Social Threefolding

Background Resources

Articles about social threefolding

“Building Community Around People” by Linda Lingane

Introduction to social threefolding that is both comprehensive and succinct

“The Threefold Social Organism: An Introduction” by Stephen E. Usher, PhD

Topics include historical context, elaboration of responsibilities in each of the three spheres, boundaries and their importance, evolution of consciousness, other perspectives.

“Threefold Social Order” (Organism) by Guenther Wachsmuth

A good introductory article, although the tone is somewhat old-fashioned

“Spiritual Science and the Social Question” – Parts 2 and 3 by Rudolf Steiner

Comparison of social threefolding and the utopian community founded by Robert Owen in the 19th century.  The importance of a spiritual mission to which each person is committed.


Lamb, Gary and Hearn, Sarah, eds. Steinerian Economics: A Compendium. Hillsdale, New York: Adonis Press, 2014.

“What Gary Lamb and Sarah Hearn have accomplished with this Compendium is nothing short of extraordinary in its breadth and focus. And it is clearly a labor of love, inquiry, and service.”

– John Bloom, Senior Director of Organizational Culture for RSF Social Finance and author, Inhabiting Interdependence: Being in the Next Economy

Purchase at:  SteinerBooks  or  Amazon

Large, Martin & Briault, Steve, eds. Free, Equal and Mutual. Gloucestershire, United Kingdom: Hawthorn Press, 2018.

Collection of articles by various authors offering different perspectives on social threefolding and related challenges.  See Table of Contents, Parts 1 and 2.  (See also the “Threefolding Examples” tab which lists articles about threefolding initiatives and openings for creating a better future.)

Press Release

Book Review

Purchase at:  Hawthorn Press   or   SteinerBooks

Steiner, Rudolf. The Threefold Social Order [Organism]. New York: Anthroposophic Press, Inc., 1972.  (Note:  Gary Lamb asserts that the original German word meant “organism” but the word was incorrectly translated when the English version was published.  This book was newly translated and more recently printed under the title Towards Social Renewal. Forest Row, East Sussex, Great Britain:  Rudolf Steiner Press, 2009.)

Free printable form at:

Purchase Towards Social Renewal at:  SteinerBooks    or   Amazon

Related articles

“Stanford historian uncovers a grim correlation between violence and inequality over the millennia” by Chris Kark

From the Stanford News, January 24, 2017

“This is not your parents’ economy” by Rebecca Beyer

From Stanford Magazine, June 21, 2017

Website is a platform for dialogue and resources on the most recent thinking about social threefolding.

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