One of the most influential Jewish thinkers of the 20th century, Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972) has left his imprint on various domains of human intellectual and social endeavour, from poetry, theology and philosophy to political activism and interreligious dialogue. This course will focus on his religious philosophy that is not only a rational reflection on his religious commitment as a devout Jew, but it covers in a sense all areas of his life experience, which started in a Hasidic community in pre-war Warsaw, went on at the Berlin university and in Nazi Germany, and culminated in his life-long vocation of a professor in the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.
As might be clear from the syllabus, each session is devoted to specific topics highlighting different segments of Heschelʼs thought that have had their impact on the articulation of his philosophy. In the last four sessions the main principles of his general philosophy of religion and philosophy of Judaism will be discussed. Each title is illustrated with quotations from Heschelʼs texts that serve as the motto for the respective themes.