Celeste Marcus

United States, 1995

Celeste Marcus is a student of intellectual history. She was born to a modern orthodox Jewish family in Philadelphia. Through high school her studies were divided evenly between traditional Jewish texts and rituals, and secular curricula. Upon graduating, she studied for a year in an orthodox Israeli seminary in Jerusalem before transitioning to secular college. At the University of Penn­sylvania, Celeste majored in intellectual history with a focus on European enlightenment and modern thought; her teachers were the minds and spirits that pushed the West into the modern period. At Penn, constructinga personal relationship with religion was as much a part of her education as were The Leviathan, Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, and The Gay Science. Living Jewishly, suddenly and radically, was a choice, and her senior thesis — A Printed People: Journalism and Jewish Consciousness in Nineteen Century British Jewry — was one of the fruits of that effort. Another was Or (Hebrew for ‘light’), the intercollegiate journal of ideas which she founded in 2015 and for which she served as editor and chief. Marcus is now assisting in a research project about abuse and corruption on Native American reservations in South Dakota.