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Christ and Sophia
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Valentin Tomberg (Feb. 27, 1900-Feb. 24, 1973) was born into a Lutheran family in St. Petersburg, Russia. As an adolescent, he was drawn to the hermetic Martinism of G.O.Mebes, as well as to Theosophy and the mysticism of Eastern Orthodoxy. Tomberg's mother was killed by looters during the Russian Revolution, after which Valentin and his father fled to Tallinn, Estonia, where Tomberg studied languages and comparative religion at the University of Tartu. As a young man, he was strongly influenced by Vladimir Soloviev and had a personal experience of the Sophia at a cathedral in Holland. In 1925, he joined the Anthroposophical Society, under whose auspices he lectured in Holland and England and wrote on his understanding of the Bible, Anthroposophy, and esoteric Christianity. During World War II, he left the Anthroposophical Society and its internal struggles and converted to Catholicism. In 1948, he moved to England, where he became a translator for the BBC and monitored Soviet broadcasts during the Cold War, while continuing his devotion to meditation practice and further writing on his esoteric insights. In 1960, he retired to Reading near the River Thames. He died while vacationing in Majorca. The best-known work of his later life is Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism, written anonymously. Christopher Bamford is Editor in Chief for SteinerBooks and its imprints. A Fellow of the Lindisfarne Association, he has lectured, taught, and written widely on Western spiritual and esoteric traditions. He is the author of The Voice of the Eagle: The Heart of Celtic Christianity (1990) and An Endless Trace: The Passionate Pursuit of Wisdom in the West (2003). He has also translated and edited numerous books, including Celtic Christianity: Ecology and Holiness (1982); Homage to Pythagoras: Rediscovering Sacred Science; and The Noble Traveller: The Life and Writings of O. V. de L. Milosz (all published by Lindisfarne Books). HarperSanFrancisco included an essay by Mr. Bamford in its anthology Best Spiritual Writing 2000.

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