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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

Dear Children
GA 298

Editors' Introduction

The following are three addresses given to the children of the first Waldorf school at school assemblies in 1919 and 1920. In the Christmas assembly address Steiner also spoke to the parents who were in attendance. Steiner had previously assisted the industrialist Emil Molt in establishing the school for the children of the factory workers of the Waldorf Astoria cigarette factory in Stuttgart, Germany. He made frequent visits, traveling from Switzerland, to work with the faculty of the school and to view the students' progress. (A chapter from Molt's autobiography describing the opening of the school appeared in Issue No. 2 of The Threefold Review.)

What is most revealing in these addresses is how open and straightforward Steiner was concerning the Christian basis of the school. Even though Christ is central to Anthroposophy, the world view based on spiritual-scientific research and inaugurated by Steiner, Anthroposophy is open to everyone regardless of religious background. Waldorf schools, which are based on Anthroposophy, are also open to families of any religious background.

A universal approach to Christianity is elaborated by Steiner in the following passages:

“Would a Buddhist be justified in saying that he may not acknowledge Christ because nothing is said to this effect in his scriptures? Is anything essential at stake when a truth is not found in particular writings or scriptures? Would it be right for a Buddhist to say that it is against the principles of Buddhism to believe in the truth of the Copernican theory of the universe, for no mention of it is made in his books? What applies to the Copernican theory applies equally to the findings of modern spiritual-scientific research concerning the Christ-being, namely, that because He has nothing to do with any particular denomination, the Christ can be accepted by a Hindu or an adherent of any other religion. Those who reject what spiritual science has to say about the Christ impulse in relation to the religious denominations simply do not understand what the true attitude to religion should be.

“Perhaps some day the time will come when it will be realized that what we have to say about the nature of the Christ impulse and its relation to all religious denominations and world-conceptions speaks directly to the heart and soul, as well as [endeavors] to deal consistently with particular phases of the subject. It is not easy for everyone to realize what efforts are made to bring together things that can lead to the true understanding of the Christ impulse needed by man in the present cycle of existence. Avowal of the belief in Christ has nothing fundamentally to do with any particular religion or religious system. A true Christian is simply one who is accustomed to regard every human being as bearing the Christ principle in himself, who looks for the Christ in a Chinese, a Hindu, or whoever he may be. In a man who avows his belief in Christ is founded the realization that the Christ impulse is not confined to one part of the earth. To imagine it as confined would be a complete fallacy. The reality is that since the mystery of Golgotha, Paul's proclamation to the region with which he was connected has been true—Christ died also for the heathen. Humanity must learn to understand that Christ did not come for one particular people, one particular epoch, but for all the peoples of the earth, for all of them! Christ has sown His spirit-seed in every human soul, and progress consists in the souls of men becoming conscious of this.”1Life Between Death and Rebirth (Anthroposophic Press, Hudson, N.Y.,1968), pp. 50–51.