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Rudolph Otto’s the idea of holy

Common usage of the term “holy” found to be inaccurate

Otto has found the usage of the term “holy to be inaccurate in many contexts of today’s life. First, Otto considers the usage of the word holy in explaining the good morals within the ethics and cultural set ups being inaccurate (Casement and David 34). Secondly, he indicates that the usage of the word to represent the sacred places in the routine of human nature is misleading on the meaning of the word. The perception that individuals have concerning the word is completely wrong. The word does not mean something extremely good, but it should only be associated with the absolute moral attributes. Also the belief that being holy can only be experienced through the mediation of the human psyche through the finite actions is termed inaccurate as human beings can only find themselves in the infinite situations (Ware 50). Otto believes that the original meaning of the word holy has been neglected and the relation that people give to its understanding is contrary to the different activities the word represents. The use of the word to purposefully fulfill individuals’ interest is considered inaccurate as it indicates the usage in a way that is not awful and terrifying. The usage of the word to justify a situation is a wrong practice and should be discouraged to bring back the meaning.  The word “holy” creates no defense to any sin and its usage to cover up sin is not appropriate for its operation (Casement and David).

  1. English meaning of mysterium tremendum

The term mysterium tremendum is a term that means a demonic wrath of the God which may be experienced by the followers or believers. It also means vitality or the urgency upon which any action may be taken on the other about the action or to prove the sense of belonging to a specific identity. In addition, this term means a sense of majesty on which an individual owns nothing as compared to the powers he/she has. Finally, it means the feelings that someone has towards the being on which he/she fully depends on (Ware 55).

  1. Mysterium designates

The term has some designated meanings which fit into the context of usage such as. First, the term means the wholly other being, which cannot be compared to any other as well as being better in everything. Secondly, it designates the experience that an individual might have that is associated to the wonder with no specific identity. Thirdly, it designates the stupor of whom other beings are entitled to respect. The term designates the attractiveness that it brings to the generation irrespective of the fear and terror that is associated with it (Ware 49).

  1. The idea of awfulness

The idea of awfulness is used in the context to make the readers expect the introduction of a scary activity or issue within the context of his actions. It is also used to show the balance that exists in the transition between the Old and the New Testament books about the response to the issues. The idea brings to the mind of the reader the rational and the irrational aspect of God related to the consumption of the issues and reactions to the development and human kind. The idea also creates in the minds of the reader that predestination towards issues and the actions which been witnessed by the individuals (Bond 56). The idea is used to enable the reader to evaluate the current issues within the society about the previous actions of man to identify some unpleasing actions of similar consequence.

  1. Relation of the Otto’s idea of awfulness to the “tremendum” of “mysterium tremendum”

The presentation of tremendum of mysterium is in the same elements of description as being awful, meaning the two terms are a description of each other. The two terms describe a situation that is beyond the ordinary explanation, but can only be used to explain what each means. The idea brings out the attention that is needed to understand the real situation of tremendum, which shows too many elements of awfulness in the mind of the reader. The two ideas create the same atmosphere in the mind of the reader as they both describe a horrible situation and only needs transitional understanding in the mind of the believers.

  1. The idea of majestas

The idea brings the sense of actions which are beyond the human nature control resulting in the idea overpowering any other duties done. The idea is categorized as one which has no specific understanding of the situations, but works to attain its objective of being at the top of everything. The idea shows the supremacy that comes with the identification of the all-powerful being in the daily human operations. The idea brings the real picture of being in control of the situations at hand as well as any other thing that might happen in the exposure of human beings (Casement and David 67).

  1. Relationship between majestas and mysterium tremendum

The idea of majestas creates the powerful aspects of the mysterium tremendum which makes the believers give full respect and humility to the tremendum. The idea of majestas provides the explanation that helps in a description of the tremendum as the overpowering. The two terms compare in the idea upon which they bring to the generation believing in them as they show the terrifying aspects within their context of usage. Majastas forms part of the three elements used in the description of the tremendum showing the relation between the terms (Casement and David 71).  


Work cited

Bond, Stephenson. Living Myth: Personal Meaning as a Way of Life. Shambhala, 2001. Print

Casement, Ann, and David J. Tacey. “The idea of the numinous: Contemporary Jungian and psychoanalytic perspectives.” Routledge, 2006. Print

Ware, Owen. “Rudolph Otto’s idea of the holy: A reappraisal.” The Heythrop Journal 48.1 (2007): 48-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2265.2007.00305.x