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Marc Ellis
Born 1952
Miami, Florida
Nationality American
Alma mater Florida State University
Marquette University
Occupation Professor

Marc H. Ellis (born in 1952, Miami, Florida) is an American author, Jewish liberation theologian, and University Professor of Jewish Studies, Professor of History and Director of the Center for Jewish Studies at Baylor University. Ellis was featured in the David Horowitz book The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America.[1] As a result, critics and friends often refer to Ellis as "Rabbi Most Dangerous."

Contents

Biography

Marc H. Ellis was born in North Miami Beach, Florida in 1952. He earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in Religion and American Studies at Florida State University, where he studied under the Holocaust theologian Richard Rubenstein and the American historian William Miller. He received his doctorate in contemporary American Social and Religious Thought from Marquette University in 1980. In that same year he accepted a faculty position at the Maryknoll School of Theology in Maryknoll, New York, becoming founding director of their M.A. program and the Maryknoll Institute for Justice and Peace. He was made full professor in 1988, and remained at Maryknoll until 1995, when he assumed a position first as a Senior Fellow at Harvard's Center for the Study of World Religions, and then a Visiting Scholar at Harvard's Center for Middle Eastern Studies, as well as a visiting professorship at Florida State University. In 1998 he was appointed Professor of American and Jewish Studies at Baylor University, where the next year he was named University Professor of American and Jewish Studies. In 1999 he founded Baylor University's Center for American and Jewish Studies. In 2006, the Center was renamed The Center for Jewish Studies.

Publications

Professor Ellis has authored sixteen books and edited five others. His latest book,'Judaism Does Not Equal Israel, was published by New Press in 2009.

Others of his books include:

  • Toward a Jewish Theology of Liberation (1989)
  • Unholy Alliance: Religion and Atrocity in Our Time (1997)
  • O Jerusalem: The Contested Future of the Jewish Covenant (2000)
  • Practicing Exile: The Religious Odyssey of an American Jew (2002)
  • Israel and Palestine: Out of the Ashes - The Search for Jewish Identity in the Twenty-First Century (2003)

Professor Ellis' many articles have been published in diverse American and international publications, including the Chicago International Law Review, International Herald Tribune, European Judaism, Ha'aretz, Jordan Times, Ord & Bild, Christian Century, and Journal of Palestine Studies. His essays, translated into eleven languages, have been published in a number of anthologies, most recently in Contemporary Jewish Theology: A Reader (Oxford University Press), Wrestling with Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Grove Press), and Prophets Outcast: A Century of Dissident Jewish Writing About Zionism and Israel (Nation Books). Professor Ellis' work has been reviewed in over 200 periodicals and most recently has received favorable review essays in European Judaism, The Jewish Quarterly and The Journal of the American Academy of Religion. He has traveled and lectured extensively in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Notable Recognitions

In 2004, a third, expanded, edition of Toward A Jewish Theology of Liberation: The Challenge of the 21st Century, was issued by Baylor University Press, with forwards by Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu and the father of liberation theology, Gustavo Gutierrez. The publication also includes comments from Susannah Heschel, Eli Black, Chair in Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College, Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Rector and Distinguished Professor of Jewish Philosophy at the University of Judaism, and Rosemary Radford Reuther, Carpenter Emerita Professor of Feminist Theology at Pacific School of Religion.

Favorable commentary on his work includes:

  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Laureate: "Ellis provides a vital contribution to solving one of the few remaining intractable problems of our time";
  • Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor of Linguistics and Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: "Marc Ellis has demonstrated great courage, integrity, and insight in the very important work he has been doing for years. It has been an inspiration for all of us";
  • Edward Said, the late internationally renowned literary and cultural critic and University Professor at Columbia University: "Marc Ellis is a brilliant writer, a deeply thoughtful and courageous mind, an intellectual who has broken the death-hold of mindless tradition and unreflective cliché to produce a superb account of post-Holocaust understanding, with particular reference to the Palestinian people and the moral obligation of Israelis and diaspora Jews. He is a man to be listened to with respect and admiration."
  • Susannah Heschel states that it is "a book for people who want to think. Challenging our conventional ideas, he forces us to reconsider our assumptions regarding Jewish identity and politics. What emerges is a fascinating and original reconfiguration of some of the most hotly debated political and religious topics today." According to Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the book "shows, as it has since the first edition, that the voice of prophecy has not been silenced in the Jewish community."
  • Gustavo Gutierrez, the father of liberation theology, calls it "a vigorous and important work, passionate for justice, rooted in a strong love for Ellis' people, and with a deep sensitivity to other human communities." Calling the first edition already "something of a classic,"
  • Rosemary Radford Ruether:"It is wonderful to have this book in a new and expanded version that covers Marc Ellis's life and prophetic thought up to the present."
  • Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff: "Ellis masterfully uses the central, Jewish story of Exodus and Sinai to call for a contemporary Jewish (and Christian) theology of liberation. He argues against current political policies based on Jewish vulnerability, with the Holocaust as the chief lens, and issues a prophetic call for contemporary Jews to return to the liberation theology embedded in the Exodus, seeking justice for all. In the Israeli-Palestinian context, that requires both sides to "embrace revolutionary forgiveness" as they find ways to come to less-than-ideal but tolerable resolutions of their conflicts, and it requires Americans living in a post-9/11 world to reevaluate their understanding of Muslims and Islam. Whether you agree with Ellis' conclusions or not, you cannot help but be stimulated by his serious and meaningful use of this central Jewish story to understand and respond creatively to some of the most pressing issues of our time."

Influences and Influence

Influenced by the Jewish ethical tradition and the dissonance of Jewish life after the Holocaust, with other Jews of Conscience Professor Ellis has sought to rescue the Jewish ethical tradition in the face of the demands of the 20th and now 21st Century. In his early career he became deeply interested in Christian Liberation Theology as an expression of the mores of the Christian tradition when faced with the socio-political-economic crises under the oppressive operation of nation-states and the international economic order. Over the years Professor Ellis has translated that expression of ethical values into an understanding of the Jewish ethical tradition, now facing its own moral crisis as Jewish identity becomes increasingly identified with the politics of America and Israel. Within that analysis, Professor Ellis has developed further insight into Christian-Jewish-Muslim relations, and their complexity in the modern world. Since then, he has used his position, influence and writings to elucidate further on these difficulties, and been welcomed by a wide variety of audiences, from university forums to institutes and faith-based groups seeking justice and peace while working within complex religious and political identities. In this regard, he has been invited to join an Oxford University-sponsored scholar's project on the future of the Auschwitz site, as well as given addresses at Oxford, the United Nations, Leo Baeck Seminary in London, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., the Carter Presidential Center at Emory University, the James A. Baker Institute at Rice University, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Last year he delivered the Keynote Address: "Seizing the Moment: A Jewish Theology of Liberation for the 21st Century" at the national conference of the Society of Jewish Ethics. He also spoke on "On Being Jewish After: A Response to Arun Gandhi" at Peace Conference,Southwestern University.

He traveled to the Philippines and spoke on "Israel/Palestine in the 21st Century: Constantinian Judaism, the Apartheid Wall and the Emergence of Jews of Conscience," as the Graduation Keynote Speaker at Union Theological Seminary in Manila and also on "Revolutionary Forgiveness: Religion, Atrocity and Healing in the Age of Globalization." He spoke on "A Jewish Journey" at Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Bagio city in the Philippines, on "Revolutionary Forgiveness: A Jewish Journey After the Holocaust and Israel," at the Divine Word Seminary and Mill Hill Seminary in Quezon, Philipppines; and on "Contemporary Jewish Thought" at Trinity University of Asia at Quezon, Philippines.

Prof. Ellis traveled to Dresden, Germany where he spoke on "Hannah Arendt and the Jewish Question--Revisited" at Hannah Arendt Weitergedeact: Ein Symposium zum 100, Hannah Arendt Institu fur totalitarianismusforschung, Technischen Universitat; and "Hannah Arendt Today" at the European Institute in Walbrzych, Poland; and "Hannah Arendt at 100" at Opole University in Opole, Poland.

He spoke on "Another Kind of Politics: A Jewish Theology of Liberation for the 21st Century," as the Keynote Address at a Conference: On the Future of Another Kind of Politics: An Encounter Between Academia and Social Organizations, at Sapir College in Askelon, Israel and he spoke on "On the Shema andthe Prophet Martyr: A Jewish Reflection on the 26th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero," at the FOrum Interreligioso: Il Sense del Martirio nell, Ebraismo, nel Christianesmo e nell'Islam in Rome, Italy. The major projects undertaken by Dr. Ellis most recently focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including numerous commentaries solicited by national and international media. He has been the focus of a BBC television documentary on the issue of cultural diversity and nationalism, and a congressional hearing on the Camp David peace initiative carried on C-SPAN. He regularly provides commentary and analysis on the BBC and National Public Radio.

Professor Ellis has also delivered a number of endowed lectures, including the First Annual Clif Elson Memorial Lecture at St. Stephen's College, University of Edmonton, and the Van der Zyl Memorial Lecture, Leo Baeck Seminary, and the Niebuhr Lecture at Elmhurst College.

Professor Ellis's work extends beyond the clinical political analysis usually offered by the media to encompass the essence of spiritual evolution. In Practicing Exile (Fortress Press, 2002), Professor Ellis looks at his own evolution as an American Jew coming of age in the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust, and the import of his own journey as a paradigm for the future of Jewish life. Israel and Palestine: Out of the Ashes: The Search for Jewish Identity in the Twenty-First Century, addresses the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its ramifications for Jewish identity.

Professor Ellis has been inducted into the Martin Luther King Collegium of Scholars at Morehouse College, and was honored at the 2000 national convention of the American Academy of Religion with an entire session devoted to the discussion of his work. He is on the editorial board of the progressive Jewish journal Tikkun and has served as a consultant to the Programme to Combat Racism of the World Council of Churches and as a member of the steering committee of the Religion, Holocaust and Genocide Consultation of the American Academy of Religion. In 2002 he was nominated for the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion for his book, Unholy Alliance: Religion and Atrocity in Our Time. Professor Ellis is a member of the Society of Jewish Ethics. On January 5, 2008 Professor Ellis was elected to the Board of Directors for the Society of Jewish Ethics.

Bibliography

  • Ellis, M. H. (2009) Judaism Does Not Equal Israel: The Rebirth of the Jewish Prophetic.
  • Ellis, M. H. (2007) Reading the Torah Out Loud: A Journey of Lament and Hope.
  • Ellis, M. H. (2005) The End of Jewish History : Auschwitz, The Holocaust and Palestine. ISBN 0745324266.
  • Ellis, M. H. (2005) After Arafat: mapping a Jewish/Palestinian solidarity. ASIN B000AJQKUU.
  • Ellis, M. H., & Neuberger, J. (2004) Toward a Jewish Theology of Liberation: The Challenge of the 21st Century. ISBN 1932792007.
  • Ellis, M. H. (2004) The Mural-Covered Wall: On Separation and the Future of Jews and Palestinians in Israel/Palestine and the Diaspora. ASIN B000BG5DE6.
  • Ellis, M. H. (2003) At the end of an era: a meditation on ecumenism, exile and gratitude. ASIN B0008DMKHA.
  • Ellis, M. H. (2002) Israel and Palestine - Out of the Ashes: The Search for Jewish Identity in the Twenty-first Century. ISBN 0745319564.
  • Ellis, M. H. (2001) Practicing Exile: The Religious Odyssey of an American Jew. ISBN 0800634438.
  • Ellis, M. H. (2000) Revolutionary Forgiveness: Essays on Judaism, Christianity, and the Future of religious Life. ISBN 0918954754.
  • Ellis, M. H. (2000) A Year at the Catholic Worker: A Spiritual Journey Among the Poor. ISBN 0918954746
  • Ellis, M. H.(2000) Indigenous minority rights, citizenship, and the new Jerusalem: a reflection on the future of Palestinians and Jews in the expanded state of Israel. ASIN B0008HBG4E.
  • Ellis, M. H. (1999) O Jerusalem: The Contested Future of the Jewish Covenant. ISBN 0800631595.
  • McGowan, D., & Ellis, M. H. (1998) Remembering Deir Yassin: The Future of Israel and Palestine. ISBN 1566562910.
  • Ellis, M. H. (1997) Unholy Alliance: Religion and Atrocity in Our Time. ISBN 0-8006-3080-7.
  • Ellis, M. H. (1995) Restoring the ordinary: A reflection on the consciousness of the Holocaust in Jewish thought in the aftermath of the Israeli-Palestinian accords. ASIN B0006QR1E6.
  • Ellis, M. H.(1994) Ending Auschwitz: The Future of Jewish and Christian Life. ISBN 0664255019.
  • Ellis, M. H. (1990) Beyond Innocence and redemption: Confronting the Holocaust and Israeli Power; Creating a Moral Future for the Jewish People. ISBN 0060622156.
  • Ellis, M. H. (1990) Expanding the View: Gustavo Gutierrez and the Future of Liberation Theology. ISBN 0883446901.
  • Ellis, M. H. (1989) The Future of Dissent: a Reflection on What Shall I Do With This People? Jews and the Fractious Politics of Judaism. ASIN B00082AJUG.
  • Ellis, M. H. (1986) Faithfulness in an Age of Holocaust. ISBN 0916349136.
  • Ellis, M. H. (1981) Peter Maurin: Prophet in the twentieth century. ISBN 0809123614.

See also

References

  1. ^ Horowitz, David (2006). The professors: the 101 most dangerous academics in America. Regnery Publishing. ISBN 0895260034. 

External links

Further reading

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