Portrait of Jacques Ellul

Jacques Ellul

Philosopher, Sociologist, and Professor
January 6, 1912 – May 19, 1994

Jacques Ellul was a French philosopher, sociologist, lay theologian, and professor who was a noted Christian anarchist. Ellul was a longtime Professor of History and the Sociology of Institutions on the Faculty of Law and Economic Sciences at the University of Bordeaux. A prolific writer, he authored more than 60 books and more than 600 articles over his lifetime, many of which discussed propaganda, the impact of technology on society, and the interaction between religion and politics.

The dominant theme of Ellul’s work proved to be the threat to human freedom and religion created by modern technology. He did not seek to eliminate modern technology or technique but sought to change our perception of modern technology and technique to that of a tool rather than regulator of the status quo. Among his most influential books are The Technological Society and Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes.

Considered by many a philosopher, Ellul was trained as a sociologist, and approached the question of technology and human action from a dialectical viewpoint. His writings are frequently concerned with the emergence of a technological tyranny over humanity. As a philosopher and theologian, he further explored the religiosity of the technological society.

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