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The Figure of Christ

Rudolf Steiner and the Spiritual Intention behind the Goetheanum's Central Work of Art

Peter Selg
Contributions by Assya Turgenieff
Translated by Matthew Barton
June 2009
More details
  • Publisher
    Temple Lodge Publishing
  • Published
    23rd June 2009
  • ISBN 9781906999018
  • Language English
  • Pages 80 pp.
  • Size 5.5" x 8.5"

“Yes, that is the Christ. This is how my spiritual eye perceived him in Palestine.”
Rudolf Steiner (speaking of his sculpture, The Representative of Humanity)

Rudolf Steiner referred to The Representative of Humanity—the wooden “group” sculpture of the figure of Christ surrounded by adversary spiritual beings—as the center of the first Goetheanum. Steiner even told the architect of the second Goetheanum that the sculpture he made with Edith Maryon should occupy the same central position it did in the first building.

What was Steiner’s essential purpose for the sculptural group within the mystery building he conceived, and why did he regard it as the “crown” of the building? What were his intentions—specifically, what were the spiritual aims behind Steiner’s remarkable depiction of Christ?

Steiner described the core purpose of Anthroposophy to be a preparation for Christ's etheric reappearance. The Christ he sculpted was not the possession of a specific community with a religious worldview, but a being active in all of humanity and, thus, “a figure of the future.”

In this focused and powerful short book, Peter Selg engages with these highly contemporary issues, providing thoughtful insights and answers that point to mysteries of the future and humanity's development and the transformation of evil.

“It was my task in Dornach to place within this building of the School of Spiritual Science the central group, which depicts the Representative of Humanity between luciferic and ahrimanic powers.” —Rudolf Steiner

This volume was originally published in German as Die Gestalt Christi (Verlag des Ita Wegman Instituts, 2008).

C O N T E N T S:

Illustration Credits

1. The Figure of Christ in Spiritual Science
—The anniversary of the laying of the Foundation Stone in Dornach, Sept. 20, 1914

2. “There will be enormous opposition”
—Work on the Christ sculpture and the power of evil

3. “Christ will stand beside the human being”
—Rudolf Steiner and the era of Christ’s etheric reappearance

Appendix: “Work on the Group” by Assya Turgenieff

Bibliography of Works by Rudolf Steiner

Peter Selg

Peter Selg studied medicine in Witten-Herdecke, Zurich, and Berlin and, until 2000, worked as the head physician of the juvenile psychiatry department of Herdecke Hospital in Germany. Dr. Selg is director of the Ita Wegman Institute for Basic Research into Anthroposophy (Arlesheim, Switzerland), professor of medicine at the Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences (Germany), and co-leader of the General Anthroposophical Section at the Goetheanum. He is the author of numerous books on Rudolf Steiner, anthroposophy, medical ethics, and the development of culture and consciousness.