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Rudolf Otto and the Concept of Holiness$
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Melissa Raphael

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198269328

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198269328.001.0001

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Numinous Experience

Numinous Experience

(p.149) 6 Numinous Experience
Rudolf Otto and the Concept of Holiness

Melissa Raphael

Oxford University Press

As Otto asserts that those who have yet to feel religious experience are not to read further into his book, we find that the book is aimed only at those who have had spiritual orientation, and his philosophical aims do not encompass the intensification of his readers' experiences and of various religious sensibilities. Otto did not include in his concerns as a theologian and as a phenomenologist of religion the participation on whether numinous experience really exists. Although the debate is evidently not over, it continues in a more subtle manner compared to how it was aggravated in the period of the Vienna Circle. Postmodern situations attempt to provide interesting ways of evaluating the worth of numinous experience. In this chapter, the author assumes in some part that numinous experience is partially constructed in terms of a concept of holiness although it cannot give independent proof for the numen's existence. We examine whether Otto was successful in establishing a typology of primary religious experience.

Keywords:   numen, numinous experience, religious sensibilities, theologians, holiness

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