July 5th, 2012
Theologian: Rudolf Otto (1869 – 1937)
More on his theology: Otto was a leading theologian of religious expression–a revival of Kierkegaard. In 1917 Otto published his keynote work, Das Holige (The Idea of the Holy). The outcome of the book was a sociological study of human religion and marked the distinction between ethics and religion. The two cannot be equated. Theological liberals maintained the idea that we should do what we know we should do. The moral good may not be religious and the religious may not be the moral, which disagreed with the theological liberals). Religion, to Otto, has to do with the numinous, that is, the realm beyond the human, which both attracts us and terrifies us. This is what he called the mysterium tremendum. This is an unapproachable fear towards God. C.S. Lewis illustrates this fear in The Problem of Pain.
Suppose you were told that there was a tiger in the next room: you would know that you were in danger and would probably feel fear. But if you were told “There is a ghost in the next room,” and believed it, you would feel, indeed, what is often called fear, but of a different kind.
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April 23rd, 2012
I originally found this video shared on Justin Taylor’s blog at The Gospel Coalition. This video has John Cleese reading the book, which is very Germane and is, oh, classical?
Then there is, which absolutely recommend, Screwtape. This was a project overseen by Douglas Gresham, Lewis’ step-son, whom I have had the privilege of meeting. This version of the letters is more Rock and Roll, heavy, and real. Please watch the first video posted on their site (you’ll also see Gresham in his Tazmanian naval sweater, which I envy).
I just finished a paper on Lewis’ eudaimonistic ethic and worked quite a bit in Screwtape. Enjoy.
(EDIT 12.37 April 23, 2012: VIDEO REMOVED FROM YOUTUBE)