John Hobbins has just posted a blog memorial to Abraham Joshua Heschel that’s well worth checking out, including links to Heschel’s famous NBC video interview two weeks before his death, profiles of Heschel, and other useful material. Heschel is one of the most influential scholars in my own work—I remain convinced that his two volume work, The Prophets, is one of the best few works penned in the twentieth century. There are few books—and perhaps no scholarly work— I would choose to keep over my copy of The Prophets.
Heschel’s understanding and portrayal of the pathos of the God of Israel—a God who wept with anger and could be wounded by his creation—remains unparalleled. Heschel highlighted the difference between the just God of the Hebrew Bible and the arbitrary gods of the surrounding world—an emphasis badly lacking in much of today’s Christian theology, where many defend a notion of an arbitrary God whose very arbitrariness they define as justice.
Thanks to John for posting a remembrance to one of the truly great men (and scholars) of the last century.