Rudolf Steiner’s Christology
Rev. Malcolm Allsop gave a lecture to the Anthroposophical Group on Friday, 11th September. Although his talk was entitled Rudolf Steiner and Christianity Malcolm began by explaining the meaning of Christology. Christology is the study of Christ and everyone who makes a study of the Christ may have their own Christology. The lecture therefore was concerned with Rudolf Steiner’s study of the Christ, but not through a study of scripture as much as through his own study of Spiritual Science.
Rudolf Steiner’s Christology can be divided into three time-spans: firstly the period up to the birth of Jesus; secondly the 33 years of the life of Jesus; and lastly the period after the Ascension. For many Christians their Christology spans only the period from the Conception to the Ascension and they view Christ as having sat at the right hand of God ever since. Malcolm firstly gave us some insights into the life of Rudolf Steiner, taken from Steiner’s autobiography, from the time he was a young boy up to the start of World War I, of the people, events and places that shaped and influenced him. Steiner had an inner experience at the end of the 19th century of “standing before the Mystery of Golgotha” that shaped his teaching in Berlin in the early part of the 20th century. Steiner made a significant remark that it is necessary to wrestle with the teachings of Nietzsche in order to bring Christianity into future centuries.
Malcolm took Steiner’s Christology back to the separation of the Sun from the Earth. At this point a group of beings under the leadership of a Sublime Being left the Earth with the Sun and continued to guide the development of the Ego of the human being from the Sun. Steiner does not directly say that this Sublime Being is the Christ but the indication is very strong. During Lemuria the Christ worked through the guise of an Archangel teaching humanity uprightness. During Atlantis Christ taught humanity the ability to speak. Steiner tells us how in the post-Atlantean epochs the Christ drew ever closer to the Earth and worked through the spiritual leaders of each epoch – the Rishis, Zarathustra, etc. These spiritual leaders kept the teachings secret and shared them only with selected followers. The Druidic teachings prepared Ireland to receive the teachings of the Christ. The deed of Golgotha was a public display that opened the secret teachings of the Mystery Streams to the whole world.
The incarnation of the Christ onto the earth was also revealed in a different light by Steiner. Steiner explains how the history of the Hebrew people though the Old Testament was a preparation for the incarnation of the Christ. Yet this thorough preparation was still not sufficient for one human body to hold the Christ and so two bodies, two Jesus children were born (as described separately by Matthew and Luke). Steiner describes in great detail the task carried by each of these two children. Whereas many theologians view the Christ as having incarnated into the baby Jesus, Steiner describes the Baptism in the Jordan as the point of the start of the incarnation of the Christ into the man Jesus. The High Sun Being lived on earth for three years. This Being is revealed under special circumstances at the Transfiguration and the earthquake at the death on the cross. Following his death the Christ penetrates the very earth itself to work as a healing for the earth. This healing continues to work on as the Christ has made the earth his new home becoming accessible to each person individually.
Christ entered into the history of humanity at the very centre of time. Up to that point the development of humanity had been the development of Wisdom. The second half of time will be the development of Love which the Christ prefigured in his earthly incarnation. For humanity to undergo this developmental process reincarnation is central to Steiner. Steiner describes the past lives of prominent personalities connected with the Christ to show how this relationship was not of a single lifetime.
In the discussion that followed the talk several people spoke of the knowledge that lived in the time of the great masters many of whom clearly painted two Jesus children and even two sets of parents. The Christology that Rudolf Steiner presented as a unity is not new to this world but was not mainstream knowledge.