The Humiliation of the Word (Google eBook)

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1985 - Religion - 285 pages
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Argues that visual reality has overcome verbal truth, examines the biblical distinction between truth and reality, and considers the impact of the visual on artists and intellectuals."
  

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Contents

SEEING AND HEARING PROLEGOMENA
5
2 HEARING
13
3 SEEING AND HEARING
27
4 WHAT ABOUT THE PHILOSOPHER?
37
5 WRITING
42
IDOLS AND THE WORD
48
2 VISIONS AND IDOLS
71
3 THE THEOLOGY OF THE ICON
102
2 ULTIMATE VALUE AND THE CAPTIVE WORD
192
3 THE EXCLUSION OF WHAT IS HIDDEN
198
THE IMAGEORIENTED PERSON
204
1 THE CONSUMER OF IMAGES
205
2 THE INTELLECTUAL PROCESS
210
3 SPACE AND VISUALIZATION IN MODERN ART
221
RECONCILIATION
228
1 LIGHT
231

4 THE WORD OF THE WITNESS
106
SIGHT TRIUMPHANT
112
1 THE INVASION OF IMAGES
114
2 UTILITY
127
3 TELEVISION
139
4 TECHNIQUE
148
THE WORD HUMILIATED
155
2 CONTEMPT FOR LANGUAGE
162
3 HATRED OF THE WORD
172
THE RELIGIOUS CONFLICT BETWEEN IMAGE AND WORD
183
2 RECONCILIATION
237
3 THE REDISCOVERY OF ICONS
241
4 THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
242
5 CHANGE
254
6 THE FREEDOM OF THE WORD
268
WORKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR
271
INDEX OF NAMES AND SUBJECTS
274
INDEX OF SCRIPTURE REFERENCES
284
Copyright

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About the author (1985)

Jacques Ellul, historian, theologian, and sociologist, is one of the foremost and widely known contemporary critics of modern technological society. Born in Bordeaux, France, Ellul received a doctorate in the history of law and social science in 1936 from the University of Bordeaux. In 1947 he was appointed professor of social history at the University of Bordeaux, remaining there until his retirement in 1980. 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. In addition, Ellul has been active in the environmental movement and has worked to prevent juvenile delinquency and violence. Since 1969, he has been editor of Foi et Vie (Faith and Life). Although retired as a teacher, Ellul has continued writing. One of his writing projects is an autobiography to be published after his death. Ellul has provided a sociopolitical as well as a theological analysis of contemporary society in more than 40 books and 800 articles. The Technological Society (1954) established Ellul as a social critic. The book has had a major impact on the collective consciousness of a society just beginning to recognize the central role and force of technology. Here Ellul develops the notion of "technique," a concept much broader than technology: "Technique is the totality of methods rationally arrived at." In Ellul's view, technology in this sense tends to become all-encompassing. His subsequent books, especially The Political Illusion (1965) and Propaganda (1962), further develop and refine elements of this central theme. This "trilogy" of books reflects Ellul's desire to alert readers to the dangers of technological determinism and thereby help them transcend it. Because of a dialectical approach separating his sociopolitical and theological studies, Ellul has often been criticized as overly pessimistic in his sociologically based writings. His theological works, however, provide a more positive perspective and counterpoint to his sociological work. Most notable are The Politics of God and the Politics of Man (1966), The Meaning of the City (1970), and especially The Ethics of Freedom (1973). The main body of Ellul's sociopolitical critique of technical society is reflected by The Technological Society, The Political Illusion, Propaganda, and The Technological System. Among his other works are Autopsy of Revolution (1969), which questions what kind of revolution is realistically possible, The Humiliation of the Word (1981), which expands upon the concept of "human techniques", and The Technological Bluff (1990), which discusses the state of contemporary society, especially in regard to such technologies as computers and genetic engineering and the progressive "discourse" that surrounds their societal incorporation.

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