Fromman-Holzboog [SKA Publisher] Terminates Christian Clement!
German News Agency.
Dateline: April 1, 2015
Translated by Tom Mellett
Fromman-Holzboog, the renowned Stuttgart Academic Publisher, which had contracted since 2013 to publish the first text-critical edition [SKA] of the writings of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy, has unexpectedly announced that it will terminate its collaboration with the editor, Christian Clement. "It was a gamble from the beginning," explained publishing director Herbert Holzboog, "and now we have decided that Clement’s controversial methodology of editing is no longer in keeping with the serious reputation of our publishing house."
For a long time there has been much criticism on the part of anthroposophical commentators about the academic nature of Clement’s SKA volumes. Irene Diet, Pietro Archiati, Thomas Mayer and other high-level representatives of anthroposophy had repeatedly pointed out that, anthroposophically speaking, not only is the work of Clement totally unacceptable but it also does not satisfy the requirements of ordinary academic scholarship in any way whatsoever. Despite these reactions, the publisher stood by Clement and assessed the controversy surrounding his work merely as a symptom of internal anthroposophical conflicts.
But it was only after the internationally acknowledged expert in Anthroposophy, Helmut Zander, along with other influential Steiner researchers like Peter Staudenmaier, Hartmut Traub and Ansgar Martins, attested to the publisher that Clement is utterly academically incompetent, that, after 3 volumes, this ambitious editorial project will be transferred to some other editor.
As their justification, the publishers underscored the fact that Clement himself --- mainly through his stubborn insistence that Anthroposophy cannot be understood in a naive sense as a description of the “world beyond,” but must be regarded as advanced schooling in the idealistic philosophy of consciousness in the tradition of German Idealism --- created an impossible situation not only for Anthroposophists themselves but also for academic critics of Anthroposophy. "Steiner believed in spiritual beings and in worlds beyond just like you and I believe in tables and chairs. That’s just how it is,” commented Peter Staudenmaier recently, adding: “Whoever does not recognize that, simply cannot claim to be pursuing serious and critical Steiner research.” Even the widely renowned Anthroposophist, Holger Niederhausen agreed with the criticism saying: “Whatever Steiner says, it’s true. "
The publisher will decide by the end of April who will become Clement’s successor. Besides Helmut Zander and Pietro Archiati --- both of whom have already expressed their readiness --- other candidates are in the running, such as the muck-raking Anthroposophist, Willy Lochmann, and the Steiner expert Andreas Lichte.