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Alexine Joubert wrote:

Sir/Madam,

I have surfed the Vatican web site for information that would answer my question but could not find any.

  • Do you know the Vatican's view on the Christian Community and Rudolf Steiner?

Thank you in advance for your help.

Alexine

  { Do you know the Vatican's view on the Christian Community and Rudolf Steiner? }

Richard replied:

Hi, Alexine —

My Encyclopedia of American Religions describes the "Christian Community" under the category of "Ancient Wisdom" religions, along with Rosicrucianism, Theosophy, and other movements based on occult and metaphysical ideas.

The "Christian Community" finds its roots in the teaching of Rudolf Steiner, a German literary scholar and mystical Christian thinker who lived about 100 years ago. While affiliated for some years with the occult-ic "Theosophical Society", he broke with its leader, Annie Besant, and organized a new "Anthroposophical Society" in 1912 in order to preserve a Christ-centered focus and reject the increasing adoption of Eastern mysticism in Theosophy.

Steiner thought that Christ was not just another religious figure; rather, Christ replaced the Eastern religions, by opening a new era for man to search for the spiritual in the material world.

Christian pastors and students in Steiner's movement sought to express his ideas about man and about the evolution of the world in liturgical and communal form. Steiner and a Lutheran pastor founded the Christian Community in 1922. Its governance follows a congregational model, but it does have common beliefs and rituals. The Christian Community is not formally linked to the Anthroposophical Society, but many are members of both groups.

The Anthroposophical Society and the Christian Community spread to the U.S. through German immigrants, but started to spread further after World War II as Steiner's writings became more widely available in English. In 1989, there were ten congregations of the Christian Community within the United States. The Anthroposophical Society has its United States base in New York.

The Vatican doesn't have any official position on most of the religious groups in the world,
so I expect they have never made an official statement on Steiner's thought or his movement.

Richard Chonak

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