Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907–72) won renown not just for his theological writings but equally, if not more so, for his engagement in social and political issues. From the late 1950s until his death, Heschel participated actively in shaping what might be called a “liberal” agenda concerning fair housing, racism, aging, medical ethics, and the pursuit of peace. His activism, both far reaching and all-embracing, brought him into association with Jews and non-Jews of different backgrounds and persuasions. His commitment to what he called “depth-theology” bridged traditional divisions among Jews and between Jews and Christians. His life and thought combined to produce an example of “faith” as the wellspring of social and political activity.2

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David Novak argues persuasively that Heschel's political program follows from his theological positions. He claims that, like Reinhold Niebuhr,...

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