Anthroposophy and The Christian Community

The roots of Anthroposophy and The Christian Community are attributed to Rudolf Steiner (1861 - 1925), and the evangelic minister Friedrich Rittelmeyer (1872 - 1938).

Dr.Rudolf Steiner's prime influance was in the early 1900. During that time he developed a view of unity of Science, art and religion which he called "Anthroposophy". He gave indications on the pedagogy of Waldorf-Education and with Religion he gave indications for the Christian. Dr. Steiner held lectures concerning his doctrine, the essential of which contain concepts of the self-redemption of human being and a view of unity. It's mixture between Christianic and East Indian thinking. The Anthroposophy which Steiner refered was a kind of theosophy

Friedrich Rittelmeyer was an evangelic minister working first in Nuermberg, Bavaria, and later in Berlin. In Berlin he attended lectures by Steiner and was pleased with what he had to say concerning religion. This was his impatis for founding The Christian Community in Stuttgart, Germany 1922. He connected Steiner's Anthroposophy with biblical annunciation. He believed that Dr. Steiner made clear in the deepest sense the true meaning of holy bible. Rittelmeyer said about Dr. Steiner: "Not a minister stand before us, not a prophet: The knowing man of a reality stand before us." Later he supplied "A new annunciation of Christ was standing before me. A new Christian time arised."

The first followers of The Christian Community came from the youth-movement of the Church, they had escaped the catastrophy of World War I.They were looking for new rules of live and a new system of worth. They were looking for the renewal of Christianity hoping for a different impulse through Dr. Steiner and Anthroposophy. Steiner taught the seekers through a series of lectures resulting in an attitude of "let us go out in the world as a carrier of a new ministry". They intended to construct a new church feeling that the old churches lost the community of the Christ. In the presence of Rudolf Steiner Friedrich Rittelmeyer performed the first baptism (Menschenweihehandlung). Rittelmeyer proclaimed his ministry and became the first minister (Erzoberlenker) of The Christian Community. After his death (followed 1938) took Lic. Emil Bock (1895 - 1959) the ministry. In 1959 took Dr. Rudolf Frieling the ministry.

Many in the academic and artistic fields have joined The Christian Community. In 1933 a minister-school was foundet in Stuttgart. In 1935 The Christian Community was forbidden by the Nazis. Rittelmeyer intervented and the Christian Community allowed once more but 1941 ultimately forbidden. After the World War II in 1945, the Christian Community was allowed to practice in all parts of Germany.

The Christian Community is constructed in a order of rank. On top of it is the first minister (Erzoberlenker). The first minister (Erzoberlenker) is consulted by two second ministers (Oberlenker), the third ministers (Lenker) and the Synod of ministers. The ministry of the Christian Community has always been open for women to serve. In Germany there are over 20,000 members of Christian Community. In the middle-point of the living in the parish stand the divine service and the liturgy, above all the communion (Menschenweihehandlung) every sunday. The divine service is regulated after the christian church-calendar after a standing liturgy. The ministers were well educated in seminaries and are in full-time-job in their parish. To become a member of the Christian Community getting off the Christian Church is not demanded, double-membership you can find. You have only to accept the kind of the divine service and liturgy of the Christian Community.

The Christian Community seeks self-understanding and a religious renewal-movement for modern times. The Christian Community gives those seeking the way of the divine service and liturgy.

Author: Winfried Müller