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The Mystery of the Trinity

Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib Document

Sketch of Rudolf Steiner lecturing at the East-West Conference in Vienna.

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The Mystery of the Trinity

On-line since: 31st January, 2013




  1. Julian, the Apostate (332–363), Roman Emperor (361–363). Steiner is referring to his lecture of July 16, 1922 (GA213). Cf. Rudolf Steiner: Occult History (Lecture Four), Building Stones for an Understanding of the Mystery of Golgotha (Lecture Seven), World History in the light of Anthroposophy (Lecture Six).

  2. Ernst von Wildenbruch (1845–1909), German writer, author of historical dramas, novels, and verse.

  3. St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo (354–430). Early Latin church father. Exerted tremendous influence on later Christian thought. Cf. Rudolf Steiner: Christianity as Mystical Fact, Building Stones for an Understanding of the Mystery of Golgotha, (Lecture Seven).

  4. Steiner is here referring to an essay by Günther Wachsmuth on Dionysius the Areopagite and the doctrine of the hierarchies that appeared in Das Goetheanum, July 23 and July 30, 1922.

  5. Lecture of July 22, 1922 (GA213).

  6. Lecture of July 16, 1922 (GA213).

  7. Heliand, a poem in alliterative verse on the Gospels written between 825 and 835 A.D.

  8. E.g., Pèlerinage de Charlemagne (eleventh century), Gran Conquista de Ultramar (thirteenth century).

  9. Charlemagne (724–814), King of France and Roman Emperor. The Untersberg is a mountain ridge, full of caves, near Salzburg, Austria. Frederick Barbarossa (Redbeard) or Frederick I (1123–1190), Holy Roman Emperor. Esteemed by Germans as one of their greatest kings.

  10. Peers of Charlemagne's court.

  11. Lohengrin, a knight of the Grail, son of Parsifal. Led by a swan to rescue Princess Elsa of Brabant, he then marries her. When she asks his name, in violation of her pledge, he must return to the Grail Castle without her. Tale ascribed to Wolfram von Eschenbach (c. 1285–90); basis for Richard Wagner's opera, Lohengrin (1847).

  12. Henry I (c. 876–936), first German king from the House of Saxony, campaigned in Hungary in 933.

  13. Martianus Minneus Felix, Latin author of the fourth-fifth century, author of The Marriage of Philology and Mercury, the encyclopædic work in verse and prose that introduced the Seven Liberal Arts to the Middle Ages.

  14. Johann Gregor Mendel. Augustinian priest and botanist, creator of Mendelian genetics. Mendel did his famous breeding experiments in the monastery garden in 1856. Results published 1866. Not widely recognized until after 1910.


  1. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832), German poet and thinker. Published Metamorphosis of Plants in 1790; in this book he shows the leaf as the primeval organ of the plant out of which all other plant organs evolved.

  2. Karl von Linne (Linnaeus) (1107–1778), Swedish naturalist, father of modern systematic botany.

  3. Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762–1814), German idealist philosopher. Important for the development of anthroposophy. See Rudolf Steiner: Truth and Science and The Riddle of Man.

  4. Paracelsus (1493–1541), Renaissance alchemist, doctor, and philosopher. Cf. Rudolf Steiner: Mysticism at the Dawn of the Modern Age, Origins of Modern Science (Lecture Eight).


  1. John Scotus Eriugena (c. 810–877), Neoplatonizing Celtic Christian philosopher. Cf. Rudolf Steiner, Riddles of Philosophy, Occult History, Origins of Modern Science.

  2. Gottschalk of Orbais, Benedictine monk, also at Fulda. Caused great controversy with teachings on the predestination of the elect. Condemned for heresy by the Synod of Mainz (848).

  3. Cf. St. Augustine, City of God, Books XII, XIII.

  4. Ratramnus of Corbie (d. 868+), Theologian and controversialist.

  5. Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (1759–1805), German poet, dramatist, historian, and philosopher. Schiller's friendship with Goethe is celebrated. Strongly influenced by Kant, his idealism and hatred of tyranny were a powerful influence in modern German literature. Wrote Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man (1795).

  6. Imanuel Kant (1724–1804), German philosopher of the Enlightenment. Published Critique of Pure Reason (1781).

  7. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844–1900), German philosopher and poet. Professor of classical philology, Basel (1869–79). Known for denouncing religion, and for espousing the perfectibility of human beings through forcible self-assertion. Published The Birth of Tragedy out of the Spirit of Music (1872).

  8. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily, (Blauvelt, NY: Steinerbooks, 1979).

  9. Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi (1743–1819), president of the Munich Academy. In opposition to the thinkers of the Enlightenment, he recognized only two types of people: Christian believers and those who trusted their reason. Reason, Jacobi taught, is not the way to arrive at ultimate truth.

  10. Schiller, Votiftafeln: Mein Glaube.


  1. Goethe was a member of the secret fraternal order of Free and Accepted Masons. Not restricted to stoneworkers, it retains much of the spirit and code of the medieval mason's guild.



  1. Rudolf Steiner, Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment, vol. 10 in the Collected Works, repr. (Spring Valley, NY: Anthroposophic Press, 1983).


  1. Rudolf Steiner, Theosophy: An Introduction to the Supersensible Knowledge of the World and the Destination of Man, (Hudson, NY: Anthroposophic Press, 1986).

  2. Rudolf Steiner, The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity (The Philosophy of Freedom), (Hudson, NY: Anthroposophic Press, 1986).


  1. Rudolf Steiner, Theosophy: An Introduction to the Supersensible Knowledge of the World and the Destination of Man, (Hudson, NY: Anthroposophic Press, 1986).

  2. Rudolf Steiner, An Outline Of Occult Science, vol. 13 in the Collected Works, repr. (Spring Valley, NY: Anthroposophic Press, 1989).

  3. Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712–78), French philosopher. Influential in shaping Romanticism. Contending that people are good by nature and corrupted by civilization, Rousseau advocated a social contract to uphold the sovereignty of the people as a whole.

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