The Idea of the Holy by Rudolf Otto (1923) PDF ebook

The Idea of the Holy by Rudolf Otto

The Idea of the Holy by Rudolf Otto
The Idea of the Holy by Rudolf Otto

an inquiry Into The non-rational Factor In The Idea Of The Divine And Its Relation To The Rational 

Translated by John W. Harvey

Excerpt from the Translator's preface:

This translation of Dr. Rudolf Otto; s Das Heiliye has been made from the ninth German edition, but certain passages, mostly additions to the book in its first form, have been omitted with the concurrence of the author. The chief of these is certain of the appendixes, especially a long one upon Myth and Religion in Wundt s Volkerpsycltologie, and some citations in the text from German and other hymns and liturgies which, besides defying adequate translation, appeared to be of less interest to the English than to the German reader. 

On the other hand, I would refer the English reader to the brief appendix (No. X) that I have ventured to add, in which I have noted some points relevant to the subject discussed in the book suggested by the usage of English words, and added one or two illustrative passages from English writers. My warmest thanks are due to the author, not only for the many corrections he has made in the text of the translation, the whole of which he read in manuscript, but more for his generous and patient encouragement, without which it would have been neither undertaken nor completed. 

My best thanks are also due to the readers of the Oxford University Press for many helpful suggestions and corrections in my English text.
In the six years since its first publication in 1917, Das lleilifje has already passed through ten editions. At a time when circumstances are as adverse to writers and purchasers of serious books as they have been for the last few years in Germany, this fact would alone suggest that the author s work has met a genuine need in his own land; and anyone who has followed the movement of religious thought abroad during this period is aware that the success of his book is much more than a mere vogue, and that it is exerting no little influence upon religious thought in Germany and North Europe at the present time. 

It may be of interest to consider briefly where its chief significance may be found from the point of view of the English reader. One of the most unmistakable points of contrast between the thought of today and that of the later nineteenth century is the increased comprehensiveness and adequacy with which the study of religion is being pursued.

 Not only has the older, harder, more dogmatic tone on all sides given place to one more tolerant and sympathetic, but the study of religion has come to claim a much wider reference and to draw material from far more diverse sources than would at one time have been recognized, and the frontiers of the subject have been enormously extended in consequence. 

Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, and the history and comparative study of religious forms and institutions, if they have at once modified and complicated the problems of religious inquiry, have definitely increased the range of observations likely to throw light upon them. 

If we consider only the English-speaking countries, a future generation may perhaps judge that no writer did more to introduce or render more effective this new spirit in the study of religion than William James in his famous Gifford lectures on The Varieties of Religious Experience, published just over twenty years ago (1902).

 In any case, the title of that book might be taken as giving the chief characteristics of that spirit, the preoccupation with religion in all its manifold forms as a specific experience, rather than as either the vehicle of a system of dogma or metaphysics on the one hand or as simply the emotional heightening of morality on the other. 

This latter view is well represented by Matthew Arnold, himself in many respects a very typical child of his age; and Arnold s well-known phrase that the true meaning of religion is " morality touched by emotion is a fair expression of the limitations and bias of the nineteenth-century mind. It suggests the fundamentally rational temper ( rational even when attacking rationalism ) of an age interested almost wholly in practice and conduct, which, rightly reacting against views tending to identify religion with creed and dogma, was content to correct them by one that practically reduced it to an ethic. It has been justly noted l that such an account leaves an answered question, which today so obviously needs asking and which is in part the theme of this book, what sort of feelings or emotions it is by which morality is enkindled into religion.

Contents of the book:

Foreword by the author.
Translator s preface
Translator s note to the third impression. Xx
I. The rational and the non-rational. 1
Ii. Ntjmen and the numinous ... 5
Iii. The elements in the numinous
Creature-feeling 8
Iv. Mysterium tremendum :
The analysis of tremendum . . . 12
1. The element of awfulness . . 13
2. The element of overpoweringness . 20
3. The element of energy or urgency. 23
V. The analysis of mysterium :
4. The wholly other .... 25
Vi. 5. The element of fascination . . 31
Vii. Analogies and associated feelings . . 42
The law of the association of feelings 43
Schematization 46
Viii. The holy as a category of value: Sin and atonement 52
Ix. Means of expression of the numinous:
1. Direct means 62
2. Indirect means ..... 64
3. Means by which the numinous is ex
Pressed in art 68
X. The numinous in the old testament. 74
Xi. The numinous in the new testament. 85
Xii. The numinous in Luther .... 97
Xiii. The two processes of development . . 113
Xiv. The holy as a phi Oki category. Part I 116
Xv. Its earliest manifestations . . . 121
Xvi. The cruder phases. 136
Vi contents
Chap. Page
Xvii. The holy as an a priori category. Part ii 140
Xviii. The manifestations of the holy and
The faculty of divination . . 147
Xix. Divination in primitive Christianity. 159
Xx. Divination in Christianity today. . 166
Xxi. History and the a priori in religion :
Summary and conclusion . . .179
I. Chrysostom on the inconceivable in god. 183
Ii. The numinous in poetry, hymn, and liturgy 191
Iii. Original numinous sounds .... 194
Iv. Spirit and soul as numinous entities. 198
V. The supra-personal in the numinous . . 201
Vi. The mystical element in Luther's conception Of faith 209
Vii. Signs following 212
Viii. Silent worship ... 216
Ix. A numinous experience of john Ruskin. 221
X. The expression of the numinous in English 222
Xi. The mysterlum tremendum in Robertson and Watts 226
Xii. The resurrection as a spiritual experience. 228
Xiii. Religious essays, a supplement to the idea of
The holy: table of contents . . 235
Index 237


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