Jacques Ellul’s theological vision of the socio-cultural drivers of ecological disaster.

Dr Paul Tyson Australian Catholic University, Brisbane School of Theology and Philosophy

This paper will seek to unpack some of Jacques Ellul’s insights into the manner in which our modern technological society is deeply ingrained in the subordination of both humanity and nature to efficient use. Ellul maintains that our way of life is characterised by structural instrumentalism which is underpinned by a twisted theological outlook, and these are the key drivers that propel us towards environmental desolation. The notion that will be floated in this paper is that no adequate fine tuning of our present way of life will be equal to the task of addressing climate change, but rather what is needed is the comprehensive sociological and theological conversion of our society. This paper will conclude by tentatively exploring the question of how the church might proclaim and embody a prophetic message of repentance and conversion in these matters.

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“Jacques Ellul’s theological vision of the socio-cultural drivers of ecological disaster.” Melbourne, 5/3/11


Jacques Ellul’s theological vision of the socio-cultural drivers of ecological disaster.
When we think about climate change we do so, whether we are aware of this or not, from within the particular context of the common beliefs and shared way of life which constitutes what some philosophers and sociologists call our ‘life form’.1 A ‘life form’ is a bit like a three dimensional world view. That is, we tend to think of a world view as a set of beliefs through which we make sense of the world. But our life form is built out of collective practices, material conditions and habitual behaviours moulded culturally over time, as much as it is built out of assumed common values, shared beliefs and widely accepted cosmological ideas. As, sociologically speaking, there is nothing more basic to our meaningful experience of the world than our life form, we typically take its givens as both necessary and real. For the life form in which we live is the grounds of our always humanly mediated understanding of reality, not the other way around. Yet sociologists – and many others besides2 – have long observed that ‘reality’, when viewed through the eyes of people who inhabit different life forms, is a profoundly contestable thing and not a simple given. The first thing we are going to try and do in this paper is to see if we can gain an awareness that the very comprehensibility of what we mean by words such as ‘nature’ and ‘climate change’ is deeply dependent on the practical operational structures of how we actually live. These operational structures are imprinted on us by the common practices and collective norms of the sociological reality we inhabit, and so we hardly notice them because they are the wall paper of the life form within which we live. If we want to see a bigger picture than that which is constructed within our life form, then our first challenge is to see if we can become aware of how the very ideas of ‘nature’ and ‘climate change’ convey meaning to us from within our life form. I am going to suggest that it is possible to sketch a broad conception of what our modern Wester life form looks like, and that this life form is profoundly averse to a Christian understanding of creation. If this is true, then if we simply try and work for a better future from within the framework of meaningful, good and possible action presented to us by our life form, we may well be merely re-arranging the deck chairs on a sinking Titanic. If we are to seriously contemplate fundamental change then we need some sort of lift out of the limits of what is normal and possible within our own life form so that we can see both our way of life and possible alterative ways of life. And I think we need to be serious on that front, for the capacity of modern instrumental reason to act without foresight and to destroy without conscience, simply for short term profit, is an integral – and most powerful – player within what we accept as rational, normal and even necessary within our life form. We are not going to beat climate change if we just fiddle the adjustments of the way of life in which we live. (Even so, climate change, along

Lebensform, see Wittgenstein; Lebenswelt, see Husserl; “the social construction of reality”, see Berger & Luckmann. Note that Weltanschauung in Dilthey and Weber is continuous with these understandings of life form/world. 2 Herodotus, in the 5th century BC, for example, highlighted the moral relativism that exists between people from different cultural life forms. (Histories, 3.16)
“Jacques Ellul’s theological vision of the socio-cultural drivers of ecological disaster.” Melbourne, 5/3/11


with a range of other culturally suicidal tendencies will certainly beat the modern life form if we do not change it.) Trying to make it economically sensible to tackle climate change is not going to work because the very categories of that which is economically sensible within modern consumer society are the drivers of our problem. So this paper will work from the premise that we can’t ‘fix’ late modern consumerism so that it will have a different relationship to nature which is harmonious with a Christian understanding of creation. We need to re-vision the modern Western way of life at a fundamental level if we want to avert the profoundly destructive natural consequences of our way of life. In order to try and get a view of who we are and what our life form is, I am going to appeal to the work of the remarkable theologian and sociologist, Jacques Ellul. Jacques Ellul was a French Christian and intellectual who wrote at least two outstanding works of sociology in the 20th century. These two works were titled The Technological Society and Propaganda. In his sociology Ellul sought to unpack some of the deep, and hence typically least contested, reality structures of the modern secular Western life form. His purpose in exposing these underlying realities was two fold. Firstly, they are there, so any commitment to a realistic understanding of how we live needs to understand the substructures of our way of life. Secondly, once they are named and brought out of the cultural sub-conscious, as it were, the reality vision they project can be contested. Ellul’s explicitly Christian texts carefully endeavour to place the alternative reality vision of the gospel in contest with the received reality of the modern Western life form. In doing this Ellul points out both the radical nature of any genuinely Christian witness to our times, as well as pointing out how unwilling we modern Western Christians are to be in radical conflict with the basic reality structures of our times. So, let us now focus on one of the central aspects of Ellul’s work: his understanding of technique. I’m going to quote extensively from a paper by Matthew Tan here, for he outlines Ellul’s though on technique, as a fundamental principle of our modern Western life form, very clearly: What Ellul refers to as “technique” must be distinguished from what the English speaking world understands as “technology”, for Ellul refers not to machines, which are the physical extension of “technique”, but to a “totality of methods rationally arrived at and having absolute efficiency … in every field of human activity.”3 One important theme Ellul outlines in The Technological Society is the growing disjuncture that occurs between “technique”, machines and societies beginning from the sixteenth century. While all societies grew, evolved and adapted with “technique”, Ellul says, “technique” had simultaneously “evolve[d] under the pressure of circumstances along with the body social, as part of an organic whole. [That is] … technique existed alongside, and was influenced by, an array of other organizing principles. These included religious, cultural and philosophical principles and the interactions between them which constituted a communal tradition.4 With
3 4

Ellul, J., The Technological Society, Vintage Books, NY, 1964, xxv Ellul, ibid., 73
“Jacques Ellul’s theological vision of the socio-cultural drivers of ecological disaster.” Melbourne, 5/3/11


the increase of technological advancement … technique gradually unglued itself from the web of tradition and society, and had, by the twentieth century, become completely autonomous from them…5 “Technique” had, by the 20th century, fashioned “an omnivorous world” which subordinated both tradition and society to its own logic. This is nothing short of an inversion of [traditional] social organization. No longer was the most efficient means of organization employed in the interests of society, rather society had to conform to the logic of efficiency. 6 I’ll switch now to Peter Orchard who deftly unpacks Ellul’s conception of efficiency like this: Ellul [maintains that] … efficiency … is that which is used as a justification for means without reference to any particular end. So for example, transport must get faster and cheaper, why? Efficiency: never mind issues like pollution and social fragmentation … [T]he result of chasing efficiency for its own sake turns out not to be freedom but enslavement, an enslavement to purposelessness which Ellul calls the suicidal tendency of the World. … [W]ithout breaking free from the system of means which subordinates men [and nature to itself] and sees efficiency as a total measure of success, [both Humanity and Nature are continuously degraded and are headed towards destruction.]7 So technique is now our first principle of social organization, and the aim of this organization is efficiency, which is the pursuit of ever more effective means without governing reference to intrinsically meaningful or inherently qualitative ends. To clarify, Ellul does not mean that ‘inefficiency’ is the opposite of ‘efficiency’, for the terms in which the positive and negative judgements of efficiency are made – speed, cost, profitability etc. – are all of the one family of evaluative reasoning. They are formal and procedural, rather than substantive, evaluative categories.8 Both
5 6

Ellul, ibid., 14 Matthew Tan, “Dead babies and shopping bags: abortion in/as consumer culture”, unpublished paper, Rome, 2011, 5-6 7 Peter Orchard, comment 10 (Feb 10, 2011, 9:32pm), “On stolen chainsaws, meths dealers and the second mile, part 1” (Jan 30, 2011), Blog: “Beside Ourselves”, www.besideourselves.com Peter’s comment here comes from his reading of Jacques Ellul’s The Presence of the Kingdom, Helmers & Howard, Colorado Springs, 1989, particularly chapter three “The End and the Means”, pp 49–78 8 I understand that thrift, diligence, self control, hard work, obedience etc – as the highest values of the procedural morality basic to the Protestant work ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (see Max Weber’s very important text by that name) – clearly attained the status of substantive and religious significance in our capitalist cultural history. And Weber is very clear on the intimate relationship between that background and the formal instrumentalism of bureaucratic efficiency. But the fact remains, this ‘morality’ is not grounded in substantive goodness. This is most terrifyingly illustrated by the very efficient, hard working, diligent designers, builders and operators of the gas chambers for the Jews in Nazi Germany. When high level managements impose staff cuts on the real workers in their institution, and ‘re-structures’ their organization so as to shift privileges from the bottom to the top of the organizational hierarchy, this is always done for the ‘necessary’ ‘goods’ of both ‘rationalising’ ‘nonperforming’ areas of their operation, and rewarding ‘performing’ areas of their operation. These measures are always couched in the terms of economic responsibility, but this rationalization in large organizations is but code for the responsibility of exorbitantly paid company executives and directors to produce – by any means – exorbitant profits for their shareholders. The language of ‘responsibility’ – drawing on the residual moralism left behind by cultural traces of the Protestant work ethic – is but
“Jacques Ellul’s theological vision of the socio-cultural drivers of ecological disaster.” Melbourne, 5/3/11


efficiency and inefficiency are essentially quantitative and instrumental categories and have nothing directly to do with that which is inherently meaningful or explicitly qualitative.9 So Ellul is not saying that slower and more expensive is better than faster and cheaper (or visa versa). Rather, Ellul is pointing out that if there was a living discourse of public reasoning other than that of efficiency, then genuinely moral or explicitly religious categories of good would govern questions of efficiency, and not the other way around. If efficiency was not our governing principle then an appropriate speed and cost which corresponded to the qualitatively good goals and qualitatively good means already determined would govern how any common vision of the good was implemented. But as it stands, it is now always ‘the bottom line’ which is the final governing principle under the principality of efficiency. Our public discourse still often proceeds under the illusion of substantive moral ends and ethical means, but the reality is that economic viability and economic efficiency is the ‘bottom line’ and driving force behind how our large and powerful institutions actually function. Hence, under the governing principle of efficiency both humanity and nature are without any essential significance, the drive towards amoral domination is unchecked, and the Christian understanding of the intrinsic dignity of humanity and the sacral significance of nature – key features of the Christian theology of creation – is entirely absent. Yet, our life form is not simply one of technical efficiency, for our way of life is now tightly governed by an economic understanding of efficiency. Back to Matthew Tan: Against a backdrop of the subordination of all social organization to the logic of efficiency, the glorification of the material, and the narrowing of cultural horizons that entail them, the ascendency of economics, the science of discerning the most efficient distribution of material goods, comes to be seen as [both] superior [to more traditional forms of social organization, and entirely] natural. Charles Taylor observes that… by the eighteenth century, the ‘economic’, like Ellul’s ‘technique’, had become sectioned off and reified as a self-contained social category, able to organize itself independently of other forms of cultural, religious or metaphysical principles.10 Also, like Ellul’s ‘technique’, the ‘economic’ would eventually subordinate all aspects of social organization to itself. Under such circumstances, Taylor argues, society comes to be seen as first and foremost an economy, and all manner of human agency becomes regarded as “an interlocking set of activities of production, exchange

spin. Substantive values play no role at all in the ‘necessary’ power games of your average CEO. In reality, the principle of Mammon orientates formal, quantitative and instrumental “values” towards merely financial ends. On Mammon as a very powerful governing principality in our times, see Jacques Ellul, Money and Power, Marshall Pickering, Southampton, 1986. 9 See Wendell Berry’s classic essay “The Unsettling of America” (Berry, W., The Art of the Commonplace, Counterpoint, Berkeley, 2002, pp 35 – 46 – originally written in 1977) for a most devastatingly insightful critique of the logic of efficiency as the exploitative principle systematically overriding the logic of care as that relates to land use and patterns of settlement in the USA. 10 Taylor, C., A Secular Age, Belknap Press, Cambridge, 2007, 178-80
“Jacques Ellul’s theological vision of the socio-cultural drivers of ecological disaster.” Melbourne, 5/3/11


and consumption”11 coupled with strategic and material maximization as the sole ethical guide.12 William Cavanaugh points out that the heart of the modern notion of economic freedom – particularly as upheld by the likes of Milton Freedman – is exactly the principle that no-one should prescribe any good or right end for anyone else. 13 Overarching purposelessness, in moral, cultural and metaphysical terms, is basic to this view of economic freedom. One is free if one choses what one wants with no-one else trying to impose universal notions of right and wrong on any cashed up individual. The “free market” is hence seen as intrinsically amoral at the same time as it is seen as what is good for us, because it distributes what we ourselves determine that we want. Thus, telling the market how it should behave is an infringement of people’s basic economic freedoms. So far, this is the picture that emerges. We live in a technological society where the principle of value neutral efficiency orders how we live, and the only “value” we can collectively agree on is monetary. Within the dominant structures of this life form, the significance of any essentially valuable and intrinsically purposeful vocation, such as mother hood, for example, become strangely invisible.14 Equally, intrinsic value itself is lost, and all things and people become instrumentalized. In our society every thing has a monetary value and nothing is, in principle and for its own sake, inviolably sacred. Technical efficiency and money are our gods and we are their slaves. We are now the servants of the blind and inanimate tools which our own hands have made. To this way of life both Humanity and Nature are simply resources to be mined until exhaustion. The point of saying all the above is firstly to make it clear that when it comes to addressing climate change we are not, primarily, faced with a scientific or rational problem, and secondly, that any real solution to our problem is not going to be, in essence, a technical solution. For it is a no-brainer to understand that unless late modern consumer society fundamentally changes its ways, it is going to continue on its path of environmental violence until we ourselves are destroyed by its actions. Reason and observation are quite clear here. But this factual knowledge makes it no easier for us to actually change our ways when every aspect of our daily life is locked into a structure of habits, relationships, beliefs, ideological commitments, norms, economic imperatives and material conditions which all impose the necessity of continuity upon us. We are very much like Achilles in the grip of his fate.15

11 12

Taylor, ibid., 181 Tan, ibid., 7-8 13 William T. Cavanaugh, Being Consumed, Eerdmans, MI, 2008, 1-32 14 Anne Manne points out that mothers who love and care for their children, rather than being ‘productive’ members of the paid economy, are a kind of surd that defies the organizational logic of our society, or else they are a problem which must be solved by making universally available state funded child-care an essential government service. See Anne Manne, Motherhood, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2005; also, Anne Manne, “Love and Money – family and the free market”, Quarterly Essay, Black Inc., Melbourne, Issue 29, 2008 15 See Simone Weil “The Iliad or the Poem of Force”, in James P. Holoka (ed. & trans.) Simone Weil’s The Iliad or the Poem of Force – A Critical Edition, Peter Land, New York, 2003, 45–69. See Jacques Ellul, Violence, The Seabury Press, New York, 1969. Both of these remarkable texts point out that the ‘natural’ necessity of violence locks one into an iron fatalism which is the denial of freedom.
“Jacques Ellul’s theological vision of the socio-cultural drivers of ecological disaster.” Melbourne, 5/3/11


But whilst Ellul is terribly realistic about the nature of our present situation, he is not despairing. It is indeed likely that our present situation will force upon our way of life a shift away from mere technical power and economic necessity and towards an ethic of the limitation of power and technique in order to act differently towards nature and humanity.16 However, Ellul argues that the most basic reason why we are in our present state of pending ecological diaster is because of the collapse of a viable and influential Christian theology of creation in the West. … the devastation of the world, the ecological disaster that awaits us, is not only the result of belief in the technological system, but it follows, above all, from the fact that man no longer believes in the creator God, who is the God of Jesus Christ.17 This little quote needs considerable unpacking, but this unpacking is very fruitful on a number of fronts. The first thing to note here is that Ellul does not think we need a theology of nature. In fact, he goes so far as to say that “Christianity is anti-nature.”18 For just as Christ does away with religion – pace Barth – so He does away with the sacredness of nature, and with the patterning of human life according to the necessities of fallen nature. It is crucial for Christians seeking to do environmental theology to remember this, otherwise we get drawn into the now very fashionable quasi-scientific neo-pagan attempt to re-sacralize nature, and then we are easily draw into the ancient idolatry of nature worship, however modern and rationalistic its varnish may be. Ellul goes on to unpack what a theology of creation looks like: When I say that Christianity is anti-nature, I do not mean that it is anticreation. If man has to love, respect, admire and use creation with moderation, if he has to keep it and make it fruitful with his care, it is not because it is nature, but rather because it is the creation of God. Because he loves God, he has to love God’s handiwork and to admire God in His creation and to praise God for this creation. The Bible teaches us to read creation as a mirror of God, but it sends us to Him through it. To be anti-nature is to challenge – to refuse

Ellul, J., “Nature, Technique and Artificiality”, Research in Philosophy & Technology, JAI Press, vol 3, 1980, 280–2: “Man has always succeeded in rising to the test, in meeting the challenge presented to him by means other than those which are the source of the challenge… [thus we must move from the first level of the artificial, which is technology, to] the second level of the artificial [which] is ethical. [In this way man would learn] to set limits, to give up on his power, not to do everything it is possible to do, to reject the “always more” (larger, faster). To refuse both the temptation to unlimitedness and the identification of freedom with the disappearance of limits. To learn, on the contrary, that it is the formation of limits on his own action that is the act of freedom par excellence. The refusal of fatality and dogmas, through the critique of power, becomes the imperative for setting limits, ones that are genuine because they are coherent and not fleeting unto utopia.” Note, all the articles quoted in this paper can be located and downloaded from: http://www.jesusradicals.com/theology/jacques-ellul/ 17 Ellul, J., “The Relationship between Man and Creation in the Bible”, chapter 9 in Carl Mitcham & Jim Grote (eds.) Theology and Technology: Essays in Christian Analysis and Exegesis, University Press of America, NY, 1984, 151 18 Ellul, J., “Nature, Technique and Artificiality”, Research in Philosophy & Technology, JAI Press, vol 3, 1980, 272. Form the same page: “The kingdom of God is not the outcome, the fulfilment of nature, but the assumption and the recapitulation of history.”
“Jacques Ellul’s theological vision of the socio-cultural drivers of ecological disaster.” Melbourne, 5/3/11


to accept that nature is a value in itself, that it exists for itself, that its intrinsic laws are good.19 A theology of creation provides us with exactly what we have always needed – it makes humanity responsible to God for the care and right use of nature.20 For our now common secular scientific belief in a merely naturalistic nature – natura pura as the early moderns called it21 – removes from humanity any authority above humanity in relation to the use and care of creation, and thus takes all the limits of accountability which used to be embedded in collective habits of piety, off our actions. Now, after piety, if we can do it, nothing outside ourself says that we should not do it. Certainly this modern naturalistic ‘nature’, as Hume well understood, does not tell us what we ought to do, but only what does happen if we choose to do it.22 And then, when Ellul maintains that ecological disaster results from not believing in the creator God who is the God of Jesus Christ, he is making a very specific point about love and power. The God revealed to us in Christ is the God who is Love and who refuses the way of instrumental domination, even though He has total power. If we are to follow the way of Christ in our approach to creation, then love, freedom and trust, rather than domination, utility and self preservation – all those things which are natural to the fallen order – will be our guiding lights.23 Here again we see how antinatural a Christian theology of creation is. The renunciation of violence, domination and of ‘efficient’ instrumental relations not only in regard to people, but equally in regard to creation, is required by the gospel and makes the gospel radically at odds with the very life form in which we live. Conclusion: What seems to emerge from all this is that the problem of the modern Western life form’s impious relation to creation is very deep. Further, we as Christians living within that life form profoundly compromise the gospel to the extent that we are at peace with the way of life which is culturally native to us as modern Western people. In short, our integrity as Christians seems profoundly compromised and the ecological future of the world seems hopelessly bleak. We are embedded in a deeply instrumental life form, and no merely technical answer, and no merely ‘efficient’ realist mechanism of incentives or penalties can adequately address our problem.

Ellul, J., “Nature, Technique and Artificiality”, Research in Philosophy & Technology, JAI Press, vol 3, 1980, 272 20 Note this excellent article by Ellul, “Christian responsibility for nature” Cross Currents 35, no. 1 (Spring 1985): 49 – 53. See also Ellul, J., “The Relationship between Man and Creation in the Bible”, chapter 9 in Carl Mitcham & Jim Grote (eds.) Theology and Technology: Essays in Christian Analysis and Exegesis, University Press of America, NY, 1984, 150–1 21 See Louis Dupré, Passage to Modernity, Yale University Press, 1993, 167–89 for masterly account of the mergence of the modern naturalistic notion of “pure nature” in the 16th century. 22 David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, BkIII, 1.1.27 23 Ellul carefully exegetically unpacks suggestions of what a pre-fallen relation of humanity to creation would be like, in terms of what we know about Christ, in this remarkable article: “Technique and the Opening Chapters of Genesis”, chapter 8 in Carl Mitcham & Jim Grote (eds.) Theology and Technology: Essays in Christian Analysis and Exegesis, University Press of America, NY, 1984, 123– 37

“Jacques Ellul’s theological vision of the socio-cultural drivers of ecological disaster.” Melbourne, 5/3/11


Further, so embedded in the technological society are we that we can scarcely conceive of non-instrumental, non-‘realist’ ways of responding to this situation. So we tend towards an inert discomfort as we grudgingly and fitfully concede some awareness that it is our very (comfortable) way of life that is the driving force behind the agonized groanings of creation which our globally immoral and destructively exploitative life form perpetuates. Even so, this uncomfortable inertness is an entirely understandable response to any level of serious awareness of the enormity of the redemptive challenge we now face. For any realistic awareness of our spiritual poverty in the face of that challenge tempts us towards escapist denial, ‘realist’ activism, or fatalistic resignation. Yet none of these three natural ways (i.e., ways that are reasonable and necessary within the fallen order of creation) can open up redemptive change. Is there another way? Is there, as Ellul would put it, a Christian yet “anti-nature” way forward regarding the right care of creation? Ellul makes this very interesting comment: “… it is a dialectical attitude that leads us to consider that we are impotent in relation to structures and necessities, but that we ought to attempt what can be attempted.”24 “What can be attempted”, as Ellul sees it, is the opposite of Niebuhrean realism. Rather he has in mind a Yoderean politics of the radical renunciation of dominating power and a concerted disentangling of our frame of evaluative reasoning from the governing logic of efficiency.25 If we take this outlook to heart, we can renounce efficient instrumentalism – even in terms of our own activism – and we can follow the lead of Ghandi, nay, even the lead of Christ Himself, and proceed from the grounds of moral power, so that we pursue what is good regardless of whether it will make a difference or not.26 There is no excuse to not do the little good we can do, even though any endeavour we make in that direction will be, by any ‘rational’ and ‘realistic’ evaluative criteria, futile. But it is this venture of faith in the non-instrumental yet reality shaking power of Goodness (which is to say, God Himself) which may indeed be an avenue through which the Holy Spirit can release divine redemptive power into our suffering world. Michael Northcott in his addresses to a small gathering of people in Melbourne in March 2011, called us to embrace an eyes wide open, mustard seed mission of hope.27 Michael was able to share with us how the setting up of fair trade initiatives, local community farming initiatives and other small scale redemptive movements to revive people and places through an ethic of care, is happening in the UK. By these acts of faith, and by speaking the unwanted truths of the profound evil we are doing by our normal way of life, a witness to the true meaning of people and creation is lived and
24 25

Jacques Ellul, What I believe, Eerdmans, MI, 1989, p 45. This is an anachronistic way of putting it, as Ellul’s Violence comes out in English three years before Yoder’s The Politics of Jesus. 26 Even so, as Walter Wink documents, the ‘foolish’ and ‘unrealistic’ renunciation of the normal means of power is in fact enormously politically powerful, and alone provides an opening for positive redemptive change. See Wink, W., Jesus and Nonviolence, Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 2003. 27 The conference was titled “Consuming Creation”, put on by Ethos, at Ridley College in Melbourne, March 4 – 5, 2011. Michael Northcott’s best known book on the Biblical imperative of environmental and global moral engagement is A Moral Climate, Darton, Longman and Todd, London, 2007.
“Jacques Ellul’s theological vision of the socio-cultural drivers of ecological disaster.” Melbourne, 5/3/11


proclaimed. And though this way is embedded in the characteristically small and hidden horizon of the work of the Holy Spirit, the redemptive presence of the Kingdom can be sensed in these endeavours. This is our way forward.

“Jacques Ellul’s theological vision of the socio-cultural drivers of ecological disaster.” Melbourne, 5/3/11


Texts Cited: Berry, W., The Art of the Commonplace, Counterpoint, Berkeley, 2002 Cavanaugh, W., Being Consumed, Eerdmans, MI, 2008 Dupré, L., Passage to Modernity, Yale University Press, 1993 Ellul, J., “Christian responsibility for nature”, Cross Currents 35, no. 1 (Spring 1985): 49 – 53 Ellul, J., “Nature, Technique and Artificiality”, Research in Philosophy and Technology, JAI Press, vol 3., 1980 Ellul, J., “Technique and the opening chapters of Genesis”, chapter 8 in Mitcham, C., & Grote, J., (eds.) Theology and Technology, University of America Press, NY, 1984 Ellul, J., “The relationship between Man and Creation in the Bible”, chapter 9 in Mitcham, C., & Grote, J., (eds.) Theology and Technology, University of America Press, NY, 1984 Ellul, J., The Presence of the Kingdom, Helmers & Howard, Colorado Springs, 1989 Ellul, J., The Technological Society, Vintage Books, NY, 1964 Ellul, J., Violence, The Seabury Press, NY, 1969 Ellul, J., What I Believe, Eerdmans, MI, 1989 Ellul, J., Money and Power, Marshall Pickering, Southampton, 1986 Herodotus, The Histories, Oxford University Press, 1998 Hume, D., A Treatise on Human Nature, Penguin, London, 1984 Manne, A., “Love and Money – Family and the Free Market”, Quarterly Essay, Black Inc., Melbourne, Issue 29, 2008 Manne, A., Motherhood, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2005 Northcott, M., A Moral Climate, Darton, Longman and Todd, London, 2007 Orchard, P., “On stolen chainsaws, meths dealers and the second mile, part 1”, www.besideourselves.com, comment 10, 10 February 2011. Tan, M., “Dead babies and shopping bags: abortion in/as consumer culture”, unpublished paper, Rome, 2011 Taylor, C., A Secular Age, Belknap Press, Cambridge, 2007 Weber, M., The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Unwin, London, 1987 Weil, S., The Iliad or Poem of Force – a critical edition, ed. & trans., Holoka, J.P., Peter Land, New York, 2003 Wink, W., Jesus and non-violence, Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 2003 Yoder, J.H., The Politics of Jesus, Eerdmans, MI, 1972

“Jacques Ellul’s theological vision of the socio-cultural drivers of ecological disaster.” Melbourne, 5/3/11