Rudolf Otto

1869 - 1937

Photo of Rudolf Otto

Icon of person Rudolf Otto

Rudolf Otto (25 September 1869 – 7 March 1937) was an eminent German Lutheran theologian, philosopher, and comparative religionist. He is regarded as one of the most influential scholars of religion in the early twentieth century and is best known for his concept of the numinous, a profound emotional experience he argued was at the heart of the world's religions. While his work started in the domain of liberal Christian theology, its main thrust was always apologetical, seeking to defend religion against naturalist critiques. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Rudolf Otto has received more than 377,280 page views. His biography is available in 32 different languages on Wikipedia. Rudolf Otto is the 322nd most popular philosopher (down from 293rd in 2019), the 685th most popular biography from Germany (down from 637th in 2019) and the 44th most popular German Philosopher.

Rudolf Otto is most famous for his theory that religion is a response to the experience of the mysterium tremendum et fascinans, or the awe-inspiring and fascinating mystery.

Memorability Metrics

  • 380k

    Page Views (PV)

  • 63.98

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 32

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 10.91

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 2.05

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)


Among philosophers, Rudolf Otto ranks 322 out of 1,267Before him are Gemistus Pletho, Judith Butler, Alfred Schütz, Julius Caesar Scaliger, Alfred Tarski, and Lucien Lévy-Bruhl. After him are Moritz Schlick, Ramanuja, Moses Hess, Martianus Capella, Aristoxenus, and Johann Georg Hamann.

Most Popular Philosophers in Wikipedia

Go to all Rankings


Among people born in 1869, Rudolf Otto ranks 20Before him are Frederick Trump, Christian Lous Lange, Komitas, Calouste Gulbenkian, Siegfried Wagner, and Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria. After him are Karl Seitz, Felix Salten, Gustav Vigeland, Maud of Wales, Kasturba Gandhi, and Prince George of Greece and Denmark. Among people deceased in 1937, Rudolf Otto ranks 24Before him are J. M. Barrie, Austen Chamberlain, J. Bruce Ismay, Sergo Ordzhonikidze, Gaston Doumergue, and Jean Harlow. After him are Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark, Karol Szymanowski, Ramsay MacDonald, Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild, Emilio Mola, and Frank B. Kellogg.

Others Born in 1869

Go to all Rankings

Others Deceased in 1937

Go to all Rankings

In Germany

Among people born in Germany, Rudolf Otto ranks 685 out of 7,253Before him are Jürgen Stroop (1895), Gertrude the Great (1256), Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria (1869), Luitpold, Prince Regent of Bavaria (1821), Hugo Ball (1886), and Hans Morgenthau (1904). After him are George V of Hanover (1819), Catherine of Saxe-Lauenburg (1513), Karl-Otto Koch (1897), Moritz Schlick (1882), Bernard Katz (1911), and Helmut Rahn (1929).


Among philosophers born in Germany, Rudolf Otto ranks 44Before him are Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi (1743), Bruno Bauer (1809), Johann Reuchlin (1455), Franz Brentano (1838), Carl Gustav Hempel (1905), and Rudolf Bultmann (1884). After him are Moritz Schlick (1882), Moses Hess (1812), Hermann Cohen (1842), David Strauss (1808), Wilhelm Windelband (1848), and Gershom Scholem (1897).