Friday, August 23, 2013

New Book about Jacques Ellul

Jacques Ellul is one of those writers whose name I've seen here and there through the years.  But the passing references never piqued my curiosity, until now.  He is perceived as anti-technology and that is how I make my living.  I came to consciousness just as he published his 1954 work on the Technological Society.  The 1950's TV shows about space travel and the wonders that were appearing everyday defined my person.  Probably based on the following I'd written him off because I was given a wrong view of him.  Thanks to Len at Next Reformation summarizing and linking to a review over at Cardus.  The book is Understanding Jacques Ellul and it claims that he is misunderstood.  Seems he was perceived as a Luddite.  Perhaps he was patiently working through the implications and diagnosing our present situation. I liked this snippet from the Cardus review:
Thinking a bit more broadly, though, we might also observe that in setting forth ideas over the unexpected scale of several books, Ellul follows in the footsteps of other prominent thinkers, including Socrates/Plato, Jesus, and Kierkegaard, who have each in different ways recognized that pursuing the truth often requires a certain obliqueness in approach. And herein we glimpse an important strategy for doing public theology in this present technological society.
I discussed this indirectness  here in a summary of previous blogs. And a commenter gave the contra case, also very edifying for me.

Great to read the thoughtful comments to the Cardus article, clicked up on each of them.  One of them sent me to the Jesus Radicals web site.  Ummm. Interesting.

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