In the fall and winter of 1901-02, Rudolf Steiner gave a series of lectures on "Christianity as Mystical Fact" in the library belonging to Count and Countess Brockdorff, patrons of the German Theosophical Society. These lectures were then rewritten and issued in book form in the summer of 1902. They mark a watershed in the development of Western esotericism. As Steiner writes in his Autobiography. "My intention was not simply to present the mystical content of Christianity. Rather, my aim was to describe evolution from the ancient Mysteries to the Mystery of Golgotha in such a way as to reveal forces at work in this evolution that were not just earthy, historical forces, but spiritual, extra-earthly impulses. I wanted to show that the content presented in the ancient Mysteries took the form of ritualistic pictures of events occurring within the cosmos, events that were then transferred from the cosmos to the earth in the Mystery of Golgotha as a sense-perceptible fact accomplished on the plane of history".
Christianity as Mystical Fact is a fundamental book, both in Steiner's own development and in the development of Western esotericism and our understanding of the Christ event. Here readers will find the evolutionary development from the ancient Mysteries through the great Greek philosophers to the events portrayed in the Gospels. This new edition, therefore, newly translated, edited, and introduced by Andrew Welburn, is a welcome addition to the "Classics in Anthroposophy" series.