Christmas: An Introductory Reader

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Rudolf Steiner Press, 2007 - Philosophy - 160 pages
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Rudolf Steiner, the multifaceted genius of the twentieth century, contributed much to the renewal of world culture. In addition to his philosophical teachings, he offered ideas for the development of many practical activities, including education, agriculture, medicine, economics, architecture, science, religion, and the arts.
Steiner s original contribution to human knowledge was based on his ability to conduct spiritual research, the investigation of metaphysical dimensions of existence. With his scientific and philosophical training, he brought a new systematic discipline to the field, allowing for conscious methods and comprehensive results. A natural seer from childhood, he cultivated his spiritual vision to a high degree, enabling him to speak with authority on previously veiled mysteries of life.
This introductory reader collects excerpts from Steiner s many talks and writings on the significance of Christmas. This volume features an editorial introduction, afterword, commentary, and notes by Matthew Barton.
Chapters:
  • Christmas in a Grevious Age
  • Christmas and the Earth
  • Delving to the Core
  • The Child and the Tree
  • Toward a New Christmas
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Contents

Can We Celebrate Christmas?
9
Christ Beyond Strife
12
Empty Phrase or Inner Peace?
15
Old Christmas Play Traditions
21
Earth Holds Its Breath
23
Music and Form Midsummer to Midwinter
26
Connected to All the Universe
32
Christmas Initiation Seeing the Sun at Midnight
45
Innocence and Experience
83
Past Present and Future
97
Reverence as a Healing Force
108
Shepherds and Magi Two Ways of Knowing
110
From Birth to Rebirth
119
Christ Born Within Us
128
The Calyx of Mary the Blossom of Jesus the Seed of Christ
137
Afterword
147

Love the Greatest Power
49
From Paradise to Golgotha the Thirteen Holy Nights
56
Extract from the Dream Song of Olaf Asteson
71
The Jesus Child
75
The Golden Legend
78
Notes
151
Sources
155
Further Reading
157
Note Regarding Rudolf Steiners Lectures
159
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Austrian-born Rudolf Steiner was a noted Goethe (see Vol. 2) scholar and private student of the occult who became involved with Theosophy in Germany in 1902, when he met Annie Besant (1847--1933), a devoted follower of Madame Helena P. Blavatsky (1831--1891). In 1912 he broke with the Theosophists because of what he regarded as their oriental bias and established a system of his own, which he called Anthroposophy (anthro meaning "man"; sophia sophia meaning "wisdom"), a "spiritual science" he hoped would restore humanism to a materialistic world. In 1923 he set up headquarters for the Society of Anthroposophy in New York City. Steiner believed that human beings had evolved to the point where material existence had obscured spiritual capacities and that Christ had come to reverse that trend and to inaugurate an age of spiritual reintegration. He advocated that education, art, agriculture, and science be based on spiritual principles and infused with the psychic powers he believed were latent in everyone. The world center of the Anhthroposophical Society today is in Dornach, Switzerland, in a building designed by Steiner. The nonproselytizing society is noted for its schools.

Matthew Barton is a translator, editor, teacher, and poet, and taught kindergarten for many years at the Bristol Waldorf School. His first collection of poems was Learning To Row (1999). He has won numerous prizes for his work, including an Arts Council Writer's Award and a Hawthornden Fellowship.

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