Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Sources of Wonder
Published: April 2016© 2016
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 296 Pages
Dimensions: 6.23 x 9.27
296 Pages, 6.23 x 9.27 x 0.93 in
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.
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
‘Michael Marmur’s new book, Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Sources of Wonder, is a formidable achievement of scholarly analysis… A stunning window into the workings of a dynamic exegetical soul.’Ariel Evan Mayse, H-Judaic, H-Net Reviews, December 2016
"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."Shai Held, Chair in Jewish Thought, Mechon Hadar, and author of 'Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence'
"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."Edward K. Kaplan, Professor Emeritus, Departments of Comparative Literature and Romance Studies, Brandeis University