Rudolf Steiner is probably one of the most controversial people whose name you don't know. A philosopher, scientist, agriculturalist, architect and education theorist, Steiner's ideas have been both praised and lambasted, and his contributions to various areas of study--particularly agriculture and education--arouse passions to this day.
Born in Austria in 1861, Steiner applied his early spiritual experiences to everything he did. He worked on the Kurschner edition of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's works, organized the Nietzsche archive in Naumburg, Germany, and supported Emile Zola during the Dreyfus Affair. He wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty, though: When contacted by a group of farmers concerned about the future of their profession, Steiner developed the doctrine of biodynamic agriculture, which stresses sustainability and recognizing farms as organisms that should be self-sustaining.
Biodynamics is the hook for Treasure Valley Food Coalition's screening of The Challenge of Rudolf Steiner, a biographical documentary that outlines the man's positions on issues like agriculture and education, hosted at Red Feather Lounge, Thursday, Jan. 30, at 6 p.m. Tickets for the Jan. 30 screening are sold out, but a second is slated for Thursday, Feb. 27. Visit treasurevalleyfoodcoalition.org for more details. For more on Steiner, see News, Page 7.