Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Sources of Wonder

Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Sources of Wonder

by Michael Marmur


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Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907–1972) was one of the twentieth century’s most influential Jewish thinkers, a respected theologian and enthusiastic civil rights activist who marched to Selma with Martin Luther King, Jr. His theology emphasized the immediacy of wonder and awe, yet his writing was studded with signs of his vast knowledge of traditional scholarship. No other Jewish thinker of note in the twentieth century used such a wide range of texts so extensively.

Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Sources of Wonder is the first book to demonstrate how Heschel’s political, intellectual, and spiritual commitments were embedded in his reading of Jewish tradition. By shedding new light on how Heschel’s theological project reconciled the demands of tradition and the modern world, Michael Marmur offers an inspirational lesson in how contemporary Jewish thought can embrace both the texts of the past and the challenges of the present.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442651234
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date: 04/04/2016
Series: Kenneth Michael Tanenbaum Series in Jewish Studies Series
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Michael Marmur is the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Provost of the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion.

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Abraham Joshua Heschel, Heir and Pioneer

Chapter Two: Heschel’s Bible and the Hermeneutic of Surprise

Chapter Three: A Living Response: Heschel and the Literature of the Sages

Chapter Four: From Contemplation to Practice: Heschel’s Two Maimonides

Chapter Five: On the Verge of God: Heschel and Kabbalah

Chapter Six: A New Accent: Heschel and Hasidism

Chapter Seven: An Affinity of Strangers

Chapter Eight: Heschel’s Aspaklaria

Chapter Nine: Heschel and the Call to Action

What People are Saying About This

Shai Held

"Michael Marmur has produced a remarkable book. Far more systematically than other scholars before him, Marmur has explored with great rigour and depth the fascinating question of how one of the most significant Jewish thinkers in modern times read, interpreted, and used traditional Jewish sources. Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Sources of Wonder yields an array of insights not just into Heschel’s ideas but also into the ways he constructed and presented them – and perhaps even into the ways he arrived at them."

Edward K. Kaplan

"Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Sources of Wonder is a discerning guide to Heschel’s books both in terms of the textual sources of each and from the perspective of his overall development as a religious thinker. Clear and eloquent, Marmur’s book inaugurates an era of contextualizing Heschel in depth."

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