Numinous experiences

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  • Numinous Experiences - Otto
    • Mysterium tremendum at fascinans
      • Mysterium
        • Wholly other - totally outside our normal experience
        • Fascination - causes the subject to become 'caught up in it'
      • Tremendum
        • Awefulness - inspiring awe
        • Overpoweringness - inspires a feeling of humility
        • Energy / Urgency - an impression of immense vigour
      • Most accept fascinans is not an inherent part of Otto's work
    • What makes numinous experiences religious?
      • A mysterious quality
        • A recognition that God is incomprehensible, that God can be met and his work seen, and yet that God can never be captured, fully understood or described
      • God being recognised as ultimate importance
      • God has a quality that is both attractive & dangerous
        • There's a sense of privilege, but also a feeling that God cannot be controlled
    • Numinous
      • Common factor to all religious experience
      • 'The deepest and most fundamental element in all strong and sincerely felt religious emotion'
      • Latin - numen - divinity
      • Wholly other
      • Sense of awe & wonder
      • awe-inspiring holiness
      • Ordinary language could not do justice to religious experience, because it is unlike any other within our sense perception
    • Example
      • Moses at the burning bush
      • Simon Peter shows this deep conviction of unworthiness and the need to be cleansed - 'go away from me Lord, I am a sinful man'


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