Presence in the Modern World is Jacques Ellul's most foundational book, combining his social analysis with his theological orientation. Appearing first in French in 1948, and later in English as The Presence of the Kingdom, it has reached the status of a classic that retains all of its relevance today in the face of the challenges that beset us. How should we respond toward such complex forces as technology or the state? How can we communicate with one another, despite the problems inherent in modern forms of media? Do we have hope for the future of our civilization? Ellul responds by describing how a Christian's unique presence in the world can make a difference. Instead of acting "as sociological beings," we must commit ourselves to the kind of revolution that will occur only when we become radically aware of our present situation and undertake "a ferocious and passionate destruction of myths, intellectual idols, unconscious rejections of reality, and outmoded and empty doctrines." In this way, says Ellul, we become the medium for God's action in the modern world.
This 2016 edition presents a fresh translation along with new footnotes, an introduction to Ellul's life, and a complete bibliography of his books in English and French.
Endorsements & Reviews-
"Today the moral question above all others is how to be truly awake and fully equal to the technological world. Jacques Ellul as a young man saw the question and began to outline the answer in Presence in the Modern World." --Albert Borgmann, author of Power Failure: Christianity in the Culture of Technology
"Read Presence in the Modern World. Not only is it the introduction to Ellul's entire body of work, but its emphasis on Christians' revolutionary situation in the world has never been more relevant." --Patrick Chastenet, University of Bordeaux; President, the Association Internationale Jacques Ellul
"This book is Ellul at his best--essential reading for anyone seeking a succinct expression of his prophetic Christian vision." --Jeffrey P. Greenman, President, Regent College; coauthor of Understanding Jacques Ellul
"Lisa Richmond's new translation echoes Ellul's radicality and revolutionary fervor--a brilliant experience. Enjoy this powerful opportunity!" --Marva Dawn, author; translator of Sources and Trajectories: Eight Early Articles by Jacques Ellul That Set the Stage
"[This] is Jacques Ellul's most astonishing book." --William Stringfellow, lay theologian; social activist; from his 1967 Introduction to this book's first English edition
Jacques Ellul Lisa Richmond Ted Lewis David Gill
Jacques Ellul (1912-94) was a French law professor, social theorist, and lay theologian. In addition to Presence in the Modern World, his best-known works include The Technological Society, Propaganda, The Humiliation of the Word, and Hope in Time of Abandonment.