About Us

What is Anthroposophical Prison Outreach?

Anthroposophical Prison Outreach brings Rudolf Steiner’s work to incarcerated individuals. The APO program is designed to encourage inmates to take responsibility for their lives. The specific objective is to encourage and support self-rehabilitation through self discovery. As one participant described it: who would have thought I found my freedom while behind bars?. Once an incarcerated individual begins to balance his or her inner life, the outer life can also become more harmonious and meaningful. This increases their potential for successful re-integration into society after their release.

APO is a program of the Anthroposophical Society in America and is supported solely by tax deductible donations and bequests that are earmarked for this program. Our office and library are housed in the Anthroposophical Society administrative headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The program is run by a combination of paid staff and volunteers.

What is Anthroposophy?

The name anthroposophy was used by Rudolf Steiner to encompass his broad, holistic vision of spiritual renewal. The Greek origins of the word are anthropos (human being) and sophia (wisdom). It represents a path of individual spiritual awareness that is helpful to adherents of any religion as well as those who are not affiliated with any religion. It seeks to connect the spirit of the individual with the spiritual in the universe. Spiritual awareness is a matter of directing your attention. Higher understanding of life experience is the birthright of every human being. Anthroposophy is inclusive in nature, multicultural in outlook, community based, and respectful of all life. It encourages a life of spiritual practice and also offers spiritual approaches to many practical areas of life including education, farming, medicine and the arts.

Who was Rudolf Steiner?

Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) is a major contributor to humanity. His work draws increasing attention due to the needs of our fractured world. A spiritually gifted esotericist, he was also scientifically trained in mathematics, physics and chemistry and active in literary and artistic circles. He maintained a strong involvement with social and cultural issues throughout his life. From childhood he had spiritual experiences and at the age of 21 he met an herb gatherer who introduced him to a master teacher that inspired his further esoteric development. He went on to become a leading spiritual teacher of his time. He developed a comprehensive understanding of spiritual constitution of the human being, reincarnation and karma, life between death and rebirth, the forces of evil, and the redemptive power of love. He published over 300 volumes, including books and published lecture cycles.

While Steiner was well versed in traditional spiritual teachings, he always taught only that which he was able to verify through his own experience. His clear understanding of spiritual realities led him to develop many practical approaches to various aspects of life including social questions, education, medicine, agriculture and the arts. He was known as a compassionate man who valued the inherent worth of each human being.

He dedicated his life to the service of humanity.

For more information about anthroposophy:

EduCareDo: Self Awakening Study Courses based on the work of Rudolf Steiner

Anthroposophical Society in America

Steiner Books: an independent publisher and distributor of anthroposophical books.

Rudolf Steiner Archive

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