PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this paper is to introduce the reader to types of Christianity that have developed out of such traditions as Gnosticism, the ancient mystery religious, and early Christian mysticism. It seeks to demonstrate how incorporating these esoteric aspects into mainstream Christianity will produce a more informed participant of the Christian faith, as well as a more harmonious religious practice for the postmodern stage of human consciousness. By examining rituals of the mystery traditions, doctrines of the Gnostics, and the beliefs of Christian Mystics—principally those of death and rebirth, i.e. regeneration—one can identify a connection between Christianity and the wisdom of ancient mysteries. The paper will argue why such information is important for the effectiveness of modern Christianity. The frayed ends of esoteric tradition are found to reconstitute in the Christian religious system, particularly within its esoteric branches, and the writings of Christian esotericist Rudolf Steiner reveal spiritual components absent from mainstream Christianity. The Christology of Rudolf Steiner seeks to provide a roadmap to what he argues are the true teachings espoused by Jesus, i.e. that of self-apostleship and a community of free Christian individuals in Christ.
Degree ProgramHonors College