Prokofieff’s The Case of Valentin Tomberg: Anthroposophy or Jesuitism?


Sergei Prokofieff

From Sergei Prokofieff: The Case of Valentin Tomberg: Anthroposophy or Jesuitism?


This is more a notice – even a burst of exclamation! – than a proper book review.

For I want to include at this site a brief notation, at least, of Sergei Prokofieff’s The Case of Valentin Tomberg: Anthroposophy or Jesuitism. Unusually for this site, it is a very negative notation that some may find censorious.

At any rate, herewith my honest, unfiltered feelings regarding Prokofieff’s “tour de-force” to destroy Tomberg’s credibility . . .

Here is a relentless book in black and white.

Relentless, inasmuch as Prokofieff spares no opportunity to condemn Tomberg.

It is as though almost no sentence about the mature Catholic Tomberg is left unturned for an opportunity to breathlessly paint the man blacker than black – without the slightest trace of nuance or subtlety.

Admittedly, one occasionally finds slight nods of recognition of the younger Anthroposophist Tomberg, before his astonishing conversion to the Church. But even these are sparing, one almost feels begrudging.

But I defy any reader to find a single sentence about Tomberg that contains even a hint of recognition of the slightest good in Tomberg the convert.

It is a terrible book, I think. Still, it is not without a certain merit.

For Prokofieff was right – there is a MIGHTY difference between Tomberg’s Catholic works and Anthroposophy. Too few on either side of the fence (whether “pro-Tomberg” or “anti-Tomberg”) are sufficiently alert to this.

I also find something rather touching about Prokofieff’s devotion to Rudolf Steiner, that strikes me as almost childlike. But where there is devotion, there is beauty, even if it is naive . . .

I will gnomically add that recently a profound novel has appeared in English by Michael Frensch that deals, even if very indirectly, with some of the issues here in an infinitely more nuanced way. It is called The Viridian Sail: Seurat’s Secret and there is an inadequate notice of it here at this site.

Tomberg Videos and More . . .

There is much more about Valentin Tomberg both in an archive of articles at this website and in my three books published by Angelico Press.

Moreover, there are my videos at YouTube – chiefly the three hour twelve presentation below. But for those who prefer the “short version” I ofer two trailers  – the initial one is just over three minutes and the second is roughly 90 seconds.

And Now the “Long Version”— Three Hours, Eleven Minutes . . .



Finally . . .

This latest video (at the time of this writing) also considers Tomberg’s thinking, particularly in the last half hour of the video:

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