The problems confronting higher education today, the historical record of the liberal arts in dealing with changing social challenges, and the research done by the Wabash College Center for Inquiry will be discussed by Gary Phillips ’71, dean of the college and professor of religion at Wabash College, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 20 in Hopwood Auditorium.
The talk, titled “Humanities in Action: Doing the Work and Assuring it Works,” is sponsored by the Office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Phillips will also offer a workshop for LC faculty to discuss these issues at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 21 in Hopwood Auditorium.
Phillips is a 1971 graduate of Lynchburg College (BA, Magna Cum Laude in religion, philosophy, and English), Vanderbilt Divinity School (MDiv, Magna Cum Laude in Biblical Studies), and Vanderbilt University (PhD with Highest Distinction in New Testament studies and linguistics). He has studied at the Sorbonne and Collége de France, Paris. Phillips has taught at Holy Cross College and the University of the South (Sewanee). Before becoming dean of Wabash College, he served in a number of key administrative roles: grants officer, director of Special Studies, director of First Year Program, and Religion Department chair.
Phillips is author of more than four dozen articles and 100 professional or invited presentations and lectures. Phillips’ published works include the co-authored (with the Bible and Culture Collective) The Postmodern Bible (Yale University Press, 1995), and several edited and co-edited volumes: Poststructural Criticism and the Bible: Text/History/Discourse (Semeia 51; Scholars Press, 1990), Intertextuality and Reading the Bible with George Aichele (Semeia 69/70; Scholars Press, 1996), Bible and Ethics of Reading with Danna Nolan Fewell (Semeia 77; Society of Biblical Literature, 1997), Reading Community Reading Scripture with Nicole Duran (Trinity Press International, 2002), Levinas and Biblical Studies with David Jobling and Tamara Eskenazi (Society of Biblical Literature, 2003).
Phillips’ current research and teaching focus on ethical, theological, and artistic questions related to the reading of the Bible after the Holocaust. He has co-authored several exhibition catalogs for Holocaust survivor and artist Samuel Bak and curated a major exhibition of Bak’s work at Wabash College in 2009. He is co-editor with Danna Nolan Fewell of Representing the Irreparable: The Shoah, the Bible, and the Art of Samuel Bak (Pucker Art Publications, 2008) and Icon of Loss: The Haunting Child of Samuel Bak (Pucker Art Publications, 2009).