collapse
2020 Donation Drive

It's time for our annual Server Donation Drive! We need to raise at least $710 to keep The Cauldron's server online for another year. Please help! Either hit that Paypal button to the right and make a one-time donation in any amount or set up a monthly Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor subscription. You can find more info in this message!

Donations as of 23 September 2020: $539 donated. Only $171 more need! Thank you, donors!


Note: This total is updated manually, usually once a day


* Recent Posts

Re: Disconnection by sevensons
[Today at 12:33:30 pm]


Re: Ruth Bader Ginsburg is dead, and perhaps so is the U.S. by anubisa
[Today at 01:28:57 am]


Re: Disconnection by Jenett
[Yesterday at 10:10:52 pm]


Re: Disconnection by Sefiru
[Yesterday at 06:47:08 pm]


Re: Autumn/September equinox plans (planning ahead) by Sefiru
[Yesterday at 06:41:44 pm]

* "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" Problem Logging In?

If you get an "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" error when you try to log in, you need to be sure you are accessing the board with a url that starts with "https://ecauldron.com".  If it starts with https://www.ecauldron.com" (or "http://www.ecauldron.com") you will get this error because "www.ecauldron.com" is not technically the same website as "ecauldron.com". Moving to the more secure "https" means it is more picky about such things.

Author Topic: Sun at Midnight: The Rudolf Steiner Movement and Gnosis in the West  (Read 1090 times)

RandallS

  • Site Admin
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: NE Ohio
  • Posts: 10238
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 272
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Hellenic Pagan
Sun at Midnight: The Rudolf Steiner Movement and Gnosis in the West
Author: Geoffrey Ahern
Published 2009 by Lutterworth Press
ISBN-10: 0227172930
ISBN-13: 978-0227172933
Paperback, 279 Pages
List  $42.50
View this Book on Amazon

Reviewer: Mike Gleason

Anthroposophy, and its founder Rudolf Steiner, are topics which, like many others I am sure, I have bumped into during my tears of study. Neither made much impression on me prior to the arrival of this book. As I have aged, I have made a conscious decision to revisit some areas which I skipped over in my earlier years.

This book, a reworking of Dr. Ahern's PhD work, is one of those areas I wanted to re-examine.  Anthroposophy (and Theosophy, from which it split off in the early 2oth century) underlie much of Western esoteric thought and are, if for no other reason, worthy of study.

Anthroposophy – at least in its "pure" form – is extremely Christo- centric, which may present a stumbling block for some.  This is not, however, unexpected as its origins date to a time and place (late 19th century Austria/Germany), which was not particularly, with  tolerant of non-Christian religious express, with few exceptions.

One of the difficulties encountered by an outsider trying to understand the movement is that a great deal of the information is, traditionally, taught only within the organization in a classic mouth- to-ear kind of teaching – although this is beginning to change in the modern, internet world which we inhabit now.  Even such a basic thing as membership numbers are not discussed to any degree outside of the "centers" where members meet.  Thus there remains a feeling that there is something so unconventional as to be unsavory about the teachings.

The subject of this book is, to say the very least, extremely complex.  The treatment it receives is equally complex.  Being written by an "outsider" it will likely not please many who follow Anthroposophy, who will feel it does not convey the essence of their beliefs.  It will also not please those who are looking for the "secrets" of the movement, since none are revealed.  It is as close to an unbiased presentation as it is possible to produce, given the resources available.

There were times when I had to go back and re-read some segments due to the way in which Steiner expressed himself.  I sometimes needed to remind myself that followers of specific traditions often have views which are widely divergent from currently accepted thinking (and that such divergence does not necessarily make them wrong, merely different).  I also had to remember that even Steiner himself admitted that he may have made some mistakes, so not everything needed to be accepted as "gospel truth".

There is a lot of information contained within these covers, in some instances almost too much, but it contributes to an understanding of an organization an a movement which is little known to society at large.  Those with a psychological and/or sociological interest will this this book to be a gold mine of insight.

It is, by no means, the last word on Anthroposophy but it does offer an outsider's (mostly) unbiased points-of-view.  It lacks an insider's perspective, but at the same time it also lacks the insiders' attempt to justify their belief.  I am sure there is more to be said on the topic and, admittedly, some of the details may have changed (in fact, that is why this book was updated and re-issued), but this work offers a snapshot in time of a little-understood movement and should help to promote understanding and tolerance.

This is an expensive volume, there can be no denying that fact.  Yet, for the amount of information and insight which is contained within it, it is certainly reasonable.  Also, let's be honest here, it will almost certainly never make the Best Sellers list, so in order to hope to recover costs the price needs to be relatively high.  Don't let the price scare you off.  It is, in my opinion, worth it.
Randall
RetroRoleplaying [Blog]: Microlite74/75/78/81, BX Advanced, and Other Old School Tabletop RPGs
Microlite20: Lots of Rules Lite Tabletop RPGs -- Many Free

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
0 Replies
1408 Views
Last post November 10, 2013, 07:58:27 am
by Gilbride
10 Replies
2023 Views
Last post April 27, 2014, 07:34:35 pm
by SunflowerP
0 Replies
2857 Views
Last post June 30, 2015, 10:57:00 am
by RandallS
1 Replies
909 Views
Last post September 13, 2015, 03:23:03 pm
by carillion
0 Replies
441 Views
Last post September 27, 2018, 06:07:32 pm
by RandallS

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 67
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 1
  • Dot Users Online:

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* Shop & Support TC

The links below are affiliate links. When you click on one of these links you will go to the listed shopping site with The Cauldron's affiliate code. Any purchases you make during your visit will earn TC a tiny percentage of your purchase price at no extra cost to you.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Host:
Sunflower

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Darkhawk

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Senior Staff:
Aisling, Jenett, Sefiru

Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, EclecticWheel, HarpingHawke, Kylara, PerditaPickle, rocquelaire

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, LyricFox, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Site Administrator:
Randall

SimplePortal 2.3.6 © 2008-2014, SimplePortal