Donate books to help fund our work. Learn more→

The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

The Challenge of the Times
GA 186

In these lectures, given just days after the ending of World War I, Steiner describes the new developments in mechanics, politics, and economy as well as new capacities and methods in the West and the East. He reveals their fruitful potentialities but also the dangers of their abuse. He also discusses social and antisocial instincts, specters of the Old Testament in the nationalism of the present, and the innate capacities of various nations.

These lectures, originally published in English with the title, In the Changed Conditions of the Times (from the lecture series entitled, Fundamental Social Requirements of Our Time), were given in Dornach, Switzerland, November–December, 1918. They were translated from the German by Olin D. Wannamaker and are included in Die soziale Grundforderung unserer Zeit

I. East and West from a Spiritual Point of View November 29, 1918
II. The Present from the Viewpoint of the Present November 30, 1918
III. The Mechanistic, Eugenic and Hygienic Aspects of the Future December 1, 1918
IV. Social and Antisocial Instincts December 6, 1918
V. Specters of the Old Testament in the Nationalism of the Present December 7, 1918
VI. The Innate Capacities of the Nations of the World December 8, 1918