Sunday, August 11, 2019
Today's Heathen Science versus Christianity
We have a human development of a heathen nature — natural science is still heathen — and a human development of a Christian nature. In our day many have the tendency to prevent these two streams, which have met on Earth in order to work together, from coming together.
Consider for instance, how the whole purport of a book such as that of Traub [*Rudolf Steiner als Philosoph und Theosoph, by Friedrich Traub, Tubingen, 1919.] — the rest of the book has no meaning without this — consists in the assertion: ‘Yes, Dr. Steiner wishes to unite the two streams, heathen and Christian. We will not let that happen. We want natural science to remain heathen, so that there may be no necessity to bring about anything in Christendom which may reconcile it with natural science.’ Of course, if Natural Science is allowed to be heathen, Christianity cannot unite with it. Then it can be said: ‘Natural Science is carried on externally, materialistically; Christendom is founded on faith. The two must not be reconciled.’ Christ, however, truly did not appear on Earth in order that side by side with his Impulses the heathen impulse should increase in power; He came to permeate the heathen impulse. The task of the present time is to unite what man would keep asunder — Knowledge and Faith — and this must come to pass. Therefore attention must be drawn to such things, as I have done in one of my recent public lectures. On the one side the Church has reached the conclusion that Cosmology is not to be admitted into Christology, and on the other hand a Cosmology is reached by the principle of the indestructibility of matter and force. [*The word “force” on this page is generally rendered “Energy” in English scientific writing (Indestructibility of Matter and Energy).] But if matter and force are regarded as indestructible and eternal, it leads to the treading under foot of all ideals. And then Christianity too is meaningless. Only when what constitutes matter and its laws is regarded as a transitory phenomenon, and when the Christ-Impulse becomes a seed of what will exist when matter and force no longer rule as they do now according to law but have died away, then alone will Christianity, and then alone will ethical ideals and human worth, have a true meaning. There are two great antitheses: The one arising from the final logical conclusion of heathenism — ‘Matter and Force are immortal’, and the other arising from Christianity — ‘Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.’
These are the two greatest contrasts which can be expressed in a concept of the world, and our age has indeed every need not to be confused about such things, but with a mind awake, earnestly to look at what must be attained as a right concept of the world, in which moral human value and the Christian Impulse in the evolution of the world are not lost sight of in the illusion of indestructible matter and indestructible force.