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Forum #58 Fall 2016

Click here for a direct access to this volume at the Ellul Forum site.

Articles:

Robb Davis Interview  (see below for more)

by Mark Baker

Liberalism and the State  (see below for more)

by Christian Roy

 

New Books Reviewed:

Illusions of Freedom (Jeff Shaw)

by Jacob VanVleet

Empire of Non-Sense: Art in the Technological Society (Ellul)

Zachary Lloyd

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“Bringing Ellul to the City Council: A Council Member Reflects on how Ellul has Guided his Work”  An interview with Robb Davis by Mark Baker

 

“People don’t corrupt you overtly.”   Robb Davis

 

council_cpic

Robb Davis in Davis

Robb Davis holds a master’s degree in public health and a Ph.D. in population dynamics from Johns Hopkins University. He has over twenty years’ experience in international development in the field of maternal and child health and nutrition. He was the executive director of the Mennonite Central Committee. He contributed an article to the Ellul Forum (#46). He is fluent in French and reads Ellul in French. He was elected to the Davis, California, city council in June, 2014 and began serving as mayor of Davis in July 2016. In addition to his role in city government he also dedicates a significant amount of time to work on issues related to homelessness and restorative justice in relation to youth crime. Mark D. Baker, professor of theology and mission at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary, interviewed Robb on July 7, 2016 as part of the conference of the International Jacques Ellul Society. What follows is an edited version of excerpts of that session, including two of the questions from the audience.

 

 

Liberalism and the State in French and Canadian Technocritical Discourses: Intersections and Contrasts between George Grant and the Bordeaux School by Christian Roy

 

“Grant liked to turn to France for a sense of the common good such as he was hoping to maintain through Canadian statehood, in the face of American corporate domination built on liberal assumptions about the innocence of technology and the possessive individualism it enabled.”  — Christian Roy

 

George Grant

George Grant

In English translation (1964), Jacques Ellul’s The Technological Society framed the definition of its topic in North America and elsewhere, expressing a key insight that remained marginal in France, where it first arose in the 1930s in a Southwestern faction of the Personalist movement led by Ellul’s lesser-known mentor Bernard Charbonneau, pioneer of the Green movement. Ellul’s analysis was taken up by political philosopher George Parkin Grant, buttressing his defense of Canadian nationhood against US hegemony as the vortex of technology’s drive toward a “universal homogeneous State”(Kojève/Strauss). Grant was first noticed in France in a review of his Technology and Empire (1969) by Daniel Cérézuelle, founder of the Société pour la Philosophie de la Technique as a second-generation member of the Bordeaux School. Beyond such cross-fertilization, some differences with Grant remain about the role of the State, despite related understandings of liberalism as the matrix and chief vector of technology.

 

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Forum #57 Spring 2016

Click here for complete Table of Contents (which includes new book reviews)

Articles:

On Terrorism, Violence and War: Looking Back at 9/11 and its Aftermath

Patrick Chastenet

On the Symbol in the Technical Environment: Some Reflections

David Lovekin

Will the Gospel Survive? Proclamation and Faith in the Technical Milieu

G. P. Wagenfuhr