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NUMINOUS

A term used by non-Christian philosophers of religion to denote the essentially nonrational and nonmoral; it constitutes what people call "holy." It is composed of two kinds of feelings: awe and self-abasement at the Terrifying Unknown (Mysterium Tremendum) and enchantment (fascinatio), which the unknown induces in everyone who allows himself to be charmed. (Etym. Latin numen, the divine will, divine command.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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