Jacques Ellul (1912-1994) was one of the world’s last great polymaths and one of the most important Christian thinkers of his time, engaging the world with a simplicity, sincerity, courage, and passion that few have matched. However, Ellul is an often misunderstood thinker. As more than fifty books and over one thousand articles bear his name, embarking on a study of Ellul’s thought can be daunting.
This book provides an introduction to Ellul’s life and work, analysing and assessing his thought across the most important themes of his scholarship. Readers will see that his remarkably broad field of vision, clarity of focus, and boldly prophetic voice make his work worth reading and considering, rereading and discussing.
1. Ellul’s Life and Thought
2. Technology and Technique
3. Communication: Media, Propaganda, and the Word
4. The City and Urbanism
5. Politics and Economics
8. Ellul as a Christian Scholar
Key Events in the Life of Jacques Ellul
Endorsements and Reviews
Understanding Jacques Ellul is a useful introduction to the prolific author, who was a sociologist, historian, and a Christian. This book is the first to give equal weight to his secular and Christian views. Given Ellul’s voluminous writings, the authors had to be selective, and their choice of topics is excellent.
Richard Stivers, Professor of Sociology, Illinois State University
This revealing overview of Ellul’s life and work enables us to grasp the underlying unity of his principal interests: communication and Christianity. … This balanced study will be of prime service to anyone who [wishes to] understand Ellul’s thought and insights.
Eric McLuhan, author of Know Thyself: Action and Perception
This book provides an introduction to Ellul’s life and work, analyzing and assessing his thought across the most important themes of his scholarship. Readers will see that his remarkably broad field of vision, clarity of focus, and boldly prophetic voice make his work worth reading and considering, rereading and discussing.
Theological Book Review , Vol 25, No 2
Written primarily for Anglophone students, this book will also assist scholars engaging Ellul for the first time. To help students the book helpfully provides a list of key events in the life of Ellul, an index, and a select bibliography of Ellul’s English works and secondary sources.
Richard A. Davis, in The Expository Times, Vol 126, Issue 4
People live in a technical milieu, which has the same weight as spiritual milieu in the Middle Ages – it has become sacred. … Given the problems associated with the mentality that celebrates successful technologies, ethics is unavoidable in treating technology. Ellul throws in an ethic of powerlessness, of liberty, of conflicts, and of transgression. This volume also covers other area of Ellul’s thought such as the city and urbanism, politics and economy or means of communication.
Dialogo Filosofico, Vol III, No 15