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Christianity as Mystical Fact

And the Mysteries of Antiquity
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Paperback Book
Anthroposophic Press
May, 1997
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Banyen's Description: 

These lectures on “Christianity as a Mystical Fact” given by Steiner to the German Theosophical Society in 1901 and first published in book form in 1902 mark a watershed in the development of Western esotericism. In his introduction to this newly translated version, published in the Classics of Anthroposophy Series, translator Andrew Welburn writes:

Christianity as Mystical Fact was a significant book in Rudolf Steiner’s biography, being the first in which the well-known philosopher of freedom and Goethe scholar came forward with an interpretation of Christian beginnings and of the continuing relevance of Christianity to modern life—an interpretation he continued to develop and deepen over the next twenty-five years. But it was even more significant for raising issues that have dominated the whole discussion of Christianity in the remainder of our century. It was among the first books to confront the crisis of the evidence about Christianity that had been uncovered by the biblical criticism of the last century, and even more the questioning of the uniqueness of Christianity which resulted from researches in “comparative religion,” the rediscovery in the West of Buddhism, Hinduism, and so on. It is a great book, perhaps because it combines the personal authenticity… and the awareness of those larger questions that are still dealt with, on the whole, so inadequately today, and to which Rudolf Steiner proposed some exciting and thorough-going answers.”

Here readers will find the evolutionary development from the ancient Mysteries through the great Greek philosophers to the events portrayed in the Gospels.

As simultaneously mysticism and fact, Christianity is a breakthrough in the historical development of humanity for which the processes of the Mysteries, with the results which they brought about, form a prior evolutionary stage…

The festivals at Eleusis were an eloquent confession of the belief in the immortality of the human soul. The conviction was expressed in the imagery of the myth about Persephone. But alongside Demeter and Persephone at Eleusis, the god Dionysis was honored. If Demeter stood for the divine origin of the eternal within humanity, Dionysus was worshipped as the divine presence in the world, which assumes an endless variety of forms. He is the god poured out into cosmic existence, torn apart in order to be reborn spiritually. He rightly takes his place beside Demeter in the festivals.

Publisher’s Description: 

This book offers a fundamental look at steiner’s own development in relationship to the development of western esotericism and our understanding of the christ event. Here readers will find a line of evolutionary development from the ancient mysteries through the great greek philosophers to the events portrayed in the gospels. This newly translated edition has an introduction by andrew welburn, and is a welcome addition to the classics in anthroposophy series.0880104473no bible commentary has incorporated the remarkable spiritual insights of anthroposophy-until this one. The author combines his own extensive knowledge of traditional biblical scholarship with years of concentrated study of hundreds of steiner titles. Theresult is an extraordinary feat of scholarship.

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