The Center for Middle Eastern Studies presents the 2011 Hilda B. Silverman Lecturer
Marc H. Ellis
Professor Ellis has devoted his scholarship to a study of the Jewish ethical tradition and the challenges and dissonance of Jewish life after the Holocaust and after the establishment of the State of Israel, themes that were very important to Hilda and profoundly influenced her thinking and writing.
Professor Marc H. Ellis earned BA and MA degrees magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, in Religion and American Studies at Florida State University, where he studied under the Holocaust theologian Richard Rubenstein, and the American historian of the Catholic Worker William Miller. He received his doctorate in History from Marquette University in 1980 where he was inducted into Phi Alpha Theta and the Jesuit Honor Society. Upon graduation he accepted a faculty position at the Maryknoll School of Theology in Maryknoll, New York, becoming founding director of their MA program and the Maryknoll Institute for Justice and Peace.
Professor Ellis 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. Professor Ellis is University Professor of Jewish Studies, Professor of History, and Director of the Center for Jewish Studies at Baylor University, where he first arrived in 1998.
Besides his years at Harvard University, Professor Ellis has held a variety of visiting teaching appointments. These include: Heytrop College, University of London (1987), United Theological College in Bangalore, India (2001), the MA program in Peace Studies at the University of Innsbruck, Tyerol, Austria (2008), and the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, University for Peace, San Jose, Costa Rica (2009).
Professor Ellis has authored and edited more than twenty books. Among them are: A Year at the Catholic Worker, Peter Maurin: Prophet in the Twentieth Century, Faithfulness in an Age of Holocaust, Toward a Jewish Theology of Liberation, Beyond Innocence and Redemption: Confronting the Holocaust and Israeli Power, Ending Auschwitz: The Future of Jewish and Christian Life, Unholy Alliance: Religion and Atrocity in Our Time, O'Jerusalem: The Contested Future of the Jewish Covenant, Practicing Exile: The Religious Journey of an American Jew, Out of the Ashes: The Search for Jewish Identity in the Twenty-first Century, Reading the Torah Out Loud: A Journey of Lament and Hope and most recently, Judaism Does Not Equal Israel, which was nominated for the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion in 2011 and again in 2012. Professor Ellis’s latest book, Encountering the Jewish Future: Elie Wiesel, Martin Buber, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Hannah Arendt and Emmanuel Levinas, will be published in the fall of 2011.
Professor Ellis has published more than 100 articles and spoken at more than 300 universities, seminaries, and academies in the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. His writings have been translated into German, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, Hebrew, Korean and Urdu. His lecture topics include such diverse areas as Middle East policy; the Holocaust; the future of Israel; Jewish identity; Jewish-Christian relations; contemporary spirituality; and post-Holocaust Jewish and Christian thought.
Among other honors, Professor Ellis has been inducted into the Martin Luther King Collegium of Scholars at Morehouse College. He was also honored at the 2000 national convention of the American Academy of Religion with an entire session devoted to discussion of his work.
For more than 30 years, as Founding Director of the Institute for Justice and Peace at Maryknoll School of Theology, and Founding Director of the Center for Jewish Studies at Baylor University, Professor Ellis has been hosting events of public and religious significance. Among the many events notable for their international reach are the "The Future of Liberation Theology" (1988) – Keynote, Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez; "The Next Fifty Years: Beginning a Millennium of Hope" (2000) – Keynote, Professor Richard Rubenstein; and "Honoring Heschel at 100" (2007) – Keynote, Professor Susannah Heschel. In 2007, the Baylor Center for Jewish Studies also honored Hannah Arendt in a symposium dedicated to her work. In 2008, the Center for Jewish Studies sponsored an international conference, "On the Boundary: HoweverWhereverWhomever." In 2009, the Center for Jewish Studies sponsored a conference "Texts and Otherness: Politics, Empire, and Post-Secularism in Religious Studies." In 2010, the Center sponsored a conference "Reimagining Paul."
As a public intellectual, Professor Ellis has spoken at the United Nations in New York and in Vienna, the Carter Center in Atlanta, the Truman Institute at Hebrew University, the James Baker Institute at Rice University, the United States Memorial Holocaust Museum in Washington, D. C., the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama and, most recently, in Oslo, Norway at a conference on the 15th anniversary of the Oslo Accords. He has given endowed and keynote lectures in the United States, Israel, Canada, Taiwan, Korea and the Philippines.
Professor Ellis serves on the National Advisory Board of the Middle East Council, the Editorial Board of Tikkun Magazine and the Board of the Society of Jewish Ethics.
To read more about Hilda B. Silverman, please click here.