Heschel received his doctorate at the Hochschule fur die Wissenschaft des Judentums in Berlin but was deported to Poland by the Nazis in 1938. He went to London in 1940 and after the war accepted a professorship in ethics and mysticism at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. Heschel articulated a depth theology, arguing that the divine-human encounter takes place at a deeper level than is attainable by the rational mind. Reaching out to skeptical Jews and seeking to make Judaism accessible and meaningful in the modern world, Heschel stressed the interdependence of God and humanity, and maintained that God recognizes and supports ethical human action and that humans express their faith through their actions. Heschel lived according to his word and played an active role in social change, including the civil rights movement.
Abraham Joshua Heschel was internationally known as a scholar, author, activist, and theologian. He was Professor of Ethics and Mysticism at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.