The Idea of the Holy: An Inquiry into the Non-Rational Factor in the Idea of the Divine and Its Relation to the Rational

The Idea of the Holy: An Inquiry into the Non-Rational Factor in the Idea of the Divine and Its Relation to the Rational

The Idea of the Holy: An Inquiry into the Non-Rational Factor in the Idea of the Divine and Its Relation to the Rational

The Idea of the Holy: An Inquiry into the Non-Rational Factor in the Idea of the Divine and Its Relation to the Rational

Synopsis

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.

Excerpt

The complete reprinting of this translation of Rudolf 0tto's Das Heilige enables me to include in a revised preface a tribute prompted by personal friendship and gratitude to the author, whose death in 1937 deprived the world of western Christendom of one of its most notable and individual religious thinkers. At the same time I have taken the opportunity, in reviewing the fortunes of his book in its English version during the twenty-six years since the translation was first published, to attempt to meet one or two misunderstandings which seem rather tiresomely persistent.

Rudolf Otto was born at Peine in Hanover in 1869, and his career at first was the normal one of a University teacher of theology; he passed through the University to become Privat-Dozent in Systematic Theology at Göttingen in 1897, and seven years later attained the status of Ausserordentlicher Professor in the same University, until in 1914 he was appointed to an official Chair at Breslau. in the meantime he had published his first book, translated in 1909 under the title Religion and Naturalism. It is a forcibly stated argument for the autonomy of the human spirit and the insufficiency of a naturalistic science to explain or comprehend spiritual experience. He had made himself thoroughly conversant with the scientific outlook of the nineteenth century and the tendencies in it, mechanism, neo-Darwinism, and the like, which were or might be inimical to religion. But there is nothing of special originality in the book. the significant year for the development of his own distinctive contribution to religious thinking was, I suspect, 1910, when he set out on a long journey to the East which was to take him round the world. Otto had already travelled in Europe: he knew England and France and Italy, and got on well with foreigners. But the long sojourn in the East in 1910-11 must have meant much more to him. He visited North Africa, Egypt and Palestine . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.