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Reclaiming the Prophets: Cohen, Heschel, and Crossing the Theocentric/Neo-Humanist Divide

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image of The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy

In this essay, I examine Hermann Cohen's and Abraham Joshua Heschel's respective accounts of the classical prophets of the Hebrew Bible, which contend with the Protestant biblical criticism of their day. Their accounts of the prophets are of central significance for their philosophies of Judaism, which mirror and oppose each other. This Auseinandersetzung addresses the often neglected topic of Jewish responses to German-Protestant biblical criticism and stresses the cogency of Heschel's thought. Additionally, examining Cohen and Heschel together problematizes the polarization between theocentrism and neo-humanism currently dominating the landscape of modern Jewish thought.

Affiliations: 1: Illinois Wesleyan University


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