Talk:Abraham Joshua Heschel

From New World Encyclopedia
Unification Aspects:

Heschel's work brought a deep understanding of the prophetic nature of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and his books on the prophets and their teachings remain classics. His theological position sought the middle ground between liberalism and orthodoxy, and his commitment to social action stimulated the consciences of Jews and Christians alike.

Heschel stood with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at a time when such a stand was anything but popular, and for this he deserves our praise. On the other hand, unlike Heschel, Unificationists generally supported the War in Vietnam, because of their belief that stopping the spread of communism was providentially essential. They may disagree with Heschel's stand on that issue; but they honor his stand for conscience.

Heschel's theology, beyond his social stands, also deserves our consideration. He emphasized that God has human emotions, a position which Unificationism also holds. For him, God's justice was never the question, but whether human beings can ascribe to justice as God does. For Heschel, the Bible is largely a tragedy, in which God usually fails to find a truly righteous man. Those humans who are truly righteous often find themselves opposed to the power structures of society and even—like Abraham, Moses, and Job—arguing with God.

Studying scripture, according to Heschel, reminds us that each of us must try to be a prophet, a human being who strives to represent God's standard of justice in the world no matter what the cost. His teaching on this conforms closely to the slogan of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon: "Conscience before teacher, conscience before parents, conscience before God."

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