The Humiliation of the Word (English and French Edition)

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9780802800695: The Humiliation of the Word (English and French Edition)
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Well known for his many books on sociology and theology, Jacques Ellul for the first time intertwines sociological analysis with theological discussion in this provocative examination of how reality (which is visual) has superseded truth (which is verbal) in modern times. / After delineating in basic terms the distinction between truth and reality, the verbal and visual, Ellul explores the biblical-theological basis for this distinction. He examines the biblical emphasis on the word (both the divine Word and human words which witness to the divine truth) and the biblical critique of idolatry (which is, of course, visual). He goes on to delineate the ways in which the visual dominates modern life and to examine the correlate of this exaltation — the devaluation of the word. / Later chapters discuss the religious conflict between images and the word, and the impact of the visual on intellectuals and artist. Finally, Ellul focuses on specific aspects of the Bible that appear problematic and discusses the ultimate reconciliation of truth and reality that is to be found only in God. / Of particular interest to those concerned with language philosophy, literary criticism, theology, and art, the book is also accessible to interested general readers.

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About the Author:

Jacques Ellul (1912–’1994), a French sociologist and lay theologian, was professor emeritus of law and of the history and sociology of institutions at the University of Bordeaux. He wrote more than forty books, including The Technological Society, The Humiliation of the Word, and The Technological Bluff.

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Text: English, French (translation)

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