Article

Friedrich Schleiermacher and Rudolf Otto

Jacqueline Mariña

in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Emotion

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780195170214
Published online September 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195170214.003.0026

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Friedrich Schleiermacher and Rudolf Otto

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Two names often grouped together in the study of religion are Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1884) and Rudolf Otto (1869–1937). Central to their understanding of religion is the idea that religious experience, characterized in terms of feeling, lies at the heart of all genuine religion. In his book On Religion, Schleiermacher speaks of religion as a “sense and taste for the Infinite.” In The Christian Faith, Schleiermacher grounds religion in the immediate self-consciousness and the “feeling of absolute dependence.” Influenced by Schleiermacher, Otto also grounds religion in an original experience of what he calls “the numinous,” which can only be grasped through states of feeling. This article discusses the views of Otto and Schleiermacher on religion as feeling. It examines how both men conceived of feeling, the reasons they believed religion had to be understood in its terms, and the common threads linking their perspectives. It also considers Schleiermacher's interpretation of religious feeling as transcendental experience.

Keywords: Friedrich Schleiermacher; Rudolf Otto; On Religion; religious experience; feeling; The Christian Faith; numinous; transcendental experience

Article.  8365 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion ; Philosophy of Religion ; Religious Studies

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