Robert A. McDermott

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Biographical Information

"Robert McDermott, PhD, Boston University (Philosophy, 1969), program chair, is CIIS president emeritus and professor of philosophy and religion. He taught at Manhattanville College (1964-71) and is professor emeritus and former chair of the Department of Philosophy at Baruch College, CUNY (1971-90).

"His publications include Radhakrishnan (1970), The Essential Aurobindo (1974), The Essential Steiner (1984), and the "Introduction" to William James, Essays in Psychical Research (Harvard University Press, 1986). Robert recently edited The New Essential Steiner: An Introduction to Rudolf Steiner for the 21st Century (Lindisfarne Books, 2009) and edited The Bhagavad Gita and the West: The Esoteric Significance of the Bhagavad Gita and Its Relation to the Epistles of Paul (SteinerBooks, 2009)...

"He was secretary of the American Academy of Religion (1968-71) and secretary-treasurer of the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy (1972-76). In 1975-76, he was a Senior Fulbright Lecturer at the Open University, where he coproduced an OU-BBC film, Avatar: Concept and Example on the Bhagavad Gita and Sri Aurobindo.

"From 1978 to 1980, he was director of a National Endowment for the Humanities project for the review of audiovisual materials for the study of Hinduism and Buddhism. He is the founding chair of the board of Sophia Project (two homes in Oakland, CA, for mothers and children at risk of homelessness), and has been chair of the board and president of many other institutions." [1]

The New Essential Steiner was originally published by HarperSanFrancisco in 1984.


Robert acted as the editor for the "five articles in this theme issue of Re Vision were originally written for a seminar on Rudolf Steiner and American Philosophy which took place as part of the “Proj­ect for the Renewal of Thinking in Philosophy, Science and Education” (made pos­sible by a generous grant by Laurance S. Rockefeller). This week-long invitational seminar, which met at Wainwright House, in Rye, New York, in January 1991, ex­plored the relevance of Rudolf Steiner’s thought for the American philosophical tradition and for contemporary American thought and culture." [5]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. Robert A. McDermott, CIIS accessed November 28, 2011.
  2. Board, Spiritual Paths Foundation, accessed November 28, 2011.
  3. Program, Centre for the Story of the Universe, accessed December 11, 2011.
  4. About, Archai, accessed January 8, 2012.
  5. Introduction to Rudolf Steiner and American Thought, organizational web page, accessed September 5, 2012.