Religion is more than a creed or an ideology and cannot be understood when detached from acts and events. It comes to light in moments when one’s soul is shaken with unmitigated concern about the meaning of all meaning, about one’s ultimate commitment which is integrated with one’s very existence; in moments when all foregone conclusions, all life-stifling trivialities are suspended.
Thus the issue which must be discussed first is not belief, ritual, or the religious experience, but the source of all these phenomena: the total situation of man; not how he experiences the supernatural, but why he experiences and accepts it.
God in Search of Man: A Philosophy of Judaism, Abraham Joseph Heschel
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel has been described as one of the foremost American religious leaders of the 20th century. His writings and his commitment to social action, through his support of Martin Luther King for example, have inspired Jews and Christians alike. What Heschel wanted to do through his writing was re-awaken people to the spiritual dimension of life – their experience of the transcendent. He believed that we experience the transcendent in three ways but perhaps do not recognise these experiences for what they are.