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Future of the Prophetic: Israel's Ancient Wisdom Re-presented

Author: 
Marc H. Ellis (Author)
Collection: 
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Description

“Anytime I think of my dear brother Marc Ellis, I think of quiet dignity, spiritual integrity, moral consistency, fierce fortitude, and an unstoppable determination to tell the truth, expose lies, and bear witness. That’s a bit rare in the ice age of the last thirty years, not just in the academy but in the American empire—with its cultural decay, and political breakdown, and oligarchic rule, and corporate media obsessed with promoting clever gimmicks of mass distraction. But there he is—Brother Marc Ellis—who persists as a prophetic figure…When the chilly effects of the ice age, with its hardened hearts and coarsened consciences, begin to melt, his work will surface in a powerful way.”
—Cornel West
Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York

About the book:


Future of the Prophetic argues that in the persistence of the prophetic, the legacy of the ancient Jewish world spread beyond the boundaries of the Jewish community and took root throughout the world. As a way of wisdom and hope, this dual rooting—its grounding in the tradition of ancient Israel and its uncontained itinerancy—unveils a startling but promising new context: a re-presentation of the prophetic from outside the Jewish world to the Jewish community.

The new situation of contemporary prophetic challenges the fixed religious landscape by reversing traditional boundaries, eschewing power and privilege, and brokering peace through solidarity and common struggle in ecumenical and interfaith contexts.

Cover art by Katie Miranda. Learn more about her art and human rights work at katiemiranda.com.



Fortress Press Live podcast:
Hear author Marc Ellis talk about his new book, Future of the Prophetic!



Click here to find more podcasts on Fortress Press Live!

ISBN: 
9781451470109
Price: 
$39.00
ISBN: 
9781451472370
Price: 
$39.00
Release date: 
May 1, 2014
Pages: 
336
Width: 
6
Height: 
9

Endorsements

"Marc Ellis has been a great teacher for the next generation of Jews who are wrestling with Zionism. He has shown us that there is nothing ordaining a militant Jewish state in Jewish tradition, in fact that our wisest traditions are disfigured by Israel’s conduct. And he has shown the way forward in a language and manner that open his ideas to people of all religious backgrounds."
Phillip Weiss
New York writer, Co-editor of Mondoweiss.net


"This new book by Marc H. Ellis crowns three decades of critical literary production that has enriched and diversified substantially the worldwide varieties of liberation theologies. Among its several contributions, I consider very valuable the contraposition of two highly different theological perspectives: the prophetic and the Constantinian. The first emphasizes the virtues and duties of solidarity and compassion with the destitute of the world; the second constitutes the religious legitimation of empire and social inequality. Both are part of the historical legacy of the three great Semitic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The way Ellis weaves the myriad conflicts between the prophetic and the Constantinian traditions is a fine starting point for interreligious and intercultural dialogue."
Luis N. Rivera-Pagán, Henry Winters Luce Professor in Ecumenics and Mission Emeritus
Princeton Theological Seminary 
 
"Future of the Prophetic could not arrive at a better time. When heated debates about Jewish identity and American responsibilities in Israel-Palestine are at the center of the scene, Ellis pushes us once again to cross the border of what can be thought. While he admits that prophetic Jewishness is wounded, he draws from one of the most provocative selections of alternative voices to affirm and announce the possibilities for a Jewish and global prophetic future.  This is a must-read for everyone interested in Jewish thought, inter-religious studies, and American/Middle Eastern politics."
Santiago Slabodsky
Claremont School of Theology

"Marc Ellis stands at a crossroads of Jewish history, warning against the embrace of militaristic triumphalism while reclaiming the seemingly lost tradition to the prophetic. As the conflict within the Jewish community continues to deepen, with reverberations from Jerusalem to the Upper West Side, his voice is all the more important."
Adam Horowitz
Co-editor of Mondoweiss.net
 
"With this work Marc Ellis turns 'lead into gold.' A vigorous yet poignant study that compels as it challenges."
Sara Roy
Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University
 
"Future of the Prophetic is the narrative of a prophet intent in smashing old molds of contention and the patterns of human stagnation, unleashing instead the promise of a new utopia based on hope. The prophet is thus the one who denounces the schemes that undermine the divine promise. It is also the one that announces that for which humankind was created by God. Marc H. Ellis is certainly that prophet."
Ángel L. Rosa Vélez
University of Puerto Rico
 
"Ellis shows the exilic Prophetic call, the Jewish gift to humanity, to be always already present in all of us and that each epoch has its messengers. Beautifully and passionately written with rich pathos and scholarly insights that interacts with contemporary scholarship and the fermenting deep un-said of the conflict in historic Palestine. The book holds an uncomfortable mirror to Jews with a strange sense of unbounded warmth and gifting fate which keeps reminding humanity of being both host and guest on the earth. Ellis' prose masterfully caresses the reader with the perturbing force of prophetic bliss that comes with feeling of plenitude that stems from emptiness and insignificance, one that re-turns and repeats. It opens up many questions and possibilities for fields of inquiry. It must be read by everyone who feels that the Jewish Question is with us, alongside and other, always to stay and even more, to realise that this question, perhaps, has not as yet been asked, that it can never be just 'a question,' and how humanity owns the burden of traversing this impossibility, cannot do with and without encountering the prophetic and mirroring the elusive nature of the messengers back to them. An enchanting book with question-worthy hide and seek movement that touches the soul and is essential for a genuine inter-faith understanding."
Oren Ben-Dor
Law School, University of Southampton

"Marc Ellis has invigorated the debate around the Israel-Palestine crisis, breathing life and immediate relevancy into the Jewish prophetic tradition. Like many who have embraced a cause that often feels lonely and invites demonization, I find myself returning to his essential work again and again as a source of strength and inspiration."
Max Blumenthal
Author of Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel

Praise for Marc. H. Ellis’ previous works:

"Anytime I think of my dear brother Marc Ellis, I think of quiet dignity, spiritual integrity, moral consistency, fierce fortitude, and an unstoppable determination to tell the truth, expose lies, and bear witness. That’s a bit rare in the ice age of the last thirty years, not just in the academy but in the American empire—with its cultural decay, and political breakdown, and oligarchic rule, and corporate media obsessed with promoting clever gimmicks of mass distraction. But there he is—Brother Marc Ellis—who persists as a prophetic figure…When the chilly effects of the ice age, with its hardened hearts and coarsened consciences, begin to melt, his work will surface in a powerful way.”
—Cornel West
Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York
 
"Marc Ellis shows that the voice of prophecy has not been silenced in the Jewish community.  We will all be the poorer if Ellis' voice is not heeded but how wonderfully enriched if it is."
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Laureate
 
"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."
Noam Chomsky
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 
“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.”
The late Edward Said
Columbia University
 
“Marc Ellis has written [Toward a Jewish Theology of Liberation] 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.” 
Susannah Heschel
Dartmouth College
 
"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."
Elliot Dorff
American Jewish University
 
"This perceptive and well-conceived book offers the reader a masterful analysis of one of the most compelling issues of our age."
The late Senator George McGovern

Commentary on Marc Ellis's work from George Steiner

Dr. Cornel West's response to Marc Ellis's work

Additional Supporting Resources

Check out Marc H. Ellis's "Exile and the Prophetic" feature for Mondoweiss.net. Click here to see his latest post!

Feature articles from Marc Ellis's "Exile and the Prophetic" series:

"Burning Children"

"Israel's 'Defeat'"

Interview

Fortress Press Live podcast:
Hear author Marc Ellis talk about his new book, Future of the Prophetic!



Click here to find more podcasts on Fortress Press Live!

Reviews