- Considers the essence of Christian festivals, including cosmic as well as seasonal aspects
- Thoroughly reviews Steiner's writing on the subject
- Asks whether festivals should be celebrated at different times in the southern hemisphere
Considers the issues around celebrating Christian festivals with imagery and symbolism drawn from northern hemisphere festivals, in the southern hemisphere.
Many of the Christian festivals traditionally draw imagery and symbolism from the northern hemisphere seasons. Christmas is often described as a light in the darkness of winter, and Easter reflects the new life emerging in spring. Rudolf Steiner also offered various descriptions of the relation of the festivals to seasons.
This has led some to suggest that Christian festivals in the southern hemisphere should be celebrated at opposite times of the year: for example, celebrating Christmas in June, or Easter in September. Is that really what Steiner was suggesting?
This insightful book thoroughly reviews all of Steiner's words on the subject, as well as the writings of other anthroposophical thinkers. Steiner shared cosmic, spiritual imaginations for the northern hemisphere, and in this book Martin Samson develops a useful equivalent guide for the southern hemisphere, as well as closely studying the liturgy of The Christian Community and its seasonal prayers.
From his research, he concludes that the essence of Christian festivals works at the same time for the whole earth, but take on subtly different nuances through the opposite seasons.
Martin Samson has been a priest of The Christian Community for over twenty years, and has worked in Australia since 1992. He has a Masters in Theological Studies and has spent many years studying cross-cultural religion, philosophy, mythology and cosmology. He has lectured extensively on the question of festivals in the southern hemisphere, and runs excursions into the outback of Australia to explore the connection to Aboriginal Australia and the southern stars.