The plant in between: Analogism and entanglement in an Italian community of anthroposophists

  • Nadia Breda Università di Firenze, Italy

Abstract

The article analyses the special relationship with the world of plants developed by anthroposophy from the framework of a new perspective called the “plant turn” (Myers 2015). Anthroposophy (AS) is analysed as a peculiar form of Analogism (Descola 2005), historically derived from the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner and subsequently evolved into contemporary AS practices that the author encountered during her fieldwork in a community of North-Eastern Italy. Both Steiner’s texts and the analysis of contemporary practices of AS reveal a relationship with the world of plants that the author reads in light of Ingold’s categories of “interweaving” of the world, the interpenetration of elements, and their ceaseless becoming (Ingold 2011). The result is a representation of the vegetal world involving the whole cosmos, humans and non-humans, terrestrial and celestial, in a cosmic expansion of the relations between beings typical of Analogisms. The practices referring to the vegetal world enacted by anthroposophists are intense, engaging, dialogue-based and provocative in their ability to uproot many elements of naturalism and deal with a contemporary world characterised by ecological crisis.  

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Published
2017-01-25
How to Cite
Breda, Nadia. 2017. “The Plant in Between: Analogism and Entanglement in an Italian Community of Anthroposophists”. Anuac 5 (2), 131-57. https://doi.org/10.7340/anuac2239-625X-2530.
Section
Thematic section: Onto-Politics. Rethinking the relations between humans and non-humans