Arnold James Freeman (24 March 1886 – 8 March 1972) was a British writer, philosopher, anthroposophist, adult educator, actor, director, Fabian Socialist, Labour Party candidate and co-founder of the anthroposophical magazine, The Golden Blade. He was the founder and first Warden of the Sheffield Educational Settlement.
Anthroposophy is a philosophy founded by the 19th century esotericist Rudolf Steiner that postulates the existence of an objective, intellectually comprehensible spiritual world, accessible to human experience. Followers of anthroposophy aim to develop mental faculties of spiritual discovery through a mode of thought independent of sensory experience. They also aim to present their ideas in a manner verifiable by rational discourse and specifically seek a precision and clarity in studying the spiritual world mirroring that obtained by natural historians in investigations of the physical world.
Freeman came from a middle-class, non-conformist background, the family involved in importing tobacco and manufacturing cigars. At various times they lived in different houses within the Hoxton area of London. He is the brother of Sir Ralph Freeman consulting engineer for the Sydney Harbour Bridge and of Labour M.P. Peter Freeman. He and his brothers all attended Haberdashers' Aske's School. On completing school in 1905, Arnold went on to study at St John's College, Oxford where, being a committed Socialist, he joined the Fabian Society. He was a vegetarian and engaged in social work from an early age, having been a member of the Highbury Quadrant Congregationalist church.
Sir Ralph Freeman was an English structural engineer, responsible for the design of several of the world's most impressive bridges.
The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom which has been described as an alliance of social democrats, democratic socialists and trade unionists. The party's platform emphasises greater state intervention, social justice and strengthening workers' rights.
Peter Freeman was a Labour Party politician in the United Kingdom.
He and his sister Daisy spent a year at the Quaker Settlement in Woodbrooke, Birmingham and thereafter he began to do extramural work in tutorial classes for the Universities of Sheffield, London and Oxford. He also began lecturing at the same time he started to teach History and Economic History for the Workers' Educational Association, gradually expanding this into a concern with human nature and human idealism as expressed through Literature, Art and Philosophy. Particularly his work in Sheffield brought him into the mining areas of South Yorkshire.
The Workers' Educational Association (WEA), founded in 1903, is the UK's largest voluntary sector provider of adult education and one of Britain's biggest charities. The WEA is a democratic and voluntary adult education movement. It delivers learning throughout England and Scotland. There was a related but independent WEA Cymru covering Wales, though it is now know as Adult Learning Wales since a merger in 2015 with YMCA Community College.
In 1918 he became founding Warden of the Sheffield Educational Settlement in Shipton Street, Upperthorpe, Sheffield at first under the YMCA and later under a Council that included notable local figures. It was part of the University Settlement movement, which "sought to bring education, improvement and hope to the lives of the poor and socially disadvantaged in the decades before the development of the Welfare State following the Second World War. The early decades of the Sheffield Settlement coincided with the serious hardship of the post-First World War era, typified by the Depression and mass unemployment."
The settlement movement was a reformist social movement that began in the 1880s and peaked around the 1920s in England and the United States. Its goal was to bring the rich and the poor of society together in both physical proximity and social interconnectedness. Its main object was the establishment of "settlement houses" in poor urban areas, in which volunteer middle-class "settlement workers" would live, hoping to share knowledge and culture with, and alleviate the poverty of, their low-income neighbours. The settlement houses provided services such as daycare, education, and healthcare to improve the lives of the poor in these areas.
Its stated mission was "to establish in the City of Sheffield the Kingdom of God".
On a visit to Germany in 1913, Freeman had had a brief meeting with Rudolf Steiner which had left no strong impression, as he describes in Thou Eye Among the Blind. In 1921, however, he described a second encounter:
Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner was an Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect, and esotericist. Steiner gained initial recognition at the end of the nineteenth century as a literary critic and published philosophical works including The Philosophy of Freedom. At the beginning of the twentieth century he founded an esoteric spiritual movement, anthroposophy, with roots in German idealist philosophy and theosophy; other influences include Goethean science and Rosicrucianism.
In 1922 he was co-organiser together with Professor Millicent Mackenzie of the large public conference "Spiritual Values in Education and in Social Life", run predominantly at Manchester College whose principal, Dr L.P. Jacks was another sympathiser and where Rudolf Steiner was able to put forward his ideas to a group of British educators. This conference marked the beginning of the establishment of Steiner-Waldorf education in the UK.
Millicent Hughes Mackenzie was a British professor of education at University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, the first female professor in Wales and the first appointed to a fully chartered university in the United Kingdom. She wrote on the philosophy of education, founded the Cardiff Suffragette branch, became the only woman Parliamentary Candidate in Wales for 1918, and was a key initiator of Steiner-Waldorf education in the United Kingdom.
Harris Manchester College is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. Formerly known as Manchester College, it is listed in the University Statutes (V.1) as Manchester Academy and Harris College, and at university ceremonies it is called Collegium de Harris et Manchester. Located in Mansfield Road in central Oxford, Harris Manchester is one of very few mixed-sex higher education colleges in the UK whose undergraduate places are exclusively for students aged 21 years or over. The Principal of the college is the historian Prof Jane Shaw.
Waldorf education, also known as Steiner education, is based on the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy. Its pedagogy strives to develop pupils' intellectual, artistic, and practical skills in an integrated and holistic manner. The cultivation of pupils' imagination and creativity is a central focus.
These convictions caused some conflict amongst some members of the Settlement's Council but it was Freeman's main aim to achieve spiritual values through education. He had come to Sheffield as a University tutor, and members of the University's staff played a major role in the work of the Settlement, though it had no formal association with the University. There were a lot of activities besides: courses of handicrafts, rambles, camping expeditions and involving the membership in the performance of plays. “The Settlement's Little Theatre put on a great variety of productions by the best serious dramatists, with some of whom Freeman corresponded. He never compromised over the quality of the work selected for presentation. Several notable local people, including industrialists, supported the work with donations, and a number of people later active in the public life of the city were associated with the Settlement.”
In 1923 Freeman stood as a Labour Parliamentary candidate in the Hallam constituency.
When Freeman retired in 1955 at the age of 69 the Wardenship went to Christopher Boulton, an anthroposophist and lover of theatre. In 1961 the Shipton Street Settlement, along with its Little Theatre, vanished. In its place Christopher Boulton founded a Rudolf Steiner Settlement where the Merlin Theatre and the Arnold Freeman Hall still flourish. The Sheffield Repertory Company also started with the plays its members presented at the Little Theatre before they became independent in 1923.
Arnold Freeman died in 1972
The General Anthroposophical Society is an "association of people whose will it is to nurture the life of the soul, both in the individual and in human society, on the basis of a true knowledge of the spiritual world." As an organization, it is dedicated to supporting the community of those interested in the inner path of schooling known as anthroposophy, developed by Rudolf Steiner.
The Goetheanum, located in Dornach, Switzerland, is the world center for the anthroposophical movement. The building was designed by Rudolf Steiner and named after Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It includes two performance halls, gallery and lecture spaces, a library, a bookstore, and administrative spaces for the Anthroposophical Society; neighboring buildings house the society's research and educational facilities. Conferences focusing on themes of general interest or directed toward teachers, farmers, doctors, therapists, and other professionals are held at the center throughout the year.
Social threefolding is a sociological theory suggesting the progressive independence of society's economic, political and cultural institutions. It aims to foster human rights and equality in political life, freedom in cultural life, and associative cooperation in economic life. The idea was first proposed by Rudolf Steiner in the great cultural ferment immediately following the end of the First World War.
Sergei Olegovich Prokofieff was a Russian anthroposophist. He was the grandson of the composer Sergei Prokofiev and his first wife Lina Prokofiev, and the son of Oleg Prokofiev and his first wife Sofia Korovina. Born in Moscow, he studied fine arts and painting at the Moscow School of Art. He encountered anthroposophy in his youth, and soon made the decision to devote his life to it.
Ehrenfried Pfeiffer was a German scientist, soil scientist, leading advocate of biodynamic agriculture, anthroposophist and student of Rudolf Steiner.
Elisabeth Vreede was a Dutch mathematician, astronomer and Anthroposophist.
Hans Krüger was a pharmacist, anthroposophist, botanist, lecturer and researcher.
Oskar Schmiedel was a pharmacist, anthroposophist, therapist, Goethean scientist and theosophist.
Peter Selg was born in 1963 in Stuttgart and studied medicine in Witten-Herdecke, Zurich, and Berlin. Until 2000, he worked as the head physician of the juvenile psychiatry department of Herdecke hospital in Germany. Dr. Selg is now director of the Ita Wegman Institute for Basic Research into Anthroposophy and professor of medicine at the Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences (Germany). He lectures extensively and is the author of numerous books.
Alfred Cecil Harwood *05.01.1898 London (UK) †22.12.1975 Forest Row Sussex was a lecturer, Waldorf teacher, writer, editor and anthroposophist.
John Davy was a British journalist and science editor for The Observer, lecturer, vice-principal of Emerson College and Anthroposophist.
Alfred Rexroth, who lived from 1899 to 1978, was a German Engineer, Entrepreneur and Anthroposophist. He was the director of several business enterprises including the companies Neuguss, Rhinow and his family concern Rexroth, today Alfred Rexroth. Through the donation of his fortune the GLS Bank was able to begin much of its work.
Ernst Weissert, born 20 July 1905 in Mannheim Germany and died 2 January 1981 in Stuttgart was a teacher, general secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in Germany and co-founder and director of the Bund der Freien Waldorfschulen, the Hague Circle and the Friends of Waldorf Education.
Eleanor Merry, was an English poet, artist, musician and anthroposophist with a strong Celtic impulse and interest in esoteric wisdom. She studied in Vienna and met Rudolf Steiner in 1922 after becoming interested in his teachings. She went on to organize Summer Schools at which Steiner gave important lectures, and was secretary for the World Conference on Spiritual Science in London in 1928.
The Rudolf Steiner Fellowship Foundation was founded in 1966 by a group of young anthroposophists with a goal to care for the elderly.
Carlo Pietzner, born in Vienna, Austria, 26 January 1915 and died in Copake, New York, 17 April 1986, was a co-founder of Camphill, artist, anthroposophist, and a Special Needs and adult educator.
Johannes Tautz (30 September 1914 in Koblenz am Rhein to 13 March 2008 in Dortmund, was a Historian, Religious scholar, Anthroposophist, Author and Waldorf teacher. He concerned himself with a better understanding of National Socialism and with questions of education in the twentieth century.
Frederick William Zeylmans van Emmichoven, was a Dutch psychiatrist and anthroposophist. From 1923 until his death in 1961 he was chairman of the Dutch Anthroposophical Society. He was a familiar figure in public life and had a considerable influence on the anthroposophic movement, particularly through his numerous lectures and his work as an author, which included the first biography of Rudolf Steiner.