Dr Rudolf Otto (1869-1937) was a German theologian, philosopher, and historian of religion. He taught at the Universities of Göttingen and Breslau, then settled in Marburg in 1917. His theories on religion were influenced by his journeys to Africa and Asia to study non-Christian faiths and by the writings of Immanuel Kant and Friedrich Schleiermacher. In The Idea of the Holy (1917), Otto coined the term “numinous” to designate the nonrational element of religious experience – the awe, fascination, and blissful exultation inspired by the perception of the divine. His other books include Mysticism East and West (1926) and India’s Religion of Grace and Christianity (1930).
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