Awe inspiring

raasay sound

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Reverence (engels) is een emotie waarin men zich klein voelt door bewondering voor iets groots. Ontzag lijkt me een goede vertaling. Het begrip heeft voor mij een religieuze gevoelswaarde en het begrip slaat ook op de emoties die men kan hebben in tegenwoordigheid van pausen of koningen en andere hoogwaardigheidsbekleders.  Ik kan bewondering hebben voor iets of voor het gedrag van iemand. Maar ontzag hebben en mezelf klein voelen is daarbij niet inbegrepen.

I had to look up reverential respect. Reverence is an emotion that you feel small by admiration for something big. Ontzag seems like a good Dutch translation. The concept for me has a religious connotation and the term also refers to the emotions that one can have in the presence of popes and kings and other dignitaries.
I can admire something or admire a person’s behavior. But awe (ontzag) and  feeling small is  excluded.

Reverence is seen … as “acknowledging a subjective response to something excellent in a personal (moral or spiritual) way, but qualitatively above oneself” [3] Solomon describes awe as passive, but reverence as active, noting that the feeling of awe (i.e., becoming awestruck) implies paralysis, whereas feelings of reverence are associated more with active engagement and responsibility toward that which one reveres.[4] Nature, science, literature, philosophy, great philosophers, leaders, artists, art, music, wisdom, and beauty may each act as the stimulus and focus of reverence.

3. Roberts, R. C. (2003). Emotions: An essay in aid of moral psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 268

4. Solomon, R. C. (2002). Spirituality for the skeptic: The thoughtful love of life. New York: Oxford University Press


Deference implies a yielding or submitting to the judgment of a recognized superior out of respect or reverence.

Mediational data demonstrate that the effects of awe on prosociality are explained, in part, by feelings of a small self. 

picture: my photo on Raasay (Scotland)




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