Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner (27 (or 25) February 1861 – 30 March 1925) was an
Austrian philosopher, author, 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.