‘Theophany of the Abyss: Job and the Negative Numinous’, in Harmut Von Sass and Leonie Ratschow (eds.), God’s Spiritual Trial: A Paradigm Shift in Engaging Theologically with the Book of Job/Die Anfechtung Gottes: Ein Paradigmenwechsel in der theologischen Auseinandersetzung mit dem Hiobbuch (Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2016), pp. 233-261.

Podmore, Simon D. (2016) ‘Theophany of the Abyss: Job and the Negative Numinous’, in Harmut Von Sass and Leonie Ratschow (eds.), God’s Spiritual Trial: A Paradigm Shift in Engaging Theologically with the Book of Job/Die Anfechtung Gottes: Ein Paradigmenwechsel in der theologischen Auseinandersetzung mit dem Hiobbuch (Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2016), pp. 233-261. In: God’s Spiritual Trial: A Paradigm Shift in Engaging Theologically with the Book of Job/Die Anfechtung Gottes: Ein Paradigmenwechsel in der theologischen Auseinandersetzung mit dem Hiobbuch. Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, Leipzig.

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)

Abstract

Within Rudolf Otto’s (1869-1937) hauntingly evocative anatomy of The Idea of the Holy (Das Heilige), The Book of Job is revered as an unparalleled expression of the Numinous: the consciousness (gefühl) of the Numen or God expressed principally within the elements of mysterium tremendum et fascinans (a mystery of fear and longing). Conspicuously, Otto also acknowledges an even darker shade of the numinous arising in Job’s climactic whirlwind: a theophanous eruption of creation which discloses something “wellnigh demonic” as well as “wholly incomprehensible” about the “character of the eternal creative power”. Such terror transcends that of the natural sublime, and even the dread of the Negative Sublime. Insofar as “It has something spectral in it”, the terror of Job is the dread of the numinous, or even, as I here examine, the exceptional horror of the Negative Numinous (Negativ-Numinose). Expanding upon Otto’s underdeveloped category in a quasi-Jungian idiom, I also call this “Negative” the shadow-side of the numinous: the dark excess of the non-rational tremendum which threatens to overwhelm fascination and exceeds theological attempts at rational sublimation. Despite reason’s best endeavours, Otto’s Negative Numinous must, in a sense, remain underdeveloped insofar as it attempts the unviable task of representing the horrendum as the apotheosis of tremendum: a horror seemingly “cut loose” from the dialectical techtonics of mysterium tremendum et fascinans and “intensified” to the dark fringes of a “demonic”. This inscrutably demonic Negative Numinous is a mysterium horrendum which seemingly eclipses all hope of fascinosum—understood as the element of Love or Grace which theologically balances, mitigates, or sublimates divine wrath.

Item Type: Book Section
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Theology, Philosophy and Religion
Depositing User: Simon Podmore
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2017 15:28
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2017 15:28
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/1919

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item