4. Rudolf Otto and the Theory of Religion

The Holy in a Pluralistic World - Rudolf Otto's Legacy in the 21st Century - Ulrich Rosenhagen

Robert C. Neville [+-]
Boston University
Robert Cummings Neville is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Religion, and Theology at Boston University where he taught for thirty-one years and was Dean of the School of Theology and Dean of Marsh Chapel. He has published widely, the thirtieth book being the Metaphysics of Goodness: Harmony and Form, Beauty and Art, Obligation and Personhood, Flourishing and Civilization.


In this essay I attempt to say in deep appreciation why Otto’s description of the holy is so fascinating. Nevertheless, he is needlessly “transcendental” in a sense close to Kant’s use of that term, which I shall claim is a bad thing. How then can we have a non-transcendental, naturalist, theory of religion that supplies the background he needs for his description of the holy? I shall draft a sketch of an appropriate naturalistic theory that also accommodates the philosophic traditions of many of the world’s cultures.

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Neville, Robert. 4. Rudolf Otto and the Theory of Religion. The Holy in a Pluralistic World - Rudolf Otto's Legacy in the 21st Century. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Jun 2022. ISBN 9781781794906. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=30387. Date accessed: 19 Oct 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.30387. Jun 2022

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