Kafka: Foran Loven -  hypertekstualiseret af Elias Ole Tetens Lund

Abraham Joshua Heschel on theodicy and anthropodicy

Reuven Kimelman

Heschels bidrag til en nutidig tænkning afspejles fint i titlerne af hans teologiske værk Man Is Not Alone, God In Search of Man, og Who Is Man?  

The Bible, Heschel helped us to see, frequently presents matters from a divine perspective. It thus reflects more divine anthropology than human theology. It is not               so much that God is a symbol of human thought as that man is a symbol (tselem) of divine thought. Similarly, God is not so much a need of man as man is a need of God, for religion is as much a result of God's search for man as man's search for God.

In this manner, the Book of Job and Abraham's argument with God over Sodom are understood not so much as man's attempt at theodicy as God's attempt at anthropodicy. It is not God's commitment to justice which is at stake as much as Job's integrity and Abraham's commitment to justice. Indeed, the Bible can be seen as a tragedy wherein God fails to find a righteous man.

Similarly, Heschel viewed prayer not as an encounter with God, but as an event of being encountered by God. In prayer, he taught, our asking of God gives way before the awareness of being asked by God. Heschel taught that religion begins with a question and that theology begins with a problem. He even went so far as to assert that a person without a problem may not be a person. His teaching was not directed at resolving our problems as much as provoking our questions. Even then, his most common response in class was, "Is that the real question?"