are waldorf and christianity compatible?? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 44 Old 01-21-2005, 11:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Bahesmama
Well, what can I say to that? I find it rather chilling. To me the holocaust and the evil caused by Aryanism is perhaps too personal a thing. My ancestors were eliminated in the name of an Aryan Manifest Destiny of this continent. I guess, I don't have the internal space to breeze it aside as easily as some.

I guess, I'm just shocked by your response.

Do you not see any good that comes from Jefferson? Yes, he started the Lewis and Clark expedition which set in motion the whole westward expansion that led to the wholesale slaughter of Native American populations. But he is also one of the founding fathers of this country and set in motion the country we are today. He is far from perfect but that does negate the good he did. The same can be said for Steiner.

Very few people are totally good or bad and sometimes the most creative are also the most destructive. I can learn from Steiner and from Jefferson and use what is good and not use what is bad. From my experience, the teachers at our school are not teaching the children that people of color are a lesser race and teachers do not believe that either. Most of them go out of their way to make their lessons inclusive of all peoples. The children reflect Seattle. Many are white but we also have many that are of color.

It is interesting. I got into a very similar discussion about the founder of Kwanzaa and whether or not his actions made Kwanzaa a false holiday.
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#32 of 44 Old 01-21-2005, 11:26 PM
 
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I must ask also why they can't question Steiner? I question Jefferson. And I wouldn't send my daughter to a school that uncritically taught his curriculum.
I haven't talked to one teacher that hasn't acknowledged that Steiner was a man of his times. They do question him and his meanings and they add what they know to be true today because humankind has progressed from those days. We aren't where we should be yet but we are better today than we were 100 years, 75 years or 50 years ago.
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#33 of 44 Old 01-21-2005, 11:31 PM
 
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Do you not see any good that comes from Jefferson? Yes, he started the Lewis and Clark expedition which set in motion the whole westward expansion that led to the wholesale slaughter of Native American populations. But he is also one of the founding fathers of this country and set in motion the country we are today. He is far from perfect but that does negate the good he did. The same can be said for Steiner.
But was it really good? Couldn't there have been a greater good done? Have you ever read The People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn? He purports that the Founding Father's took the words of freedom in order to further their own interests and to get the larger, poorer public to buy in. I think that there are those who have used his words to skillfully further their own causes in the year hence, but that was not his good or vision. I cannot say, I am happy to be an American at all. I would have rather remained a Nakota (or Sioux in the American parlance). Moderator feel free to reign me in here!
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#34 of 44 Old 01-21-2005, 11:42 PM
 
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But was it really good? Couldn't there have been a greater good done? Have you ever read The People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn? He purports that the Founding Father's took the words of freedom in order to further their own interests and to get the larger, poorer public to buy in. I think that there are those who have used his words to skillfully further their own causes in the year hence, but that was not his good or vision. I cannot say, I am happy to be an American at all. I would have rather remained a Nakota (or Sioux in the American parlance). Moderator feel free to reign me in here!
Bahesmama - I don't have any problem with what you are saying. You are remaining respectful. I think if we were to talk IRL we would find that we agree more than we disagree. I can accept that for you Waldorf doesn't work. It does for us while public school, Catholic schools, etc do not.

I am big believer that many times the things we create are not our own once we release them. People make them grow and often become something we never intended them to be. Kwanzaa may have been started by a terrible man but it has become a meaningful holiday for many. So whatever the founding fathers intended, it isn't necessarily what they got. America is like the people who populate it, it has many wonderful qualities but it also has many warts. I am sure as a Native American you are more familiar with the warts than some of us.
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#35 of 44 Old 01-22-2005, 12:40 AM
 
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So whatever the founding fathers intended, it isn't necessarily what they got. America is like the people who populate it, it has many wonderful qualities but it also has many warts. I am sure as a Native American you are more familiar with the warts than some of us.
Well, I have often encountered an unwillingness to look truthfully at the past. I have seen many times when the very small requests of Native Americans have gone completely unsatisfied by a very satisfied majority. I realize you are satisfied with your situation and will not consider my very small request to truly question Steiner. The good you have in your school is your own good and that of each member. As such, you have no need to to hang on to Steiner and make it impossible for true-spirited people of color and of conscience to have to share in what you have. It's your choice and I believe you have traded true fellowship for a ghost.

That is all I have to say-- Hechetu ye. I will respond no more.
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#36 of 44 Old 01-22-2005, 03:00 AM
 
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Not all Christians believe that the soul is bestowed at conception.

Also, the Waldorf teacher that told the story about the little souls waiting in heaven with their gaurdian angel is Catholic. I don't think she believes in reincarnation but I know that she believes in gaurdian angels. As to her feelings about abortion, I couldn't say as it was never a topic of discussion. We generally stuck to talking about the children.
Well, lemme say this, individual Christians (and especially Catholic Christians) do not get to decide doctrine, the teaching authority of the Church does. For Catholics, that is quite clear, we have Tradition and the Pope and the Magisterium, and for Eastern Christians (Orthodox, Copts, etc.) as well, they have Conciliar Councils and Tradition again. All of these state that the soul is bestowed by God at the moment of conception. Whether or not individual Christians choose to accept this teaching of the Church is not the issue.

For Protestants, especially those without a defined source of authority on these matters (bishops or a national conference of authority), then the issue becomes more muddled, but the basic core of orthodox (little "o" here) Christian belief is the same as for the Catholics and Orthodox, the soul is bestowed at conception, there is no possibility that the child's soul could have previously had a time of waiting in heaven and choosing its parents.

The further a particular Christian denomination/church goes from orthodox belief, well, then yes, I suppose you will find greater numbers of persons who will tell you they aren't sure about this doctrine or have some opposing belief.

As for guardian angels, yes, of course, I believe in them too! And thank God for them! Each and every human being is given a guardian angel from the moment of his or her conception to "light and guard, to rule and guide" as the old prayer goes. There is a very lovely new children's book, "Angel in the Waters" by Regina Doman which illustrates this idea of a child in utero, growing and aware, getting ready to be born all the time accompanied by his guardian angel in the womb. Great story, really beautiful for all ages.

Thanks again for the conversation,
LeeAnn

"For me, You have created the skies scattered with stars...and all the beautiful things on earth." ~St. Maximilian Kolbe
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#37 of 44 Old 01-22-2005, 10:43 AM
 
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I'm wondering, does anyone know of a biblical basis for the concept of the child's soul being "bestowed at conception." In other words, did Christ make a statement on this? Or one of the apostles? Does it come from one of the church fathers, for example St. Augustine? Now you have my curiosity greatly aroused!

Nana
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#38 of 44 Old 01-23-2005, 01:08 AM
 
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Deborah, here is an article which addresses the idea of "ensoulment," which is the term for what we're talking about.

http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/as...gaquinas1.html

I think it's St. Thomas Aquinas (not Augustine) that is more known for writing about ensoulment of the fetal child. Back in the Middle Ages, there was debate about whether ensoulment might occur at the moment of "quickening," that is, the first time a mother could feel the baby move within her body. Their culture obviously didn't have the detailed kind of knowledge of gestation that we do today: that in fact, the embryo/fetus is moving constantly from practically the first hour it has limbs even before the mother can feel the baby's movements.

In the Bible itself, we have the story of the Visitation, when Mary goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth to tell what the angel Gabriel had to say. The two women, Mary newly pregnant, Elizabeth about six months along, greet each other as does Elizabeth's child (St. John the Baptist) still in the womb, "leaping for joy," recognizing the presence of God's Son, Jesus, in the womb of the Virgin Mary.

Now, obviously this is a special, miraculous, happening, but it demonstrates that both the babies in the womb already had an identity, a soul and body specially created for a purpose, as each of us are.

And this would be where Anthroposophy and orthodox Christian belief collide: Christian teaching holds that each of us are created a unique child of God. There is no existence before the moment of conception. There is the verse, "Before you formed me in the womb, you knew me," but that is more a reflection on God's eternal nature, of him being present in all moments of time simultaneoulsy, rather than a theory of man's heavenly existence before conception in the womb.

Then of course for Catholics, there is the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the belief that from the moment of her conception, God removed the stain of original sin from Mary in order that she would be a fitting and holy tabernacle, if you will, of the Living Presence of God incarnate. Like Adam and Eve, Mary was created without sin, which is why Catholics call her the "new Eve," but rather than choosing to sin, as Adam and Eve did, Mary chose to do God's will, "Let it be done to me according to thy Word." So because of this belief in the Immaculate Conception, we believe that Mary already had a soul from the moment of her being formed in her mother's womb.

So there is a lot of Tradition in favor of this idea, although over the centuries there has been debate over it, such as with St. Thomas Aquinas. However, even though a person is a saint, that does not make all their ideas infallible.

Sorry if this was more of an answer than what you were wanting. It's a passion of mine, obviously.

May your children have a wonderful and life-affirming education, wherever they learn,
LeeAnn

"For me, You have created the skies scattered with stars...and all the beautiful things on earth." ~St. Maximilian Kolbe
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#39 of 44 Old 01-23-2005, 10:31 AM
 
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LeeAnn,

Thanks for responding to my request. Now I understand where the doctrine is "coming from" so to speak, which is helpful.

Deborah
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#40 of 44 Old 02-16-2005, 03:34 AM
 
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This really depends on your personal beliefs- for our family, the answer is a definite no. For friends we have who are more free-wheeling, new-age take-what-you-like-and-leave-the-rest Waldorf is fine. They can easliy tune out the stuff they don't like. I have a harder time doing that, and while I don't want a necessarily religious school, I at least want one that doesn't make me uncomfortable, as many anthroposophical teachings as applied in Waldorf teacher training, curriculum and classroom management do.

Funnily enough, when we were looking into Waldorf the schools we looked at basically represented themselves as Christian based, but welcoming all faiths. I'm all for welcoming all faiths, but I quickly discovered we were not talking about the same Christ or the same Christianity as the Waldorf teachers were! And don't get me wrong we're not fundamentalist whackos here!
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#41 of 44 Old 02-16-2005, 10:02 AM
 
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Curious as to which Christian church you attend middlearthmama.

I am United Church of Christ and my dh is Episcopalian (sp?). Our family attends a Congregation United Church of Christ Church. Waldorf has worked great for us. I would bet it depends on the school. The only people who have had problems with the spirituality at our school that I know of were either Jewish or Atheists.

Too me, Kindergarten and 1st grade didn't seem particularly anything other than the fact that Christian Holidays were celebrated more so than other Holidays - Advent, St. Nicholas Day, Christmas, Easter Parade, etc. 2nd grade seemed very Catholic to me with all the Saints Tales. 3rd grade is very Jewish. We haven't gotten to 4th yet. Through it all, many Holidays are celebrated in the grades - Day of the Dead, St. Nicholas, Santa Lucia, Advent, Hannakuh, Kwanzaa, Three Kings Day, Chinese New Year, etc.

Our kids get exposed to a lot of things other than Christianity at the school, though the Christian Holidays are the most common. We talk about what they have learned in school and then we talk about our family's faith though my kids still think it would be a good idea to celebrate Hannakuh and Christmas - more presents. In Sunday School, their faith is taught and we talk about that too.

I think it is how you approach what is presented at the school and it also depends on how the school presents it.
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#42 of 44 Old 02-16-2005, 02:55 PM
 
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My experience is more like Rhonwyn's. My family are (weirdly) Jewish athiests but people have ended up all over the place in terms of religion. Personally I ended up interested in anthroposophy, but I have a sister (who attended a waldorf school, giggle) who is a born-again, a brother (who also attended the same waldorf school) who is cheerfully agnostic) and two other brothers who incline towards atheism.

At the Chicago Waldorf School, there were a lot of Jewish parents, one Hindu family, Catholics, Episcopalians and a wide range of other congregations, plus the usual new agey sorts. People mostly managed to tolerate each other and the school.

Schools vary, and the negative vibes at one school may not exist at the next.

Nana
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#43 of 44 Old 07-29-2005, 08:59 PM
 
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I'm wondering, does anyone know of a biblical basis for the concept of the child's soul being "bestowed at conception." In other words, did Christ make a statement on this? Or one of the apostles? Does it come from one of the church fathers, for example St. Augustine? Now you have my curiosity greatly aroused!
We believe differently...there is a verse in the Bible that talks about God breathing into man the breath of life and man becomes a living soul...

we use that verse and others to get the idea that the soul enters the body at the babies first breath, not conception. Puts a new twist on why birth and death are such sacred and spiritual events.

I don't know any other people who believe this way, DH came up with this idea himself in his studies.
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#44 of 44 Old 07-31-2005, 04:58 PM
 
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We believe differently...there is a verse in the Bible that talks about God breathing into man the breath of life and man becomes a living soul...

we use that verse and others to get the idea that the soul enters the body at the babies first breath, not conception. Puts a new twist on why birth and death are such sacred and spiritual events.

I don't know any other people who believe this way, DH came up with this idea himself in his studies.
I personally found myself uncomfortable with much of Steiner's "Christian" material. His book "The Fifth Gospel" bothered me so completely - it was the turning point that forced me to examine Anthroposophy with a very critical eye. It went so much against my Christian beliefs, I had to conclude that Anthroposophy was not for me (after more than a decade of study). Go figure...

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