Call for Papers – Strasbourg 2020

Ellul and Charbonneau on Ethics in an Age of Ecological and Technological Challenge


Twenty-five years after their death, Jacques Ellul (1912-1994) and Bernard Charbonneau (1910-1996) still have something to say to us—perhaps today more than ever. The challenges raised by the swell of technique and ecological devastation demand both a rigorous analytical framework and resolute ethical engagement. Such are the intellectual, symbolic, and practical resources which our two friends bequeathed to us: think globally, act locally, elucidate the declensions and effects of the “great molting,” and incite a presence in the world which testifies to freedom and hope through non-power. This conference proposes to probe the depths of the heritage of Ellul and Charbonneau, in their sympathies and their differences, to better understand our present and to promote a liberated engagement able to confront the ethical challenges which define our times.

Un quart de siècle après leur mort, Jacques Ellul (1912-1994) et Bernard Charbonneau (1910-1996) ont encore quelque chose à nous dire, et peut-être plus que jamais. Les défis posés par le déferlement technique et par les dévastations écologiques exigent une grille d’analyse rigoureuse et un engagement éthique résolu. Telles sont les ressources intellectuelles, symboliques et pratiques, que nous lèguent les deux amis : penser globalement, agir localement, élucider les déclinaisons et les effets de la “grande mue”, et impulser une présence au monde qui témoigne de la liberté et de l’espérance par la non-puissance. Ce Colloque se propose de mesurer la profondeur de l’héritage de Jacques Ellul et de Bernard Charbonneau, dans leurs affinités et dans leurs écarts, afin de mieux comprendre notre présent et de promouvoir un engagement dégagé à la hauteur des enjeux éthiques qui sont aujourd’hui les nôtres.



Paper Presentations: Conference sessions for papers will allow 20 minutes for presenting a paper and 10 minutes for questions and discussion. Presentations need not only involve direct reading but can also involve other teaching styles.

Proposal Length: 250-300 words plus a working title, along with a short (50 word) author bio. 

Proposal Submissions sent to Jacob Marques Rollison by Nov. 1, 2019, at  jake.rollison@gmail.com

French or English Papers: Papers in either French or English language will be accepted. If you prefer to write a paper in another language, please contact Ted Lewis at ellulsociety@gmail.com

Notification of acceptance or rejection of proposals will come shortly after December 1, 2019.

Paper Summary:  For all accepted papers for presentation, a short abstract plus a summary of the paper’s argument should be submitted by May 1, 2020 to jake.rollison@gmail.com to allow for translation and inclusion into the program.  Not to exceed one page.

Final Bio for Conference Program. All presenters will submit a final bio of 200 to 250 words by May 15, 2019.

Completed Draft of paper: Submit to jake.rollison@gmail.com and ellulsociety@gmail.com by June 1, 2020, to allow conference participants to become familiar with the main points in advance.

Paper Word Length.  Bear in mind that papers can be published in volumes, if accepted, after the conference, and these chapters can generally range between 3000 to 4000 words.  However, the amount of time you have to read during a 20 minute period is closer to half of this length. During your presentation, be wise about using your time well in order to let the ‘gold’ of your paper shine forth.

Presenters must register. Please note that papers will only be accepted for registrants at the conference.  Attendance at all sessions is also required as a way to honor other presenters. Please note also that this is not an academic “performance” conference but a “three day conversation.” All are welcome to join in.

Ellul and Charbonneau. As the conference theme includes Bernard Charbonneau, we encourage submissions that engage his thought and writings, or that engage both him and Ellul.