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Through Anthroposophy to the Universal Church

Through Anthroposophy to the Universal Church

A Spiritual Memoir, with letters from Valentin Tomberg

By Bernhard Martin

Edited by James Wetmore


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Bernhard Martin (1900-1985) grew up Germany in what he calls the "ungodly" age of the First World War and the post-war crisis. Raised a lukewarm Protestant, in secondary school he came to feel disconnected from spiritual life. He made forays into the academic world, but in the end felt himself a "poor fool" with no notion what to do in life. This crisis led to several years at a sanitarium. After returning to university, a friend introduced him to the Anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner and the "Christian Community," a movement for religious renewal founded under Steiner's inspiration. These perspectives rescued him from his crisis and led to a strong recovery in soul and spirit. Between 1942 and 1944, Martin encountered the writings, then the person, of the Christian esotericist Valentin Tomberg (1900-1973), which led to an enduring friendship during which Tomberg introduced him to the spirituality of the Catholic Church. In 1946, Martin converted to the Catholicism; but, in contrast to Tomberg, elected to remain connected with the Anthroposophical Movement until the end of his life. This book tells the gripping tale of that journey.


"A work of moral genius... Its true tolerance (i.e., an understanding unsullied by fear or hatred) of the 'heresies' of the modern age, and its confidence that Catholic Christianity is a 'powerful competitor' able to fully engage with all the intellectual trends of the present, offers intimate insight into just how it can be that 'all roads lead to Rome.' I most prize in the book the unconquerable weapon of modesty and honesty... It fills a gap I had perhaps once thought it my duty to fill-and now it has been done in a way I could have striven for, but never attained."-Valentin Tomberg, author of Lazarus: The Miracle of Resurrection in World History

"The German edition of this book had a deep resonance in Catholic and Anthroposophical circles. It contains a uniquely thoughtful and conscientious discussion of two spiritual paths that, according to its author, require mutual understanding."-Harrie Salman PhD, author of Valentin Tomberg and the Ecclesia Universalis: A Biography

"Moving from mainstream (if somewhat uninspired) Protestant Christian to Anthroposophist to devoted Catholic, Bernhard Martin's tale is that of a spiritual seeker, hungry for Christian truth, who interprets his path with moral and intellectual scrupulousness. Through his encounters with Valentin Tomberg, Martin found a fellow-traveler, and in due course, a home in the traditions of the Roman Church."-Michael Martin, author of Sophia in ExileThe Submerged Reality, etc.

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