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The East in the Light of the West: The Children of Lucifer and the Brothers of Christ

9 lectures, Munich, August 23–31, 1909 (GA 113) & Children of Lucifer: An Antique Drama in Five Acts

“A wonderfully beautiful legend tells us that when Lucifer fell from heaven to earth a precious stone fell from his crown…. This precious stone is, in a certain respect, nothing else than the full power of the ‘I.’”— Rudolf Steiner

Seven years after staging Édouard Schuré’s drama The Children of Lucifer, Rudolf Steiner felt he could speak openly about the complex relationship between Lucifer and Christ. In this extraordinary series of lectures, Steiner addresses the difficult and frequently misunderstood subject of Lucifer’s role in human development. Speaking in the broader context of ancient and modern—both Eastern and Western—spiritual teachings, Steiner makes it clear that Lucifer is not the simple caricature of evil that many imagine but actually plays a pivotal role in human development.

Whereas Rudolf Steiner held a deep respect for Eastern philosophy, he worked consistently from his personal knowledge of the Western Christian esoteric tradition. Though many of his colleagues revered ancient Eastern texts, Steiner viewed those documents as representations of an earlier stage of human consciousness and as evidence of the heights Eastern wisdom had reached thousands of years before the development of Western science and culture. Nonetheless, Steiner maintains that the ancient truths need to be understood in the context of modern knowledge—that the old wisdom of the East has to be seen in the light of the West.

Chapters include:  Eternity and Time – Comparison of the Wisdom of East and West – The Nature of the Physical and the Astral Worlds – Evolutionary Stages – The Children of Lucifer and the Brothers of Christ – Lucifer and Christ – The Nature of the Luciferic Influence in History – The Bodhisattvas and the Christ.

This volume is a translation from German of Der Orient im Lichte des Okzidents. Die Kinder des Luzifer und die Brüder Christi (GA 113).

About the Author

Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up. As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.

Édouard Schuré (1841-1929) was a French writer born in Strasbourg. He was a writer, philosopher, and musicologist. He wrote novels, theater pieces, historical works, poetry, and philosophical treatises. He was especially well known for his work The Great Initiates, which has been in print continuously in numerous languages. He was a devoted and early student of Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy. His other books include From Sphinx to Christ: An Occult History and the play The Children of Lucifer.

Additional information





December 1986






CW 113


Steiner Books


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