Any churches espousing this?
Gnosticism by any other name…
Generally, as I understand it, Gnosticism is characterized by the belief that this outside world is false and imperfect and that the true knowing the inner-knowing (esotericism) is the true path to the real one-ness of all things.
It seems to be the basis of many spiritual beliefs including IMHO the teachings of Jesus. The teachings of the Church are live by faith, not sight, and over time your faith will become your sight- though that last point is not really obvious in any physical church that I have been to.
More generally - this is just “Mysticism, slight reprise”.
Oh, and to more properly answer the OP - I don’t know of any churches, but the Waldorf Schools movement is quite widespread.
That’s how they invented their salad.
This was the 2nd thread I ever started, back in 2000.
It didn’t garner near as much attention as this thread did, though.
I can see this thread sliding into obscurity so feel duty bound to say a few things regarding Anthroposophy
The most well known aspects of Anthroposophy are those with a real-world practical usage.
Education of the Child
A big problem with “finding” Steiner via one of these approaches is that the theory which underpins them is predicated on a knowledge of his esoteric teachings. This means tackling his vast output of 6,000 transcribed lectures.
This is made somewhat easier by reading 4 or 5 of his key books and then augmenting with the growing number of themed lecture compilations which are widely available.
It will come as no surprise to learn that Steiner’s teachings are anathema to the prevailing views espoused on this message board. When I first started visiting/lurking the Straight Dope in 2003 or so, a big part of its attraction for me was the smart, scientific, atheistic attitude. Five years of reading Steiner has changed my view profoundly. (I still love the Dope though!)
Steiner went public with his clairvoyantly-inspired insights in 1900 - initially finding favour only with Blavatsky’s Theosophists. By 1910 Steiner broke away and formed his Anthroposophical Society. His style was western in contrast to Blavatsky’s more oriental “Secret Doctrine”. His spiritual focus was centred on the event he referred to as the “Mystery of Golgotha” rather the “Fall of Humanity” (which both would happily agree took place in the rather more distant Lemurian epoch).
The Christianity which Steiner espoused stemmed not from a particularly Christian upbringing but from a mature realisation that, as his clairvoyant powers increasingly lit up the past and he viewed the happenings of 2,000 years ago in his “solemn festival of knowledge”, he saw that a pivotal cosmic event had happened which he spent the rest of his life incorporating into his manifest writings.
Anthroposophy, like Theosophy before it, sought not to convert but to restore understanding of the whole sequence of religions from Hinduism, Zoroastrism, Judaism, Buddism to Christianity. Steiner’s views validate all of them as a product of their time.
Of Christianity, Steiner has more to say than the rest. Steiner often departs from orthodoxy; his Jesus of Nazareth is fully human (although composite) until his baptism, whereupon he receives the Christ being and becomes Jesus Christ.
Steiner’s work covers most areas of human endeavour - not just religion. His views will be unacceptable to many - but even the most ardent skeptic who somehow finds a way to evaluate Steiner’s work will know that this man has created an internally-consistent explanation of most of the mysteries and paradoxes that have plagued humanity since time immemorial.
There’s a place in downtown Sydney that seems to be an Anthroposophy group or reading room. I’ve never been in, so I couldn’t tell you if the group in Sydney could be considered a “church.”
An addition to my neighborhood is the US HQ of the Theosophists. Love them because they are wacky; supportive because too many think they, and Madame Blavatsky, helped define the Nazis, which is completely unlike them; still love them, because they are nice.
I like nice people, especially when they are crazy.