Christian Community






The Christian Community is an 

overtly religious offshoot of Anthroposophy. 

Whether it is truly “Christian” 

is a matter of interpretation. 

The Community leans heavily 

on Anthroposophical doctrines 

that are incompatible with the teachings 

of mainstream Christian denominations. 






"The Christian Community recognizes Christ's deed of life and death as the pivotal renewal in humanity's history. He brought a new relationship between human beings on earth and the beings of the spiritual worlds." — The Christian Community; Movement for Religious Renewal  http://www.thechristiancommunity.org/.


Note how this statement, placed prominently on a Christian Community web page, reflects Steiner’s teachings: Christ is referred to as an extremely important historical figure, but not as the Son of God as He is usually conceived; the statement refers to multiple “spiritual worlds;” and it refers to many “beings” in those worlds (Steiner referred to many such “beings” as gods — the Christ of Anthroposophy is one such god, specifically the god of the Sun; Anthroposophy is polytheistic).





Here is how Steiner’s influence is described within the Christian Community. Note the inclusion of doctrines that are alien to mainstream or orthodox Christianity. 


"The Christian Community is part of an international movement for the renewal of religion, founded in 1922 in Switzerland by the eminent Lutheran theologian and minister Friedrich Rittlemeyer, with the help of Rudolf Steiner, Austrian thinker and mystic ...  [T]he teachings are rich, varied and evolving. They are inspired by traditional Christian theology, the original work of Rudolf Steiner, and by independent research and insights of priests and members. There is room in this modern Christian theology to incorporate such ideas as reincarnation and karma, a truly cosmic conception of Christ, and the role of spiritual beings at all levels of existence." — http://www.thechristiancommunity.org/about.htm.

The "independent research" performed by Steiner's admirers is Anthroposophy — that is, the attempt to use clairvoyance to gain direct knowledge of the spirit realm.





Here is how the Community's creed is often described. Like many statements prepared for public consumption by Anthroposophists and their allies, a sort of code is used; the writing is intended to conceal more than it reveals. But the code can be cracked. Note that the word “God” is avoided; there is a being or force that “goes before” us, but is not in any clear sense our creator or lord. This being is “like a Father,” as if by analogy. Likewise, Christ is not explicitly the Son; rather, he “is to this being as the Son,” a formulation that avoids clear, specific wording such as “Christ is the Son of God.” Instead, Christ is described in terms consistent with Anthroposophy, as a being who “will in time unite for the advancement of the world with those whom, through their bearing, he can wrest from the death of matter.” This is Steiner’s conception: Christ, the Sun God, helps us in our evolution (our “advancement”); he is our Prototype, and when we rise about deadly material existence, we will rise to become his equals — that is, those of us whose bearing is correct will do so. The correct bearing, of course, is allegiance to spiritual science, Anthroposophy.


"An almighty divine being, spiritual-physical, is the ground of existence of the heavens and of the earth who goes before his creatures like a Father.

"Christ, through whom human beings attain the re-enlivening of the dying earth-existence, is to this divine being as the Son born in eternity.

"In Jesus the Christ entered as man into the earthly world.

"The birth of Jesus upon earth is a working of the Holy Spirit who, to heal spiritually the sickness of sin within the bodily nature of mankind, prepared the son of Mary to be the vehicle of the Christ.

"The Christ Jesus suffered under Pontius Pilate the death on the cross and was lowered into the grave of the earth.

"In death he became the helper of the souls of the dead who had lost their divine nature.

"Then he overcame death after three days.

"Since that time he is the Lord of the heavenly forces upon earth and lives as the fulfiller of the fatherly deeds of the ground of the world.

"He will in time unite for the advancement of the world with those whom, through their bearing, he can wrest from the death of matter.

"Through him can the healing Spirit work. 

"Communities whose members feel the Christ within themselves may feel united in a Church to which all belong who are aware of the health-bringing power of the Christ.

"They may hope for the overcoming of the sickness of sin; for the continuance of man's being; and for the preservation of their life destined for eternity." — http://www.thechristiancommunity.org/creed.htm.




The Christian Community, like Anthroposophy, is essentially gnostic: The meaning of the Gospels and of all other spiritual truths is hidden from most humans. Only the initiated, the insiders, can learn the truth. A new way of thinking is required — what Steiner referred to as “exact clairvoyance.” Anthroposophy is intended to show how to attain this power, and it purports to lay out “truths” found through it.


"The whole of the New Testament, especially the four gospels, is a powerful source of revelation and inspiration for life. However, modern minds are often unable to access this source of life. The gospels require of modern minds a different way of reading, listening, and hearing." — http://www.thechristiancommunity.org/gospels.htm.





Here is an account of the founding of the Christian Community:


"The completion of the first Act of Consecration of Man constituted the birth of The Christian Community. It was preceded by the immeasurable and selfless help of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), whose science of the spirit, Anthroposophy, is an essential component of theology for priests in The Christian Community. The founders of The Christian Community, including Friedrich Rittelmeyer and Emil Bock, had questions about the renewal of Christianity that led to the creation of The Christian Community in Europe in 1922. It is not an 'anthroposophical church,' although it is the only Christian church whose clergy recognize Anthroposophy and have accepted it as a decisive aid for the broadening and renewal of theology." [http://www.thechristiancommunity.org/founding.htm]

The difference between being an Anthroposophical church and being a church that "recognizes" Anthroposophy and uses it as an "essential component" is subtle. We'll return to this point. But first, here's another account of the founding:


"Friedrich Rittelmeyer (October 5, 1872 – March 23, 1938), was an evangelical minister working first in Nuremberg, Bavaria, and later in Berlin. In Berlin he attended lectures by Rudolf Steiner and was pleased with what he had to say concerning religion. This was his impetus for founding The Christian Community in Stuttgart, Germany 1922. He connected Steiner's Anthroposophy with biblical annunciation. He believed that Dr. Steiner made clear in the deepest sense the true meaning of the holy bible. Rittelmeyer said about Dr. Steiner: 'Not a minister stands before us, not a prophet: The knowing man of a reality stands before us.' Later he supplied 'A new annunciation of Christ was standing before me. A new Christian time has arisen.'

"Stewart Easton says, from the foreword to the latest edition of this book: 'The best book available on the subject of reincarnation, giving the most cogent arguments for its acceptance not only by those who can no longer believe in Christianity and have long ago abandoned it, but equally by believing and practicing Christians.'” — Friedrich Rittelmeyer, REINCARNATION (The Christian Community Bookshop, 1936; Rudolf Steiner Press, 1990).





Before reading Steiner on the Christian Community, let's glance at something he said about “Christian community” (small "c") in a broader, more generic sense. Any applicability to the Christian Community per se may be inferred. Note the references to Mysteries, initiation, mysticism, higher worlds... Steiner makes the claim, which he often made, that all mystical traditions essentially agree — the ones dating from the period before Christ's incarnation prepared the way for Christ, and now the real meaning of Christ can be found in Steiner’s own teachings (not in any mainstream churches).


"The Gospels, therefore, contain in themselves no evidence of their truth, but they are to be believed because they are founded on the personality of Jesus, and because in a mysterious way the Church draws from this personality the power to make them appear as truth. The Mysteries handed down through tradition the means of coming to the truth; the Christian community propagates this truth itself. Faith in the One, the primordial Initiator was to be added to faith in the mystical forces which light up in man's inner being during initiation. The mystics sought apotheosis; they wished to experience it. Jesus was made divine; we must cling to him; then we are participants in his apotheosis within the community established by him: — This became Christian conviction. What was made divine in Jesus, is made divine for his whole community ... In the Christ-experience a quite definite stage of initiation is to be seen. When the mystic of pre-Christian times went through this Christ-experience, then, through his initiation, he was in a condition enabling him to perceive something spiritual — in higher worlds — for which the material world had no corresponding fact. He experienced what comprises the Mystery of Golgotha in the higher world. Now when the Christian mystic goes through this experience, through initiation, at the same time he beholds the historical event on Golgotha and knows that in this event, which took place in the world of the senses, is the same content as formerly existed only in the supersensible facts of the Mysteries. What had descended upon the mystics within the Mystery temples in earlier times thus descended upon the community of Christ through the 'Mystery of Golgotha.' And initiation gives the Christian mystic the possibility of becoming conscious of this content of the 'Mystery of Golgotha,' while faith causes mankind to participate unconsciously in the mystical current which flowed from the events depicted in the New Testament and has been permeating the spiritual life of humanity ever since." — Rudolf Steiner, CHRISTIANITY AS MYSTICAL FACT (Rudolf Steiner Publications, 1961), chapter 6, GA 8.





Steiner embraced the Christian Community (which calls itself the Movement for Religious Renewal), but he stressed that it must not stray too far from Anthroposophy. He wanted his followers to remain primarily committed to Anthroposophy itself. Members of the Christian Community, like Waldorf School teachers, should reserve their greatest loyalty for Anthroposophy.


"I most certainly do not mean to criticize the Movement for Religious Renewal in the slightest, for it was brought into being three and a half months ago with my own cooperation and advice. It would be the most natural thing in the world for me to be profoundly delighted should it succeed. Surely no doubt can exist on this score. Nevertheless, after it had been in existence for three and a half months, I had to speak as I did at that time in Dornach, directing my comments not to the Movement for Religious Renewal but to the anthroposophists, including of course those attached to the Movement for Religious Renewal. What I had to say was, in so many words: Yes, rejoice in the child, but don't forget the mother and the care and concern due her. That care and concern are owed her by the Movement for Religious Renewal, too, but most particularly by the members of the Anthroposophical Society.


"For what a thing it would be if the Society were to be slighted, if anthroposophists were to turn away from it to an offspring movement, not in the sense of saying that those of us who have grown together with the Anthroposophical Movement can be the best advisors and helpers of an offspring movement, but instead turning away from the Anthroposophical Movement of which they were members with the feeling that they have at last found what they were really looking for, something they could never have found in anthroposophy! Though there is every reason to be overjoyed at the parent's concern for the child, it must be clearly recognized that the child cannot prosper if the mother is neglected. If anthroposophists who join the Movement for Religious Renewal leave much to be desired as members of the Anthroposophical Society, we would face exactly the same situation as would have to be faced in the case of a Waldorf School teacher who, though a first-rate man in his field, contributed too little to the Society.


"... [T]hough on the one hand the Waldorf School has thus far preserved the truly anthroposophical character I have been discussing [Steiner said the school arose from Anthroposophy but does not teach it], we have seen just in this case on the other hand how extraordinarily difficult it is to keep the right relationship between the Anthroposophical Society as the parent, and its offspring activities ... Speaking radically, I would put it thus: A person can be the most excellent Waldorf School teacher imaginable, one wholly consonant with the spirit in which the Waldorf School grew out of the Anthroposophical Movement to become a universally human undertaking. He can carry on his work as a Waldorf teacher wholly in that spirit ... The individual Waldorf teacher may make most excellent contributions to it without necessarily doing the right thing by the [Anthroposophical] Society as a member ... But the failure to give the parent entity what it needs in order to foster all its offspring properly is cause for the greatest anxiety, for really deep worry about the Anthroposophical Movement." — Rudolf Steiner, AWAKENING TO COMMUNITY (Anthroposophic Press, 1974), lecture 1, GA 257.





Steiner gave differing accounts of the relationship between the “child” (the Waldorf movement or the Christian Community) and the “mother” (Anthroposophy). Sometimes he preferred to stress the relationship, and sometimes he preferred to minimize it.


"The spiritual substance streaming through the circle of priests of the Christian Community was bestowed on it through my mediation two years ago ... This bestowal was such that the Christian Community remains entirely independent  of the Anthroposophical Society." — Rudolf Steiner, THE BOOK OF REVELATION AND THE WORK OF THE PRIEST (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1998), p. 261.


It is perfectly true that in a formal, organizational sense, Waldorf schools and the Christian Community are independent of the Anthroposophical Society. But in a real, spiritual sense, they are tightly bound to it: The Community, and the schools, and the Society embody Steiner’s spiritual teachings. Consider what it means that Steiner bestowed “the spiritual substance streaming through the circle of priests of the Christian Community.” 


According to Steiner, such mainstream churches as the Catholic Church teach lies. Only a church incorporating his own doctrines can reveal the truth in a way that is appropriate for our current stage of evolution.


"[T]he Catholic Church receives spiritual revelations falsified by Ahriman ... [By contrast the] spiritual element is present in the Christian Community in the most appropriate way for the stage of evolution humanity has reached today. The Christian Community is established on spiritual soil by spiritual beings in reality." — THE BOOK OF REVELATION AND THE WORK OF THE PRIEST, p. 223.


So Steiner distanced himself from the Christian Community, sometimes, and he endorsed it, sometimes. It is an offspring of Anthroposophy, nourished by Anthroposophy. In that sense, it is excellent. But it must not supplant Anthroposophy, which is the pinnacle of human spiritual apprehension (and, in fact — although Steiner denied this — it is a religion in its own right). To the degree that the Christian Community affirms Anthroposophy — and does not weaken anyone’s contributions to the Anthroposophical Society — Steiner was for it. To the extent that it doesn’t, he wasn’t.


In sum, the Christian Community is the overtly religious side of the general Anthroposophical movement. Anthroposophy itself is the covertly religious side — a religion that Steiner himself may have not realized is a religion. He insisted that it is a science, which it clearly is not. He denied that it is a religion, which it clearly is. [See "Is Anthroposophy a Religion?"]












To explore some Christian Community church services

that have been used in Waldorf schools,

see "Waldorf Worship".
















"He Suffered"

by Anthroposophical artist

Arild Rosenkrantz.





— Compilation and commentary by Roger Rawlings













The following excerpt, by Dr. Peter Staudenmaier,

traces links and parallels between Nazism and the Christian Community.




During the 1030s, Christian Community leaders readily announced their acceptance of the Nazi regime, stating repeatedly: “The Christian Community recognizes the National Socialist state.” [1] They also noted that “there are many party members in our membership.” [2] These claims, raised both before and after the November 1935 ban on the Anthroposophical Society, reflected more than tactful acknowledgment of the political climate. There were substantive points of contact between Nazi ideology and Christian Community thinking, particularly around the issues of Germany’s national mission and of the deleterious effects of Judaism. [3]  


Such affinities, at times ambivalent and indistinct, were not a protective anthroposophist response to the Nazi state; they were evident for years before Hitler came to power. Christian Community spokespeople had long placed a central emphasis on overcoming Jewish elements within German religious and spiritual life. This stance had practical impact, but one which differed fundamentally from Nazi attitudes. For Steiner’s followers, “the Jews must become Christians!” [4] Well before the rise of Nazism, anthroposophists were particularly piqued by the suggestion that Jews were amply represented in their ranks. In the pages of the Christian Community journal in February 1929, [Community leader Friedrich] Rittelmeyer noted that “conspicuously few Jews” were members of the Anthroposophical Society. [5] In 1932 Rittelmeyer disdained the “Jewish spirit” behind such un-German phenomena as “internationalism and pacifism.” [6] The same year his Christian Community colleague August Pauli associated the Jews with the “disintegrating effects of intellectualism and materialism.” [7] Rittelmeyer himself linked the Jews to “the egoistic-intellectualistic-materialist spirit.” [8] He taught that it was the special task of the Germanic peoples to overcome this spirit.

The emphasis on “overcoming” purportedly Jewish aspects of Christianity runs throughout Christian Community publications from the Nazi era. Rittelmeyer’s articles and books regularly contrasted “die Juden” to “die Germanen” and portrayed Jews as a people in decline, “decadent” and “degenerate” and out of step with spiritual evolution. However, “the individual Jew,” if especially insightful, could “work his way out of his race.” [9] In order to cleanse Christianity of its Jewish residues, “a great act of purification” was needed, and the Germans were the people best suited to carry it out. [10] Rittelmeyer’s successor as head of the Christian Community, Emil Bock, charged the Jews with “national egotism” and called on the Germans not to make the mistake the Jews did, and to fulfill the German cosmic mission and bring enlightenment and redemption to the world. [11] In a 1934 article in the Christian Community journal, Rittelmeyer declared that Jews today embody “corrosive criticism and impotent dialectic” and above all “materialism, intellectualism, egoism.” [12] Surmounting this malignant influence would require elevating the “race question” into a “spiritual question.” A June 1936 lecture by the Christian Community pastor from Leipzig put it thus: “The Jewish law suppressed every impulse toward freedom. It created instead a strongly intellectual orientation. It also made the world lose its liveliness and color. The only path it allowed was one of commandment and prohibition.” [13] Another member of the group told the Gestapo in August 1939 that the Christian Community was the only Christian denomination that had “cast off the remnants of Jewish origin” and had thus become “the sole truly German form of Christianity.” [14]

   

Christian Community representatives welcomed the Nazi notion of “positive Christianity” as a significant advance in German religious and political life. [15] With this achievement, they declared, Nazism had made it possible to be both a German patriot and a Christian. [16] They also celebrated the return of Germany to its rightful “stature and honor” under National Socialist auspices. One prominent leader of the group, Alfred Heidenreich, argued that National Socialism would not be able to overcome materialism unless it availed itself of anthroposophy’s assistance. [17] In such instances the Nazi regime seemed compatible, in anthroposophist eyes, with Germany’s status as the leading spiritual power of the age. The Christian Community journal sometimes reprinted paragraph-long excerpts from the Völkischer Beobachter or shared passages from Houston Stewart Chamberlain with its readers. [18] It endorsed Nazi invective against Russian Communism and labeled Bolsheviks “sub-human.” [19] On some occasions the periodical praised fascist and antisemitic movements in other parts of Europe. [20]  


After the 1935 suppression of the Anthroposophical Society, Christian Community leaders took particular pains to demonstrate their amicable attitude toward the Nazi government. The lengths to which the Christian Community was willing to go in converging with Nazi ideals can be seen from a December 1935 document submitted to the Gestapo and other top agencies in the party and the state. [21] The document explained that the Christian Community arose after the world war when Germany was threatened by Bolshevism in the East and materialism in the West and required renewed values to persevere in a hostile world. The aim in founding the group was to make Germany strong, and its abiding premise was “that today the time has come for the German spirit to claim its world-historical role, for the salvation not only of Germany but of all humanity.” [22] The mainstream Christian confessions still had too many “Jewish” characteristics, which Steiner’s followers repudiated.  


The document hailed “the new German state” for embracing “positive Christianity,” and sharply criticized “sects” and “all forms of inscrutable occultism.” These phenomena were “imported from the West” and unsuited to German spirituality. Insisting that the entire leadership of the movement had always been “purely Aryan,” the document forcefully rebuffed the notion of any “Jewish influence” on the Christian Community. [23] It denounced “individualist and liberal tendencies” for corroding the German national community while boasting of the group’s own longstanding service in the battle against Bolshevism. [24] The document announced that anthroposophical spirituality represented “a new culture emerging wholly from German blood.” The Nazi state, it concluded, needed the Christian Community in order to create a genuine positive Christianity.    





ENDNOTES



[1] “Die Christengemeinschaft anerkennt den nationalsozialistischen Staat.” The sentence appears in several documents, including the signed transcript of an October 1935 police interview with Otto Francke, pastor of the Christian Community congregation in Jena (BA R58/5709c: 1071), and a Christian Community flyer distributed in 1936 (BA R58/6189/2: 147).  


[2] “Unter den Mitgliedern sind viele Parteigenossen.” The sentence once again appears in both BA R58/5709c: 1071 and BA R58/6189/2: 147.  


[3] One of the Christian Community’s founders, Johannes Werner Klein, later became a zealous Nazi, breaking with Steiner’s followers in the process. Born in 1898, Klein was one of the three original ‘Oberlenker’ of the Christian Community. He first encountered anthroposophy in 1919, while a member of a Freikorps unit, and met Steiner in 1920; he then joined the Anthroposophical Society, became active in the Goetheanum, and co-founded the Christian Community in 1922. In 1929 he left the Christian Community and all other anthroposophist involvements, joining the NSDAP in November 1932; he eventually became a Gauredner for the party. BA RK/B95: 1043-1115. 


[4] “Die Juden sollen Christen werden!” Christian Community founding member Walter Gradenwitz quoted in Gädeke, Die Gründer der Christengemeinschaft, 353. Of the 48 principal founding members of the Christian Community, Gradenwitz was the only one with any Jewish background. He was born and raised Protestant, as his family had converted a generation earlier. 


[5] Friedrich Rittelmeyer, “Der Mord an dem Anthroposophen Dr. Unger” Die Christengemeinschaft February 1929, 347: “Die Anthroposophische Gesellschaft hat, wie das gegenüber bekannten Verunglimpfungen einmal festgestellt werden mag, ganz unverhältnismäßig wenig Juden in ihren Reihen. In keiner Gesellschaft, die Rassen- und Konfessionsunterschiede nicht macht, wird man so auffallend wenig Juden finden wie gerade in der Anthroposophischen Gesellschaft.”  


[6] Rittelmeyer, Der Deutsche in seiner Weltaufgabe zwischen Rußland und Amerika, 4. See also Rittelmeyer’s 1928 remarks on “Semitic” and “Aryan” features in Rittelmeyer, Meine Lebensbegegnung mit Rudolf Steiner, 74-75. 


[7] Pauli, Blut und Geist, 29.

 

[8] Rittelmeyer, Rudolf Steiner als Führer zu neuem Christentum, 84. For background on efforts to ‘de-Judaize’ Christianity in the Nazi period see Susannah Heschel, The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008). 


[9] Ibid., 83. Rittelmeyer also wrote that overcoming the unfortunate Jewish residues in Christianity was “die Aufgabe des Deutschtums.” (85) See also Friedrich Rittelmeyer, “Die religiöse Bewegung im gegenwärtigen Deutschland” Die Christengemeinschaft October 1933, 224: “Wir wissen, daß im heutigen Christentum, auch im Protestantismus, noch sehr viel unüberwundenes Judentum erkannt und überwunden werden muß.” His tone was more strident by 1936: “Heute ist die Stunde da, wo wirklich im Christentum all das noch in ihm lebende Judentum überwunden werden muß. Die Zeichen der Zeit fordern es gebieterisch.”

Friedrich Rittelmeyer, Christus (Stuttgart: Urachhaus, 1936), 46.  


[10] Friedrich Rittelmeyer, “Über Christentum und Germanentum” Die Christengemeinschaft November 1937, 206. This act of purification was necessary for the course of history to unfold properly: “Nicht nur die deutsche Zukunft steht hier auf dem Spiel, viel mehr noch: der rechte Fortgang der Erdengeschichte selbst.” (210) Esoteric variations on traditional Christian prejudices about Judaism resurfaced in such texts; cf. Gottfried Richter, “Von der Begegnung der germanischen Volksseele mit Christus” Die Christengemeinschaft May 1935, 48: “Da waren die Juden, dieses Volk, das sich fühlte als das auserwählte. Aber es trug diese Auserwählung nicht mehr als eine große heilige Aufgabe an der Welt, nur noch als ein kleines selbstsüchtiges Recht auf die Welt. Sie konnten es nicht ertragen, daß da einer aufstand und von der freien Gotteskindschaft der Menschen aus dem Geiste sprach.”  


[11] Emil Bock, Das Alte Testament und die Geistesgeschichte der Menschheit vol. III (Stuttgart: Verlag der Christengemeinschaft, 1936), 294.


[12] Friedrich Rittelmeyer, “Judentum und Christentum” Die Christengemeinschaft January 1934, 291-98, quotes on 293. The article argues that the ancient Hebrews had a profound mission, but this mission was fulfilled two thousand years ago. The Jews were already long since in decline by the time of Christ’s appearance; Jews since then are mired in legalism, pedantry, rigid tradition, dogmatism, and abstraction. Rittelmeyer presents Christ’s struggle as a struggle against the Jews, and calls for “die Erhebung der Rassenfrage zur Geistesfrage” (296), which will help the Jews understand and enter into the necessary overcoming of Jewishness. 

 

[13] June 8, 1936 report from the Polizeipräsidium Dresden on the Pentecost

meeting of the Christian Community, quoting the presentation by Leipzig Christian Community pastor Peter Müller: “Das jüdische Gesetz unterdrückte jeden Drang nach Freiheit. Es bewirkte aber eine starke intellektuelle Ausprägung. Auf der anderen Seite bewirkte es, daß die Welt ihre Lebendigkeit und Farbigkeit verlor. Der Weg ging nur durch Gebot und Verbot.” (BA R58/5709c: 1097) The police observer emphasized that he had no concerns or criticisms about the presentations at the gathering. 


[14] SD report quoting an unnamed Christian Community member identified simply as a “high-level civil servant” in an August 1939 statement to the Gestapo, BA R58/5563: 136. 


[15] Point 24 in the 1920 Nazi party program read: “Wir fordern die Freiheit aller religiöser Bekenntnisse im Staat, soweit sie nicht dessen Bestand gefährden oder gegen das Sittlichkeits- und Moralgefühl der germanischen Rasse verstoßen. Die Partei als solche vertritt den Standpunkt eines positiven Christentums, ohne sich konfessionell an ein bestimmtes Bekenntnis zu binden. Sie bekämpft den jüdisch-materialistischen Geist in und außer uns und ist überzeugt, daß eine dauerhafte Genesung unseres Volkes nur erfolgen kann von innen heraus auf der Grundlage: Gemeinnutz vor Eigennutz.” For background on “positive Christianity” see Richard Steigmann-Gall, The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity, 1919-1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), and the special issue of Journal of Contemporary History 42 (2007) devoted to critical discussion of the book.  


[16] Die Christengemeinschaft February 1936, 346: “Wir stehen auf dem Boden des heutigen Staates, wenn auch unsre spezielle Aufgabe nicht das Politische, sondern das Religiöse ist, das wieder seine eigenen Gesetze hat. Und auch unser Herz schlägt hoch, wenn Deutschland heute wieder mit Haltung und Würde im Kreise der Völker steht.” With the Nazi revolution, it is now possible to combine true German loyalty and true Christianity “in dem auf dem Boden positiven Christentums stehenden nationalsozialistischen Staat.” 

 

[17] Alfred Heidenreich, March 27, 1936, reporting his meeting with Gestapo officer Haselbacher, in Wagner, ed., Dokumente und Briefe zur Geschichte der anthroposophischen Bewegung, vol. IV, 30.  

 

[18] See e.g. Die Christengemeinschaft January 1938, 278, with excerpts from Chamberlains’s Grundlagen des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts. The October 1940 issue of Die Christengemeinschaft, 110-11, carried a positive review by Emil Bock of a pamphlet on the war by a Wehrmacht general published by the Zentralverlag der NSDAP. Cf. Rittelmeyer’s section on “Volk und Blut” in Rudolf Steiner als Führer zu neuem Christentum, 77-90; he nonetheless demanded an even more firmly German outlook: “Vieles, was heute sich regt, ist nicht deutsch genug, ist nicht germanisch genug.” (Rittelmeyer, “Über Christentum und Germanentum,” 206) 


[19] Hermann Heisler, “Antibolschewistische Schau” Die Christengemeinschaft December 1936, 287-88, praising the anti-Bolshevik Nazi propaganda exhibition in Munich. See also Friedrich Rittelmeyer, “Heidentum und Christentum” Die Christengemeinschaft November 1935, 227-32; he argues that Germany has the task of defeating Bolshevism, which won’t be possible without violence, and attributes this stance to Steiner as well.  


[20] Kurt von Wistinghausen, “Legion des Erzengel Michael” Die Christengemeinschaft February 1941, 174-75, offers a decidedly sympathetic posthumous portrait of Romanian fascist leader Corneliu Codreanu and of his political organizations, the violently antisemitic Legion of the Archangel Michael and the Iron Guard.  


[21] “Denkschrift über die Christengemeinschaft” dated Stuttgart, December 1935, an 11 page typescript signed by Friedrich Rittelmeyer “für die Christengemeinschaft,” BA R58/5737b: 564-574. Rittelmeyer submitted a copy to the Gestapo in January 1936, with a cover letter explaining that it had been sent to “die höchsten Stellen des Staats und der Partei”; see Rittelmeyer to Gestapa Berlin, January 8, 1936, BA R58/5737b: 360.  


[22] Denkschrift über die Christengemeinschaft, 3: “dass heute für den deutschen Geist die weltgeschichtliche Stunde gekommen ist – zum Heil nicht nur Deutschlands, sondern der ganzen Menschheit.” In the current historical period, it continued, “dem germanisch-deutschen Geist gerade die wichtigsten Aufgaben zufallen.”

  

[23] “Die gesamte Leitung ist durch alle Jahre rein arisch gewesen. Von einem ‘jüdischen Einfluss’ irgendwelcher Art kann keine Rede sein.” Denkschrift über die Christengemeinschaft, 7.  


[24] “Auch im früheren deutschen Staat hat die Christengemeinschaft die drohende Weltgefahr des Bolschewismus scharf gesehen und mit geistigen Waffen fortdauernd bekämpft.” Denkschrift über die Christengemeinschaft, 9.     











 
To visit other pages in this section of Waldorf Watch, 
use the underlined links, below.



ANTHROPOSOPHICAL CHRISTIANITY
also see "Religion, Spirituality"


Christmas : Waldorf-style

Easter : celebrating the spring

Michaelmas : banners and drums in autumn

Christian Community

events : specifically, Christ Events

JvH : she does it her way

Logos : the Cosmic Word

prototype : our representative

Sermon : on the Mount

Sun God : the Christ you didn't know

trinity : God, gods...