Worship, Insight and Faith in the Theology of Abraham Joshua Heschel

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Arts and Humanities | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


This article explores Heschel's understanding of worship in its relation to insight and faith. Since for Heschel worship presupposes and includes wonder, awe and praise, these experiences are examined and are shown to be moments of insight and antecedents of faith. Especially perplexing is Heschel's claim that praise is both an antecedent of faith and the climax of spiritual life. An exegesis of Heschel's use of 'faith' shows that praise is an experience of faith that precedes the life of faith. Worship is both the initial and the climactic moment of a faith which exceeds its acts of worship.