• Translations of Rudolf Steiner’s Agriculture Course (Koberwitz, 1924): The Seminal Text of Biodynamic Farming and Organic Agriculture

    John Paull (see profile)
    Sustainability, Sustainable development, Agriculture--Sociological aspects, Anthroposophy, Translating and interpreting
    Item Type:
    Rudolf Steiner, new age, Organic farming, history of agriculture, Biodynamics, Sociology of agriculture, Translation
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    The Agriculture Course of Dr Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) is the seminal text of biodynamic farming and the organic agriculture movement. It has appeared in 16 languages. The Austrian New Age philosopher, Dr Rudolf Steiner, presented his Agriculture Course in the village of Koberwitz, Germany (now Kobierzyce, Poland) in the summer of 1924. The course of eight lectures laid the foundations for the emergence, over the following two decades, of biodynamic farming and organic agriculture. There were 111 attendees at the course at Koberwitz, many were farmers, all were Anthroposophists. The Agriculture Course was presented in German. It was one of the final lecture series that Rudolf Steiner conducted in his lifetime. It was a course of what Rudolf Steiner called “hints”, to be put to the test, not prescriptions nor dogmas. The Agriculture Course appeared in print in German in 1926. It was initially available only to members of the Experimental Circle of Anthroposophic Farmers and Gardeners (until some time after WW2). Members of the Experimental Circle agreed to test Rudolf Steiner’s ideas with the view to the publication of the results. The first translation of the Agriculture Course appeared in English in 1929. That translation was by George Kaufmann (later known as George Adams) who brought to the task his years of masterfully and extemporaneously rendering into English Rudolf Steiner’s lectures in German for audiences. The Agriculture Course has been translated into a further 14 (at least) other languages: French (1943); Swedish (1966); Italian (1973); Danish (1976); Dutch (1977); Spanish (1988); Hebrew (1989); Norwegian (1992); Romanian (1997); Russian (1997); Serbian (2004); Portuguese (2005); Polish (2007); and Esperanto (2009). As organic agriculture continues to increasingly attract consumers, advocates, practitioners, and scholars, interest endures in the seminal text of biodynamics and the organics movement.
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    Journal article    
    Last Updated:
    3 years ago


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