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Religion - Rudolf Steiner - An Introductory ReaderReligion – An Introductory Reader
Selected lectures by Rudolf Steiner
Original texts compiled with an introduction, commentary and notes by Andrew Welburn

Religion - Rudolf Steiner selected lectures: The word ‘religion’ has few meanings but many associations. Such associations in our time are often negative – priesthoods, dogmas, fundamentalism, fanaticism, inquisitions, power and control. A few, however, are still able to experience through meditation, prayer or ritual, the essential purpose of religion: communion with the spiritual realms that are believed to surround and permeate all existence – while most cannot experience more than the idea of such a possibility, or dismiss it altogether as hallucination or self-deception.

Churches today are little able to inspire anything that amounts to what, in earlier civilisations, could be enthused in the human being as the religious experience – and any such experience, past or present – is often regarded by the wisdom of today, even within the Church, as some kind of psychological disturbance.

Few are able to admit any possibility of what is stated categorically by Rudolf Steiner to exist – a realm of soul and spirit, out of which humanity and all life descended. And it is certainly not considered that humanity, in a pre-conceptual period of its historical development – was able through an enlivened state of imagination and feeling – to experience this realm as the very source of its own existence and the continuing basis for its orientation and growth.

In the course of time, it was humanity’s lot to lose this capacity and to orient itself instead to the purely physical aspects of existence – not finally and forever but for a season. Human consciousness could not achieve true independent development otherwise, something which according to Steiner is essential to its intended evolutionary development.

Many ancient civilisations had cultural centres where the link with the spiritual was perpetually cultivated through contemplation, through ritual and through the mysterious rites of initiation. These centres directed the cultures through royalty and initiated priesthoods so that societies maintained a spiritually-based cohesiveness.

In time, tragically but inevitably, these lost their source of inspiration and decadence and corruption ensued. Religion in many cultures has become at its best, a kind of insurance against one’s mortality, and its worst, a source of control, cruelty and suffering.

In this selection of lectures, Rudolf Steiner describes the history, importance and meaning of religion; how it developed out of these ancient cultural Mystery centres; how the human soul could experience the divine then and now; and how religion itself can be resurrected in a new form, bringing the human soul once again into communion with its spiritual source in a way that is suited to contemporary human consciousness.

Contents:

  • Mysticism and beyond: the importance of prayer
  • The Meaning of Sin and Grace
  • Rediscovering the Bible
  • What is True Communion?
  • Rediscovering the Festivals and the Life of the Earth
  • Finding one’s Destiny: Walking with Christ
  • The Significance of Religion in Life and Death
  • Christ’s Second Coming: the Truth of Our Time
  • Universal Religion: the Meaning of Love

 

Sophia Books
218pp; paperback
ISBN: 1 85584 128 2

 

 





 

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