This article posits, based upon a comparative reading of various writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Abraham Joshua Heschel, and Abraham Isaac Kook, that not only does ethics hold an important place in the spiritual life of these mystically oriented, ethically valenced writers, but that for them ethics and spirituality are inextricably intertwined. For these writers, ethics is a sine qua non for spirituality, and spirituality is intimately interlaced with, and lends support to, the ethical life. Concomitantly, this article postulates that in advancing this claim about ethics, Emerson, Heschel, and Kook wrote with a studied lyrical, poetic prose—a poetics of ethics—in order to impress upon their readers the importance, and the beauty, of the ethical life.

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