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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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Christianity as Mystical Fact
GA 8

Bibliographical Note

Christianity is only in the beginning of its activity, and its real mission will be fulfilled when it is understood in its true spiritual form.

What Christianity bestows goes with us into all ages of time to come and will still be one of the essential impulses in humanity when religion, as we know it, is no longer in existence. Even when religion as such has been transcended, Christianity will remain. The fact that it was first of all a religion is connected with the evolutionary process of humanity. But Christianity as a world-view is greater than all religions.

—Rudolf Steiner
From lectures given in 1908

Rudolf Steiner's Christianity as Mystical Fact and the Mysteries of Antiquity (Das Christentum als mystische Tatsache) was first published by C. A. Schwetschke and Son, Berlin, 1902. It was dedicated to Count and Countess Brockdorff “and also to my dear Vienna Friends, Rosa Mayreder and Moritz Zitter.” An octavo volume, measuring approximately 6 by 9 inches, the book contained 141 pages of text plus 6 pages of prefatory matter. The second edition, thoroughly revised and enlarged (strictly speaking, this edition is the first to carry the sub-title, the Mysteries of Antiquity), was published by the well-known Leipzig publishing firm of Max Altmann. This edition, also an octavo volume like the first, contained 192 pages of text plus 6 pages of introductory material. The Foreword to this second edition was dated May, 1910. The 3rd and 4th editions also appeared with the Altmann imprint in 1910. The 5th edition was published by the Philosophisch-Anthroposophischer Verlag am Goetheanum, Dornach, Switzerland, 1925, as an octavo volume, containing 164 pages of text and 8 pages of introductory material.

A specially licensed edition appeared in Dresden in 1936. In 1949 under a license agreement, a German edition—the 6th edition of the book—appeared in Stuttgart. This was one of the Steiner titles published in post-war Germany to meet a widespread demand for his books, all of which had been confiscated and burned by the Gestapo under orders from the Nazi government. The most recent edition—the 7th—of this book was published by the Rudolf Steiner-Nachlassverwaltung, Dornach, Switzerland, in 1959. It is from this edition that the present translation has been made. In all, thirty one thousand copies of Das Christentum ak mystische Tatsache have been published since its first appearance in 1902. Not included in this total is a pocket book edition which was published early in 1961 in Stuttgart.

The first “authorized English translation” of this book appeared in London under the editorship of the late Harry Collison in 1914, and in subsequent editions and reprintings in 1922, 1930 and 1938, through the Rudolf Steiner Publishing Company. A “completely revised, authorized English translation, copyright by Henry B. Monges” was issued in 1947 by the Anthroposophic Press, New York. The present translation of Christianity as Mystical Fact is entirely new having been undertaken especially for the Centennial Edition of the Written Works of Rudolf Steiner (1861–1961).