Biodynamic Wine-crafting in Switzerland

The Translation and Adaptation of Rudolf Steiner’s Cosmology into Dark Green Agronomies


  • Alexandre Grandjean Institute of Social Science of Religions, University of Lausanne



biodynamic, anthroposophy, wine-crafting, Switzerland, lived religion, dark green religion, agronomy, naturalism, supernaturalism


Over the past two decades, Swiss wine-crafting professionals (vignerons) have increasingly turned their attention toward a ‘holistic’ and ecosystemic understanding of their vineyards. Among them, a growing professional segment has engaged in an esoteric agronomy inspired by Rudolf Steiner: Biodynamics. This approach is illustrative of Bron Taylor’s dark green religion applied to agronomy. This ethnographic study describes and analyzes how Swiss vignerons translate and adapt the legacy of Steiner in their everyday lives. After detailing how practitioners frame their engagement in this agronomy, the author distinguishes two processes in the translation and adaptation of Rudolf Steiner’s insights: (a) secularization, which bridges the guidelines of biodynamics and common secular naturalistic ideas; and (b) spiritualization, which relies on supernaturalistic conceptions in line with ‘expressive selfhood’ and the quest for well-being. The author argues that these two processes do not stand in mutual opposition, but rather have been intertwined in Euro-American modernities.


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How to Cite

Grandjean, A. . (2021). Biodynamic Wine-crafting in Switzerland: The Translation and Adaptation of Rudolf Steiner’s Cosmology into Dark Green Agronomies. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, 15(3), 317–343.