At first glance the title of this book may be somewhat misleading for the British reader. It may suggest to him associations with Anglo-Indian Theosophy and the Theosophical Society founded by H. P. Blavatsky.
Rudolf Steiner, however, uses the term independently and with different and much wider connotation. In earlier centuries, particularly in Central Europe, “Theosophy” was a recognised section of Philosophy and even of Theology. Jacob Boehme was known as the “great theosopher.” In English the term goes back to the seventeenth century.
Ultimately it leads us back to St. Paul who says (1 Cor. ii. 6-7): “Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world. ... But we speak the wisdom of God (Greek ‘Theosophia’) in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world unto our glory.”
In the present book Rudolf Steiner has described on the basis of independent research certain fundamental facts of this “hidden wisdom” concerning Man and Universe. He considered it right that the ancient, time-honoured term “Theosophy” should be used for this purpose and the word restored to its original and universal significance.
A brief list of literature recommended for reading is given at the end of the volume, together with a summarised plan of the Complete Centenary Edition of Rudolf Steiner's works in the original German.