Founded in the early twelfth century, allegedly to protect pilgrims to the Holy Land, the Knights Templar became famous for their pioneer banking system, crusading zeal, and strict vows of obedience, chastity and poverty. Having grown to some 15,000 men, they came to be perceived as a threat by Philip the Fair, who in 1307 disbanded the group and tortured their leaders for confessions. The French king accused the order of heresy, sodomy and blasphemy. Recent works of fiction and popular histories have created a resurgence of interest in the mysterious Knights Templar. Numerous contradictory and fantastic claims are made about them, adding to the enigma that already surrounds the warrior monks of France. In this unique collection of lecture material and writings from Rudolf Steiner, a new perspective emerges. Based on his spiritual perceptions, Steiner speaks of the Templars' connection to the esoteric tradition of St John, their relationship with the Holy Grail, and their spiritual dedication to Christ. He describes the secret order that existed within the Templars, and the strange rituals they performed.
He also throws light on the Templars' attitude to the Roman Church, and the spiritual forces that inspired their torture and confessions.
RUDOLF STEINER (1861-1925) called his spiritual philosophy 'anthroposophy', meaning 'wisdom of the human being'. As a highly developed seer, he based his work on direct knowledge and perception of spiritual dimensions. He initiated a modern and universal 'science of spirit', accessible to anyone willing to exercise clear and unprejudiced thinking. From his spiritual investigations Steiner provided suggestions for the renewal of many activities, including education (both general and special), agriculture, medicine, economics, architecture, science, philosophy, religion and the arts. Today there are thousands of schools, clinics, farms and other organizations involved in practical work based on his principles. His many published works feature his research into the spiritual nature of the human being, the evolution of the world and humanity, and methods of personal development. Steiner wrote some 30 books and delivered over 6,000 lectures across Europe. In 1924 he founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world.