Birth of Protestant Theologian Rudolph Otto Hot

Birth of Protestant Theologian Rudolph Otto

Rudolph Otto

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Rudolph Otto is born near Hanover, Germany. As a Protestant theologian and philosopher he will teach at a variety of universities in Germany. He will become best known for his book Das Heilige (The Idea of the Holy), in which he argues that the basis of all religion is something he called the numinous, which can only be understood or even perceived by people through an inborn religious "sense."

Rudolph Otto's book will be published in 1917, so he will be writing it during World War I. For many, this terribly destructive conflict discredits the notion of rational systems for producing civilization and for explaining humanity or religion — it is instead a demonstration that reason and science are amoral at best.

In addition to applying his ideas to Christianity, he will also use them as a basis for helping to found the Religiöser Menschheitsbund, an organization which is designed to unite the believers in all the world's religious faiths.

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