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The Idea of the Holy

Excerpt from The Idea of the Holy: An Inquiry Into the Non-Rational Factor in the Idea of the Divine and Its Relation to the Rational In this book I have ventured to write of that which may be called 'non-rational' or 'supra-rational' in the depths of the divine nature. I do not thereby want to promote in any way the tendency of our time towards an extravagant and fantastic 'irrationalism', but rather to join issue with it in its morbid form. The 'irrational' is to-day a favourite theme of all who are too lazy to think or too ready to evade the arduous duty of clarifying their ideas and grounding their convictions on a basis of coherent thought. This book, recognizing the profound import of the non-rational for meta-physic, makes a serious attempt to analyse all the more exactly the feeling which remains where the concept fails, and to introduce a terminology which is not any the more loose or indeterminate for having necessarily to make use of symbols. Before I ventured upon this field of inquiry I spent many years of study upon the rational aspect of that supreme Reality we call 'God', and the results of my work are contained in my books, Naturalistische und religiose Weltansicht (Eng. Tr. 'Naturalism and Religion', London, 1907), and Die Kant-friesische Religions-Philosophie. And I feel that no one ought to concern himself with the 'Numen ineflabile' who has not already devoted assiduous and serious study to the 'Ratio aeterna'. This foreword gives me a very welcome opportunity to express my thanks to the translator for his care, his remarkable delicacy of interpretation, and for the valuable supplementary pages he has added. An English critic has said that the 'translation is much the original'; and to this I have nothing to object. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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