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Encountering Rudolf Steiner

Introductions to Essential Works

April 2022
More details
  • Publisher
  • Published
    12th April 2022
  • ISBN 9781621482772
  • Language English
  • Pages 360 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"

“The deep aim, or intention, of an introduction (understood esoterically) is a ‘living understanding,’ or, as the poet William Blake put it, the ability ‘to catch the bird in flight and fly with it.’ If successful, this makes it possible for any reader to hear or translate, into his or her own understanding, what Rudolf Steiner is offering, within and beyond his words, in these texts of The Collected Works.” —Christopher Bamford

Rudolf Steiner’s writings and lectures comprise a collection of more than 350 volumes, which can overwhelm anyone hoping to gain an understanding of the vast range of their content. Beginning in the 1990s, as editor in chief of Anthroposophic Press (SteinerBooks), Christopher Bamford wrote introductions to more than fifty books in the English translations, each one offering readers significant context and keys to open up many areas of Steiner’s works.

This volume presents fifteen of those introductions to some of Steiner’s most essential books and lectures on anthroposophic practices, Western esoteric streams, religious renewal, and inner development, as well as practical applications of anthroposophic principles for a threefold society and contributions to modern holistic medicine.

Taken together, these introductions provide one of the best possible means of encountering Rudolf Steiner by revealing the background, significance, and relevance of his philosophy and insights for humanity today and in the future.

This book is for anyone seeking a way into Steiner’s worldview, as well as for those who are already familiar with the work of Rudolf Steiner and wish to delve more deeply into the many aspects of the anthroposophic path of knowledge.

C O N T E N T S:

Foreword by William M. Jensen
Preface by Christopher Bamford
Introduction by Robert A. McDermott

1. Rudolf Steiner’s Biography and Mission
Autobiography: Chapters in the Course of My Life, 1861–1907
From the History and Contents of the First Section of the Esoteric School, 1904–1914

2. Anthroposophic Practice
Start Now! A Book of Soul and Spiritual Exercises
A Way of Self-knowledge: And the Threshold of the Spiritual World

3. Western Esoteric Traditions
Spiritualism, Madame Blavatsky, and Theosophy: An Eyewitness View of Occult History
The Secret Stream: Christian Rosenkreutz and Rosicrucianism
Isis Mary Sophia: Her Mission and Ours

4. Esoteric Christian Renewal
Christianity as Mystical Fact and the Mysteries of Antiquity
First Steps in Christian Religious Renewal

5. Fidelity to Those Who Have Died
Staying Connected: How to Continue Your Relationships with Those Who Have Died
The Influence of the Dead on Destiny

6. Anthroposophy in The World
Freedom of Thought and Societal Forces: Implementing the Demands of Modern Society
Becoming the Archangel Michael’s Companions: Rudolf Steiner’s Challenge to the Younger Generation
The Healing Process: Spirit, Nature, and Our Bodies
Love and Its Meaning in the World

Christopher Bamford

Christopher Bamford (1943–2022) was born in Cardiff, South Wales, and lived for a while in Hungary and then in Scotland. He studied as an undergraduate at Trinity University in Dublin and earned his master’s degree at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. For nearly thirty years, he was Editor in Chief at SteinerBooks (Anthroposophic Press) and its imprints. A Fellow of the Lindisfarne Association, he lectured, taught, and wrote widely on Western spiritual and esoteric traditions. His books include a selection of his numerous introductions, Encountering Rudolf Steiner: Introductions to Essential Works (2022); Healing Madonnas: Exploring the Sequence of Madonna Images Created by Rudolf Steiner and Felix Peipers for Use in Therapy and Meditation (2017); An Endless Trace: The Passionate Pursuit of Wisdom in the West (2003); and The Voice of the Eagle: The Heart of Celtic Christianity (1990). He also translated and edited numerous books, including Homage to Pythagoras: Rediscovering Sacred Science (2001); The Noble Traveller: The Life and Writings of O. V. de L. Milosz (1984); and Celtic Christianity: Ecology and Holiness (1982). Essays by Mr. Bamford are included in The Best Spiritual Writing 2000 (“In the Presence of Death”) and The Best American Spiritual Writing 2005 (“The Gift of the Call”). Christopher passed over the threshold on May 13, 2022, at his Mt. Washington, Massachusetts home.