1. First and foremost, nakedness is an expression of human ‘naturalness.’ Further—as complete or partial nudity—it becomes the symbol of ‘immediacy’ in a framework of religious and magic practices. In art, nudity is a metaphor for the True, for Truth in the form of the nude woman. → Clothing defines the daily normal state, when, for instance, climatic conditions make the wearing of clothing necessary for protection from the cold. Clothing is also a social symbol. In…

Reincarnation II: Renaissance – present

(2,231 words)

Author(s): Zander, Helmut
Traditional beliefs in reincarnation in Europe probably came to an end after the the fall of Rome. At the end of the Middle Ages → Gemistos Plethon (1355-1452) revived the idea of metempsychosis, and the same idea had been developed independently by the → Cathars, possibly through their debate about Christian purgatory. Notions of reincarnation in the Kabbalah (Book of Bahir, c. 1200) also appear to have emerged independently, although there was some limited contact between Mediterranean Jewry and post-antiquity Gnostic groups. There is no evidence for t…

Steiner, Rudolf Joseph Lorenz

(380 words)

Author(s): Zander, Helmut
[German Version] (Feb 25, 1861, Kraljevec [now in Croatia] – Mar 30, 1925, Dornach, Switzerland), founder of anthroposophy. He was baptized Catholic but grew up a freethinker. After interrupted study of the natural sciences (1879/1883), he worked until 1897 as editor of J.W. v. Goethe’s scientific writings. In 1891 he received his doctorate with a thesis on J.G. Fichte’s epistemology but failed to earn habilitation. During these years, Steiner was influenced by German Idealism and Goethean natural…


(843 words)

Author(s): Zander, Helmut
S. bedeutet die erneute Verkörperung (Reinkarnation, Metempsychose) der Seele eines Menschen als Mensch oder auch als ein anderes Lebewesen [8]. Die antiken Traditionen (des Pythagoreismus und des Platonismus, v. a. aber des Neuplatonismus) brachen in der Spätantike weitgehend ab, da das Konzept einer S. sowohl von den heidnischen Intellektuellen (etwa den Neuplatonikern des 6. Jh.s) abgelehnt wurde als auch mit der Theologie des Christentums unvereinbar war. Die S.-Vorstellungen der Katharer im MA blieben wohl ohne Nachfolge. Für die nzl. Auffassungen der S. kommen v…
Date: 2019-11-19


(317 words)

Author(s): Zander, Helmut
[English Version] Steiner, RudolfJoseph Lorenz (25.2.1861 Kraljevec, heute Kroatien – 30.3.1925 Dornach, Schweiz), Begründer der Anthroposophie; kath. getauft, aber freigeistig aufgewachsen. Nach abgebrochenem Studium naturwiss. Fächer (1879/1883) war S. bis 1897 Hg. der naturwiss. Schriften J.W.v. Goethes. 1891 wurde er über J.G. Fichtes Wissenschaftslehre promoviert, eine Habil. scheiterte. S. war in diesen Jahren von dt. Idealismus und goetheanischer Naturphilos. geprägt. Kurz vor 1900 stand er …