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Book Title: The Meaning of the City|
The author of the book: Jacques Ellul
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 4.84 MB
Edition: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Date of issue: December 19th 1993
ISBN 13: 9780802815552
Read full description of the books The Meaning of the City:Jacques Ellul, a member of the Law Faculty at the University of Bordeaux, is increasingly being recognized as a brilliant and penetrating commentator on the relationship between theology and sociology. In The Meaning of the City he presents what he finds in the Bible – a sophisticated, coherent theology of the city fully applicable to today's urbanized society.
Ellul believes that the city symbolizes the supreme work of man – and, as such, represents man's ultimate rejection of God. Therefore it is the city, where lies man's rebellious heart, that must be reformed. The author stresses the fact that the Bible does not find man's fulfillment in a return to an idyllic Eden, but points rather to a life of communion with the Savior in the city transfigured.
The Meaning of the City, says John Wilkinson in his introductory essay to the book, is the "theological counterpoint" to Ellul's Technological Society, a work that analyzed the phenomenon of the autonomous and totally manipulative post-industrial world. Ellul takes issue with those who idealistically plan new urban environments for man, as though man alone can negate the inherent diabolism of the city. For Ellul, the history of the city from the times of Cain and Nimrod through to Babylon and Jerusalem reveals a tendency to destroy the human being for the sake of human works. Nevertheless, continuing the theme of the tension between two realities that characterizes all his works, Ellul sees God as electing the city as itself an instrument of grace for the believer.
Read information about the authorBaptised Catholic, Ellul became an atheist and Marxist at 19, and a Christian of the Reformed Church at 22. During his Marxist days, he was a member of the French Communist Party. During World War II, he fought with the French Underground against the Nazi occupation of France.
Educated at the Universities of Bordeaux and Paris, he taught Sociology and the History of Law at the Universities of Strausbourg and Montpellier. In 1946 he returned to Bordeaux where he lived, wrote, served as Mayor, and taught until his death in 1994.
In the 40 books and hundreds of articles Ellul wrote in his lifetime, his dominant theme was always the threat to human freedom posed by modern technology. His tenor and methodology is objective and scholarly, and the perspective is a sociological one. Few of his books are overtly political -- even though they deal directly with political phenomena -- and several of his books, including "Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes" and "The Technological Society" are required reading in many graduate communication curricula.
Ellul was also a respected and serious Christian theologian whose 1948 work, "The Presence of the Kingdom," makes explicit a dual theme inherent, though subtly stated, in all of his writing, a sort of yin and yang of modern technological society: sin and sacramentality.
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