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Does the part about "noddings" make sense?

--Wetman 06:13, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
Added etymological discussion. AnonMoos 19:56, 14 February 2006 (UTC)


The following might prove hard to source: "The followers of Numina in Rome were held to strict rituals. Not wanting to offend any of the multiple deities they would follow the same routine every time. Eventually when the words became uncomprehensible they still said them not wanting to offend the gods." --Wetman 05:03, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

It's even harder to source once Wikipedia mirror sites start copying those sentences. When that happens, Wikipedia bots begin identifying the sentences as "copyrighted". It's best to either remove unreferenced statements, or, if you're unsure but skeptical, add the {{fact}} tag. Fuzzform (talk) 05:43, 13 April 2008 (UTC)


This article has had a merge tag for over a year, and yet there has been no discussion about it here (or on talk page of the numinous article). I'm in favor of the merge, unless there is something intrinsically different about the usages (it doesn't seem that there is). Fuzzform (talk) 01:07, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

A "numinous presence"? Isn't that a bit redundant? It's like saying "present presence", or "presentous presence" (to use a non-existent word). Fuzzform (talk) 05:38, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
I thought Wikipedia deprecated articles with adjectives as titles. A numinous presence is the eery and supernatural sense of an otherworldly presence, even godhead. But we all have presence, though some of us are more self-assertive, and others lack charisma. --Wetman (talk) 05:45, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

The merger is a bad idea as the concepts are different, part of the problem being that many scholars are not exactly clear on the nuances of the terms and confusion reigns. But numen and numinous as explicated in the entries are NOT the same. Properly speaking, a numen is the felt presence of a deity. Whether that diety resides "over" or "in" depends on dimensionality. The deity resides "in" the object, so long as the object is conceived of as three-dimensional space. In the same sense as one resides in a house. But if one conceives of space as two dimensional, then it numen presides "over" the space, in the same way the mouse pointer hovers over the text on the screen. In fact, that's an excellent analogy because we would say the mouse pointer exists in the monitor but hovers over the text. So with the numen and it's location in space.

The other poorly drawn distinction is between the location of the numen subjectively and objectively. As for whether "numinous presence" is redundant is a matter of debate. If the numen is conceived of merely as the "felt presence" of a deity with the feeling located in the subject then it is redundant term, since one is simply speaking of the "felt presence of a presence". If the numen is conceived as having an objective reality apart from its sensed presence, more akin to a spirit, then it is not redundant since one is referring to a real objective manifestation which is felt. In this case "numinous presence" is best read as "the felt presence of a mystery of a particular place."

This two concepts help explain why the definition of numen as used in Rome is not the same as that used by Otto in numinous (and Ott and Jung definitions are very different, btw). For one, the numen was never wholly other as it was always tied to a particular physical location. In his poem, "Marina", TS Eliot captures this idea perfectly when he says "by this grace dissolved in place". Eliot and Jung are in agreement in the sense that the numen is best understood as that combination of salt and water (numen and place) is a solution best described as "salt water". This conception of the numen is utterly alien to anything that Otto ever wrote.

I could continue in this vein for some time but it is not my point to write an essay on the conception of the numen in various thinkers. I hope that I have brought forth enough evidence to illustrate the fact that the definitions of the numen are of significant divergence that a merging of the entries is a bad idea. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Worlddan (talkcontribs) 16:53, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

I agree, the two concepts as related by our articles are different enough to be separated. And since there hasn't been much movement on this talkpage in a couple months, I'm going to go ahead and remove the merge tag. Ford MF (talk) 19:43, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Meaning what?[edit]

What does this sentence mean?

"The many names for Italic gods may obscure this sense of a numinous presence in all the seemingly mundane actions of the natural world."

First of all, the statement is unsourced. Not to mention that it makes no sense. Why does the multiplicity of names necessarily obscure the presence of the numen? Do they not perhaps manifest and elaborate it under varied aspects? What does 'seemingly mundane' mean here? What kind of "actions" are mundane, or are they in fact not? Cynwolfe (talk) 19:26, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Single source article[edit]

The only source claimed for the article is Rudolf Otto's The Idea of the Holy, first published in 1917, seemingly still in print and popular. Otto was not, as far as I can tell, a religious historian but a comparative theologian who seeks the idea of the Holy in the past (QED). "Numen" is a historic Roman religious term - surely its article should be based on recent specialised works by historians of Roman religion. There's no shortage. Haploidavey (talk) 01:26, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Quoting Dumézil[edit]

The "Ancient Roman cult" section under the "Significance" heading contains a slight misinterpretation. The lines quoted there from Dumézil's Archaic Roman Religion (vol. 1) were actually written by the scholar H. J. Rose with whom Dumézil is arguing and—at that particular point in Archaic Roman Religionquoting. It comes from Rose's Primitive Culture in Italy (1926) pp. 44-45. Dumézil has his own interpretation of numen (p.29 of ACC) that admits the accuracy of Rose's but shows how it is historically off-base to read numen as "the product or expression of power" before the era of the Augustan writers, which Rose does frequently (hence Dumézil's extensive critique in Chapter 3 of ACC).

Didn't want to make any changes that are that involved without an explanation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:13, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Needs organization[edit]

Not too well organized. Lots of contributors, no unifying hand. References are good too, but referencing what? For rexample, the etymology is given twice. There are a number of definitions, some contradictory. Imperial Rome is treated differently from the rest of Rome. The whole thing is treated as cult. Not a cult, a belief. There were a lot of cults along those lines. It isn't sociologists per se that are interested in the topic. Sociology is science - you know, statistical data and experiments, theories of society, etc. This is not that. This is history of religion. I worked on this a long time ago, and met with all kinds of flak. No one could agree. There is now, however, a lot of source material here. I propose to reorganize it, get it all together. I get the point, no one is interested in any personal definitions, so I will try to make sure most everything is quoted. The topic in general has this organization: 1) An initial meaning and usage in ancient Rome 2) An expansion of the concept to other cultures. I will stick by that. Also there are certain errors of neglect, which are understandable, but WP is a little larger nowdays. "Numen" is being used to translate religious concepts from the Far East, so it isn't just western. But, as a phase of religious belief it is pretty much universal. So, Phase 1 would be ancient Rome, Phase 2 would be a generalization of the concept, Phase 3 would be instances in other cultures. I don't plan to look back to see what I said before. It was not adequate, I am sure. I do plan to bring in other sources if I have to. This will take a while. Ciao.Botteville (talk) 21:15, 6 February 2015 (UTC)