Written 1902 (CW 8)
During the fall and winter of 1901–02, Steiner gave a series of lectures called “Christianity as Mystical Fact” to members of the Theosophical Society. The lectures were rewritten and issued as a book later that year. They mark a watershed in the development of Western esotericism.
This is a significant book—for Steiner's own development, that of Western esotericism, and our own understanding of the Christ event. Readers will find the evolutionary development from the ancient Mysteries through the great Greek philosophers to the events portrayed in the Gospels.
The Chadwick Library Edition is an endeavor to republish—mostly in new or thoroughly revised English translations—several written works of Rudolf Steiner. The edition is named for the late horticulturist Alan Chadwick, whose life and work has served as inspiration to the small group from which the idea originated. Our extensive experience with special bindings led to the selection—for this “trade edition” of 750 books—of a leather spine binding, cloth sides, and a light slipcase. For the hand-numbered edition (100 books), the binding is full leather with a hand-gilt top of the pages in a fine, stiff, cloth-covered slipcase. The leather is blue calfskin, and the title stamping on the spines is in genuine gold leaf. All of this will be carried out by hand at one of the finest binders, Ruggero Rigoldi.
This book is a translation from German of «Das Christentum als mystische Tatsache und die Mysterien des Altertum» (GA 8).
Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up (see right). As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.
Clifford Venho is a poet, translator, author, editor, and movement artist. He was born in New York City and studied English and creative writing at the State University of New York at New Paltz. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Dewdrop, Modern Literature, Chronogram Magazine and La Piccioletta Barca, among others. His translation of Novalis' Hymns to the Night was published by Mercury Press (2015). He is also a translator at Chadwick Library Edition, focusing on the translation of works by Austrian philosopher and spiritual thinker Rudolf Steiner. His essays on Shakespeare, the art of eurythmy and Rudolf Steiner have appeared or are forthcoming in The Decadent Review and Being Human. He teaches courses in eurythmy and poetry at Eurythmy Spring Valley, New York.
David Ecklund studied eurythmy at the American Eurythmy School near Mt. Shasta, California, and at the Eurythmeum in Stuttgart, Germany. He has worked as a teacher of eurythmy, languages, and Anthroposophy on three continents. His other adventures include planting a hundred-thousand trees, co-founding Youth Initiative High School and Thoreau College (both in Viroqua, Wisconsin), acting at the Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre in Alaska, coaching C-suite executives in the tech industry, volunteering at Camphill communities in Eastern Europe, and starting a family. He is deeply grateful for the opportunity to work as a translator for the Chadwick Library Press, where he has contributed to the translation and revision of many of Rudolf Steiner’s books, most notably, producing new translations of The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity and Theosophy.