The message is obvious: Although the book is jacqies in the French political and economic tradition and the cases cited are often relevant to contemporary French issues and personalities, its purview is meant to have universal application. In addition, Ellul has been active in the environmental jacquws and has worked to prevent juvenile delinquency and violence. Bronwyn marked it as to-read Dec 31, His tenor and methodology is objective and scholarly, and the perspective is a sociological one. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.
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I was taken aback by its range and insightfulness, and its testimony to the continuing vitality of Ellul. Is all politics, then, just an illusory affair of lies, deception, propaganda, partisan passions, and chaos on the surface of government and party? In his vast and penetrating writings, Bordeaux sociologist Jacques Ellul — points in those directions.
If we want to understand where we are today, we must read and reread Ellul. At a time when we place our trust in the political system and the state to meet all our needs and protect us from harm, Ellul challenges us to rethink the object of our trust and affections.
Anyone seriously interested in understanding the place of government in our lives today will want to read this book. Charbonneau is now in English! Using this paradoxical tension as a yardstick, he probes the ways in which concepts of Nature have developed as industrialization became second nature and jeopardized the original, taken for granted until its advent. This allows Charbonneau to explain how movements and policies claiming to deal with this issue have gone wrong. A spirited critique of how the environmental movement has taken shape in relation to philosophy, politics, theology and contemporary culture, this book written in is representative of an oft-overlooked strand of French environmentalist thought, as a look back on its first decade in the public eye by a man who had originated political ecology half a century earlier.
Charbonneau can be said to have prepared the way for many current concerns within environmental thought: the tension between liberalism and ecologism in green political theory; the wider question of the compatibility of ecological imperatives with supposedly foundational freedoms under capitalism; the discussions over how to balance existing democratic structures with environmental goals; the tensions between radical and reformist strategies within green movements; the controversy over the core values of ecological politics in a world transformed by climate change and peak everything; and the proper attitude of environmental movements to institutional science.
This ground-breaking work should be front and centre of the debates that he anticipated, while giving a timely perspective on the interconnected questions of nature and human freedom.
Bernard Charbonneau was a French philosopher who specialised in political ecology and critiques of technology. Today he is considered by a growing number of environmentalists as a visionary forerunner of political ecology. Christian Roy is a cultural historian Ph. McGill , an art and cinema critic, and a multilingual translator. He is an expert on the lives and thought of both Bernard Charbonneau and Jacques Ellul.
Read a longer review in French on the BioSphere website. Yet it is even more relevant now, in a world undergoing global climate change, than it has ever been. Stephens are all to be praised for making a book by Bernard Charbonneau available to English language readers.
His prophetic critique of modern civilization won an appreciative audience far beyond Christian circles. Yet this was only one half of a project that drew deeply on his Christian faith. For nearly every sociological book he wrote, Ellul would write a theological or spiritual counterpart. And yet this other half of his work has received relatively little attention.
This volume corrects the balance, highlighting spiritual gems on prayer, hope, and universal salvation. His call to reject the worship of the state and to embrace nonviolent activism has an abiding relevance and urgency, particularly in these times of protracted war and violence, gaping economic inequality, and enormous suffering. Jacob E.
To order a copy from Orbis, click here. Demy The last few decades seem to have ushered in new levels of violence, challenging the notion that our globalized, interconnected world offers increased prospects for cooperation and peace.
Many philosophers and theologians have offered various reasons for why this might be so, but none has come so close as the French philosopher Jacques Ellul to providing a comprehensive explanation for many of the pitfalls inherent in increasing levels of technological advance.
This is a thoughtful collection that will help us interpret, understand, and apply his profound ideas. That his work inspired both pacifism and violent protest is a sign of its power and complexity. Anyone who wants to understand Ellul—or wants Ellul to help them understand the world—should read it.
The history is deep and the theoretical work crystal clear, the sociology is impeccable and the news events live. Relevance may be overvalued in publishing, but here it is pure gold: terrorism, police atrocities, cybersecurity, economic brutality, high-tech weapons of war, ruthless dictators—readers are absorbed and ideas emerge to help provide context to the violence.
He is taking an unpopular position in a French intellectual milieu…. Ellul provides a challenge to rethink Islam and Judaism and Christianity , to cast off political correctness and comforting myths we may hold, to face the truth with courage, to speak with candor, and then to move forward toward a genuine peace and understanding. Volf demonstrates how such an encounter might proceed in peace. Ellul incisively critiques these expressions, finding less common ground than is generally accepted and a pattern of conformism.
Although having died over twenty years ago, his work should not be dismissed as dated. His critical reflections resonate even more loudly in an age of rising Islamist extremism. Ellul on Islam is crisply theological, and provides some key insights into how Christians should respond to the high moral tone which Islam sometimes takes in the west. It is a very useful addition to the Ellul corpus, enabling us to see how he combined orthodox Protestantism with a rich social engagement.
He has trained and worked as a landscape architect, recreation planner, and ecologist in New Zealand and the UK.
He currently works in New Zealand as an ecologist. He has three adult children also living in New Zealand. To order this book, go to:.
Born in Bordeaux, France, Ellul received a doctorate in the history of law and social science in from the University of Bordeaux. In he was appointed professor of social history at the University of Bordeaux, remaining there until his retirement in Although influenced strongly by his early reading of the Bible Marx, Ellul has been unable to synthesize Marxist doctrine with Christianity. These readings and experiences have influenced his later philosophy and writing. Ellul has taught and written extensively in his areas of specialization - Roman law, the history and sociology of institutions, Marxism, propaganda, and technique in society. He also served in the French Resistance during World War II, worked as a lay pastor, and has been active with various theological organizations, including the World Council of Churches.
The Political Illusion
And it creates an artificial system which "eliminates or subordinates the natural world. As people begin to question the value of learning ancient languages and history, they question those things which, on the surface, do little to advance their financial and technical state. According to Ellul, this misplaced emphasis is one of the problems with modern education, as it produces a situation in which immense stress is placed on information in our schools. The focus in those schools is to prepare young people to enter the world of information, to be able to work with computers but knowing only their reasoning, their language, their combinations, and the connections between them. This movement is invading the whole intellectual domain and also that of conscience. I cannot think that choices of this kind are unimportant.