See Article History Grace, in Christian theology, the spontaneous, unmerited gift of the divine favour in the salvation of sinners, and the divine influence operating in man for his regeneration and sanctification. The English term is the usual translation for the Greek charis, which occurs in the New Testament about times two-thirds of these in writings attributed to Paul. Although the word must sometimes be translated in other ways, the fundamental meaning in the New Testament and in subsequent theological usage is that contained in the Letter of Paul to Titus:
Born and raised in Warsaw, Heschel received his training in the methods of modern scientific research in Berlin, and wrote most of his mature works in the United States.
Heschel was born into an intensely traditional Hasidic milieu: As a youth, Heschel received traditional training in Talmud and rabbinic lore, in which he excelled, and immersed himself in the world of Jewish mysticism, the literature of Qabbalah.
His doctoral dissertationdealing with the phenomenon of prophetic consciousness, was published in Die Prophetie. After his deportation in October with the rest of the Polish Jews then resident in Germany, Heschel taught for eight months at the Institute for Jewish Studies in Warsaw.
He was enabled to leave Poland before the Nazi invasion only by a call to join the faculty of the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Heschel reached the United Statesvia England, inand after five years on the faculty of the Hebrew Union College, he taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York as professor of ethics and mysticism, until his death.
In the last decade of his life, he became actively involved in a number of public issues. He participated in negotiations with Cardinal Bea concerning the formulation of a declaration on the Jews, which emerged from Vatican Council II, and he also took part in the civil rights movement, opposition to the Vietnam Warand the campaign to enable Russian Jews to emigrate from the Soviet Union.
Heschel's philosophy of religion developed under the influences of his traditional Jewish upbringing and the challenges of modern secular philosophy, science, and psychology. But against the neo-Kantians he defended the claim of traditional Judaism that God is more than a postulate of reason.
From the phenomenologists he learned to analyze the constitutive traits and structures of experienced reality, without reducing them to alien categories that can distort their unique character. Already in his early work on prophecy, later expanded into his English book The Prophetshe asserted that the phenomena of biblical prophecy should not be forced into the categories of Aristotelian metaphysics.
The "divine concern" of the living God of the Bible, who takes a passionate interest in his creatures, is the key to Heschel's philosophy of religion. Heschel rejected the construction of a "religion of reason" in the spirit of the neo-Kantian philosopher Hermann Cohenbecause such would substitute philosophy for religion; he rejected the analysis of "religious experience," as in Schleiermacher and Rudolf Otto, because it would replace religion with the psychology of religion; and he criticized the "reconstruction" of traditional Judaism to conform to modern naturalism in the manner of Mordecai M.
Kaplan, because it would transform religion into the sociology of religion. If religion is sui generis, it must be studied on its own terms, and the interpreter must focus on the preconceptual, ineffable reality of lived religion and on the dynamic relationship between God and humankind disclosed in the classical documents of Judaism and the lives and experiences of pious men.
Heschel consciously adopted a dual approach in his work both as a scholar who pursued historical research in the sources of classical Jewish thought and as an original and imaginative contemporary philosopher and theologian.
This approach enabled him to formulate his own thought as an authentic interpretation of his Judaic heritage in all its richness.
Heschel's scholarly studies, in addition to his seminal work on prophecy, included a biography of Moses Maimonides, published in ; various articles on medieval philosophy, Qabbalah, and Hasidism; and a work written in Hebrew on the doctrines of revelation in Talmudic thought, of which two volumes were published in — and a third still awaits publication.
The second strand of Heschel's work, in which he tried to offer his contemporaries a theology based on the application of the insights of traditional sources to the problems of modernity, is chiefly developed in Man Is Not Alone and its successor volume, God in Search of Man Here religion is defined as an answer to ultimate human questions.
Because modern humanity is often estranged from the reality that informs genuine faith, Heschel thought it was futile to present merely traditional answers to these questions.
Hence, he tried first and foremost to recover the significant existential questions to which Judaism offers answers, confronting his readers with the living God of the Bible.
To the religiously sensitive person, God is an "ontological presupposition," the ultimate reality, which is later crystallized by discursive thought into the concept of a power, a principle, a cause, or a structure.
Heschel described three ways in which humans can reach an awareness of God.At the same time, as the United Nations Human Rights Council emphasised in , "restrictions on the freedom to manifest one's religion and belief" must be non-discriminatory and "applied in a.
Liberalism: An Established Religion The fundamental practice of religion is worship, and worship is a response to reason. Some are probably amused at the suggestion of worship as a response to reason, but it is so. Although the groups express the human search for meaning in contradictory ways, liberalism would not decide which is true.
Religion is a human response to the search for meaning for some people, but ultimately all are looking for the answers. Whether their path is through religion, obsessive meditation, staring at crystals, running 47 kilometers a day or talking to walls, everyone has to come to their answers on their own terms.4/5(1).
Redefining The Meaning Of Religion: Cosmos And Culture Religion is often organized in terms of a god, or gods. It's a system of beliefs embodied in a being or beings. But that's not always. Religion is a human response to the search for meaning for some people, but ultimately all are looking for the answers.
Whether their path is through religion, obsessive meditation, staring at crystals, running 47 kilometers a day or talking to walls, everyone has to come to their answers on their own terms. Some people use religion for this purpose.
Religion can be one among many channels to help someone gain a sense of life meaning. The pioneer in this field, Victor Frankl, was a Viennese psychiatrist who lived through the Holocaust.