By Ben Sapet

Join us on Monday, April 22, at 4:00 pm in BB 100 for a discussion with Ball State Honors College alumnus and Associate Professor of Second Temple Judaism and Christian Orgins at Boston College, Dr. Yonder Gillihan, about“Humanities, History, and Prospects for a Human Future”


An Interdisciplinary History for a Better Future

Our monthly lecture series brings students and faculty together to explore a topic of interest to the Honors College community. These events capture the essence of the Honors College; we come together to listen and learn, often outside our individual areas of study. Coming together for these lectures fills a room with diverse perspectives and experiences, allowing Honors students to eagerly take in the work of one of our own.

This month’s speaker, Dr. Yonder Gillihan, uses his research and teaching to span the many branches of the humanities in search of ways to broach contemporary issues.

Teaching from a Unique Position

Dr. Gillihan’s wholistic, encompassing experience makes him an ideal person to make critical connections where history, the future, and the humanities intersect. An Honors alumnus, Dr. Gillihan has carried the Honors College mentality through his journey in higher education. With his training in Classics and History at Ball State, Dr. Gillihan attended graduate school at the University of Chicago and Yale, earning his PhD from the University of Chicago in 2007.

He was President of the Society of Biblical Literature, New England/Eastern Canada in 2018-2019, and currently serves as President of the AAUP chapter at Boston College.

The wide path through education and leadership has led him to an equally deep body of work. His research and teaching apply insights from social science, political philosophy, and literary theory to the history of Judea and Judeans under Hellenistic and Roman rule, between about 200 BCE and 200 CE.

A Culmination of that Work

Dr. Gillihan is currently working on book projects on ancient political theories of “association” and on the interpretation of the Bible in the context of American “culture wars.”

Dr. Gillihan’s lecture will take a similar focus. He aims to highlight the potential roles for education in the “classical humanities” as a way of restoring common values and habits of trust to our fractured society and as resources with which to confront the crises of our time.

This lecture is especially pertinent for Honors students as it can give a sense context and relevance to the work and studies we do in the Honors College. It also presents a very cool opportunity to see how someone from our community has gone on to do compelling work that still connects with Honors’ goals.


All persons within the Ball State University community are welcome to attend this lecture on Monday, April 22 at 4:00pm in BB 100.