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English Books

Four Mystery Dramas,

Four Mystery Plays,

Rudolf Steiner
(Written 1910–1913; GA 14 / Bn 14 / CW 14)
(Also, see Bn 14.1, 14.2, 14.3, and 14.4.)

   Verlag Cover Image
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Rudolf Steiner wrote four mystery plays entitled:

  • Portal of Initiation (1910)
  • The Soul's Probation (1911)
  • The Guardian of the Threshold (1912)
  • The Soul's Awakening (1913)
  • They contain the whole essence of anthroposophy. Indeed, Rudolf Steiner said that, if through some unlikely chance the four Mystery Dramas alone should survive, in them the essential content of anthroposophy would be preserved. From time to time these plays are performed on the stage of the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland.

    Known Publications:

    • Vier Mysteriendramen: Sie Pforte der Einweihung - Die Pruefung der Seele - Der Hueter der Schwelle - Der Seelen Erwachen, (BN 14) German language editions: 1962, 1981, 1998 ISBN 3-7274-0140-0,

    These four plays have appeared bound in one volume in English translation. (BN 14)

    • Four Mystery Plays, Steiner Book Centre, Toronto, 1973, translated from the German by Hans and Ruth Pusch
    • Four Mystery Dramas, Steiner book Centre, North Vancouver, B. C., 1978, 564 pp., paperback, translated from the German by Ruth Pusch and Hans Pusch
    • Four Mystery Plays, Rudolf Steiner Press, London, 1982, translated from the German by Adam Bittleston, ISBN 0-85440-403-1, Paper
    • Reprinted by Kessinger Publ.

    The Portal of Initiation (BN 14.1) is the first in a series of four Mystery Plays. Although written to be performed on stage, it may be read in a group setting and still have much of the intended effect. The four plays follow in sequence. It is desirable to read then in sequence.

    • Die Pforte der Einzeinen (Initiation). Ein Rosenkreutzermysterium, (BN 14.1) German language editions: 1910, 1911, 1917, 1925, 1948, 1949, 1956
    • The Portal of Initiation, G. P. Putnam's Sons, London and New York, 1920, 139 pp., bound with The Soul's Probation, translated from the German by S. M. K. G. and R. T. G.
    • The Portal of Initiation, Anthroposophical Publishing Co., London, 1925, translated from the German by H. Collison
    • The Portal of Initiation, Rudolf Steiner Publications, Englewood, N. J., 1961, 196 pp., translated from the German by Adam Bittleston. Also included in this binding is a translation of Goethe's The Green Snake and The Beautiful Lily, translated from the German by Thomas Carlyle
    • The Portal of Initiation, Steiner Book Centre, Toronto, 1973, 160 pp., translated from the German by Hans Pusch
    • The Portal of Initiation, Garber Communications, Blauvelt, N. Y., appears to be the same as the 1961 edition above. ISBN 0-89345-012-X,

    The Soul's Probation (BN 14.2) is the second in a series of four Mystery Plays.

    • Die Pruefung der Seele. Szenisches Lebensbild als Nachspiel zur Pforte der Einweihung, (BN 14.2) German language editions: 1911, 1912, 1918, 1922, 1931, 1948, 1956
    • The Soul's Probation, G. P. Putnam's Sons, London and New York, 1920, 139 pp., bound with The Portal of Initiation, translated from the German by S. M. K. G. and R. T. G.
    • The Soul's Probation, Anthroposophical Publishing Co., London, 1925, translated from the German by H. Collison
    • The Soul's Probation, Steiner Book Centre, Toronto, 1973, 128 pp., translated from the German by Hans Pusch

    The Guardian of the Threshold (BN 14.3) is the third in a series of four Mystery Plays.

    • Der Hueter der Schwelle. Seelenvorgaenge in szenischen Bildern, (BN 14.3) German language editions: 1912, 1919, 1948, 1956
    • The Guardian of the Threshold, G. P. Putnam's Sons, London and New York, 1920, 133 pp., bound with The Souls' Awakening, translated from the German by S. M. K. G. and R. T. G.
    • The Guardian of the Threshold, Anthroposophical Publishing Co., London, 1925, translated from the German by H. Collison
    • The Guardian of the Threshold, Steiner Book Centre, Toronto, 1973, 128 pp., translated from the German by Hans Pusch

    The Souls' Awakening (BN 14.4) is the fourth and last of the Mystery Plays.

    • Der Seelen Erwachen. Seelische und geistliche Vorgaenge in szenischen Bildern, (BN 14.4) (BN 14.4) German language editions: 1913, 1918, 1922, 1948, 1956
    • The Souls' Awakening, G. P. Putnam's Sons, London and New York, 1920, 133 pp., bound with The Guardian of the Threshold, translated from the German by S. M. K. G. and R. T. G.
    • The Souls' Awakening, Anthroposophical Publishing Co., London, 1925, translated from the German by H. Collison
    • The Souls' Awakening, Steiner Book Centre, Toronto, 1973, 128 pp., translated from the German by Hans Pusch
    • The Souls' Awakening, Temple Lodge Press, London, 1995, 144pp., translated from the German by Michael Hedley Burton and Adrian Locher, ISBN 0-904693-66-X,


    GA 14 / Bn 14 / CW 14 ... Selections in English ...

    . Four Mystery Plays the 1925 Edition (Bn 14)

    Book Cover Image Includes The Portal of Initiation, The Soul's Probation, The Guardian of the Threshold, and The Soul's Awakening. Steiner's bold attempt to depict in dramatic form the experiences of a group of people and their relationships as they go on a path of spiritual development as well as the supersensible beings who help and hinder them.


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