Desert, Wilderness, Wasteland, and Word: A New Essay by Jacques Ellul and Five Critical Engagements

By Jacques Ellul, Michael Morelli (editor) and Kelsey Haskett (translator)

An English translation of a recently discovered Jacques Ellul essay that considers the theology of the desert.

ISBN: 9780227180099
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Desert, Wilderness, Wasteland and Word examines the significance of the desert from biblical, theological, and ethical perspectives. This is achieved primarily through the publication of Jacques Ellul’s recently discovered, newly translated essay, which considers the theology of the desert. Prefaced by an enlightening introduction, and five incendiary essays which critically reflect on Ellul’s work, this volume offers a fresh, provocative insight into Jacques Ellul’s writing.

Illuminating the relevance of Ellul’s work for our present, Desert, Wilderness, Wasteland and Word offers readers an encounter with a new, revitalising biblical word.

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About the Author

Jacques Ellul (1912–94) was a professor, sociologist, and Protestant lay theologian, primarily known for his work on technology, propaganda, and Christian anarchism. Other Jacques Ellul titles published by James Clarke & Co. include To Will and To Do, Volumes I and II (2023), and Presence in the Modern World (2017).



Into the Desert, Wilderness, and Wasteland: A Word of Warning and Encouragement Concerning In/Visible Life and Death by Michael Morelli

Chapter One
The Desert by Jacques Ellul

Chapter Two
The Man-Made Wasteland: A Cartography by Amy Erickson

Chapter Three
The Desert: Recapitulating and Going Beyond Ellul by Gregory Wagenfuhr

Chapter Four
Watching and Managing in the Wasteland by Emily Beth Hill

Chapter Five
Wilderness Theology and Degrowth by Jason Hudson

Chapter Six
Hearing the Void, Responding to the Voice: Ethics for Living and Dying in the Desert by Jacob Marques Rollison

Endorsements and Reviews

Jacques Ellul is a gift who keeps on giving. The great French sociologist has seen clearly (and before the rest of us) the toxic dangers of modern technological development… This book is an important probe into Ellul, and a shrewd discernment about what serious faith requires and makes possible when we are woke to the undercurrents of the power of death that are all around us. Walter Brueggemann, Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary

From the biblical topic of desert to modern desert and spiritual wilderness in our lives, this book is a fascinating course between void and voice, fullness and silence, death and life, on the way to the real life which rises from void and death. Jacques Ellul and several high experts on Ellulian thought lead us along this hard road. A nourishing, thirst-quenching and essential book! Frédéric Rognon, Professor of Philosophy, University of Strasbourg

Desert, Wilderness, Wasteland, and Word is a wonderful collection of essays, a gift not just to Jacques Ellul scholars but to thoughtful readers, especially Christians, everywhere. As Ellul provided us with a fully-developed biblical study of The Meaning of the City in 1970, so he provides here an insightful collection of insights and challenges about ‘the meaning of desert and wilderness’–thanks to the careful reconstruction of his notes by Jean-Philippe Qadri and Jerome Ellul. This is an extraordinary and timely book. David W. Gill, president, International Jacques Ellul Society