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The Idea of the Holy Second Edition
Oxford University Press / 1958 / Paperback
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Before religion became "morality touched with emotion" it was the emotion itself, or a group of emotions, and it still is. Those emotions are, in the translator's summary, "the feeling of the uncanny, the thrill of awe or reverence, the sense of dependence, or impotence, or of nothingness, or again, the feelings of religious rapture and exaltation." The author of the present book calls them the non-rational feelings, the sense of the tremendous, the awful, the mysterious, or, in a word of his own choosing, the "numinous". Both Author and translator make it clear that religion must accommodate both the numinous and the ethical.
Since the English translation first appeared in 1923, Rudolf Otto's volume has established itself as a classic in the field of religious philosophy. It offers an in-depth inquiry into the non-rational factor in the idea of the divine and its relation to the rational.
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