Friday, 24 April 2009

The numinous and the Moominous

Lord Bassington-Bassington is currently trying to read theologian Rudolf Otto’s classic study of the experience of the divine. Otto calls this experience the numinous.

(Rudolf Otto)

In short, Rudolf Otto describes the numinous as the “Mysterium tremendum et fascinans”; as the “wholly other”. For Otto the divine, the transcendent, is both terrifying and compelling, and utterly alien.

Rudolf Otto’s thoughts on the nature of the experience of the divine fits much better with Lord Bassington-Bassington’s ideas than those he meets in many contemporary theologians.

But being a sucker for cheap puns, Lord Bassington has started to suspect that while the numinous might be a brilliant concept, he might in fact prefer a term of his own making: the Moominous.

For Tove Jansson’s books about the Moomintrolls do indeed contain a wide variety of moments of an uncanny, supernatural nature.

(Possibly better than Rudolf Otto)

Lord Bassington-Bassington’s theory of the Moominous is still being developed, but if you want it defined through music and moving images, the short film below does the job admirable. The music is by Les Chasseurs De La Nuit.


  1. :) I have already known the video..and actually I have loved the moonins since my childhood and feel a very strong relatedness to the character of Little My. Actually we're quite similiar in many points. I really envy Thomas for his moomin collection, but merchandise around here is really hard to get. My husband though ordered a stuffed Little My and Moomintroll for Christmas. You can imagine I was delighted :) And our daughter got a wonderful moomin box and moomin plasters from Uncle Thomas. As you can imagine her accidents increased a lot since then.

  2. Our moomin collection is mostly limited to some books and a small selection of mugs (but they're used every day!) I never liked Little My that much, I'm more like Moominpapa I suspect. Also, he has a top hat!

  3. Now you should publish a thorough study of the subject so that it can become a classic in some fifty years.

  4. Amazing! I had never see this video...what a fretful Moomintroll, poor thing slipping on the snow...
    & the Hemulen was fantastic, doing his calisthenics!