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LETTERS ON JOHN’S GOSPEL
Friedrich Rittelmeyer - Translated by M. L. Mitchell; rev. and ed. by A. Stott & N. Franklin
18 November 2022;
23.5 x 15.5 cm;
‘These Letters … aim to make John’s Gospel accessible to people today as their own gospel, both as a whole and in the details; to illuminate it with the spiritual knowledge of the age and to make it fruitful for life, not only for meditation but also for practical ordering of destiny.’ – Friedrich Rittelmeyer.
A revitalized Johannine Christianity stands at the heart of the work of Christian renewal that was led by Rudolf Steiner in the early twentieth century. Friedrich Rittelmeyer, a Lutheran minister and theologian who helped found The Christian Community in 1922, was a leading figure within this new Johannine movement. Rittelmeyer described John’s Gospel as encapsulating ‘…an indescribable glory of revelation of love. This glory has such purity, delicacy and spiritual power that in it one has the material with which a marvellous new world may be built.’
Without doubt his most powerful work, Rittelmeyer’s Letters on John’s Gospel first appeared in a series of publications by the Stuttgart seminary of The Christian Community between 1930 and 1932. Whilst these Letters were originally written with students and local congregations in mind, they provide manifold insights for anyone seeking to glimpse the majesty of John’s Gospel. Margaret Mitchell’s translation from 1937 has never before been published in book form. Revised here and expanded by editors Alan Stott and Neil Franklin, this volume features additional contributions by Rudolf Frieling and Emil Bock.
FRIEDRICH RITTELMEYER (1872–1938) was a Lutheran minister and theologian who led the founding of The Christian Community. Rittelmeyer came to prominence as a leading liberal theologian and preacher early in the twentieth century, advocating a socially engaged ‘Christianity of deeds’ (Tatchristentum). During the First World War he became one of the most high-profile clergymen in Germany to oppose the war publicly. From the 1910s, his thinking was gradually influenced by the philosopher, spiritual researcher and teacher Rudolf Steiner. In 1922 a group of mainly Lutheran pastors and theology students established The Christian Community, a Movement for Religious Renewal. Rittelmeyer remained at the helm of the movement until his death.