Starr King School for the Ministry welcomed internationally-renowned scholar Marc Ellis to discuss his latest book on September 29, 2015. Students, faculty, staff, and community members gathered for the first public presentation of The Heartbeat of the Prophetic, a collection of personal reflections on the deepening exile of Jews of Conscience. Ellis’s work explores the prophetic in its many dimensions, and he spoke compellingly on the themes of suffering, a new Jewish diaspora, and the quest for justice during a time of increased Jewish empowerment in Israel and the US.
“Any theological statement that we Jews make has to make sense to a burning Palestinian child…Now that questions has been turned back to us as oppressors. What do we have to say as Jews when Palestinian children are burning because of us?”
Ellis articulates the Jewish tradition as an ancient and ever-evolving witness to justice that is offered for the benefit of the whole world.
“Ancient Israel gave the prophetic to the world. It is the greatest gift in history. Without the prophetic there is no meaning in history…The prophetic embodies the possibility of God.”
His perspective on the prophetic character of Jewish identity challenged the audience and stimulated an engaging conversation.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the event and found Marc Ellis’s work as a person of conscience to be very inspiring!” said Shannon Eizenga, a 2nd year M.Div. student and member of the Board of Trustees. “I am eager to explore his work and dive into The Heartbeat of the Prophetic!”
The Heartbeat of the Prophetic presentation was the first of several events celebrating the 10th anniversary of Starr King’s Master of Arts in Social Change (MASC) program. Learn more about the MASC degree and the ongoing celebrations at the 10 Years of MASC webpage.
Listen to his full presentation here.