The following lectures
were given by Rudolf Steiner to audiences familiar with the general
background and terminology of his anthroposophical teaching. It should
be remembered that in his autobiography,
The Course of my Life,
he emphasises the distinction between his written works on the one
hand and, on the other, reports of lectures which were given as oral
communications and were not originally intended for print. For an
intelligent appreciation of the lectures it should be borne in mind
that certain premises were taken for granted when the words were spoken.
“These premises,” Rudolf Steiner writes, “include at
the very least the anthroposophical knowledge of Man and of the Cosmos
in its spiritual essence; also what may be called ‘anthroposophical
history’, told as an outcome of research into the spiritual
* * * *
The lectures contained
in this volume had been preceded by courses given by Rudolf Steiner on
the Gospels of St. John, St. Luke and St. Matthew and are to be regarded
as a preparation for the more specialised course on the Gospel of
St. Mark which was given more than a year later, when the necessary
basis for an approach to its particular mysteries had been created.
The present course, consisting of ten lectures, was given in Berlin
under the title, Exkurse in das Gebiet des Markus-Evangeliums,
and in this volume the texts of two other lectures and notes of a
third given in other cities have been added. This will explain the
repetitions in the later lectures.
* * * *
A list of publications
in English translation relevant to the themes of the following lectures,
and a summarised plan of the Complete Edition of Rudolf Steiner's works
in the original German will be found at the end of the present volume.