Jacques Ellul and the Technological Society in the 21st Century

  • Helena M. Jerónimo
  • José Luís Garcia
  • Carl Mitcham

Part of the Philosophy of Engineering and Technology book series (POET, volume 13)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vi
  2. Helena Mateus Jerónimo, José Luís Garcia, Carl Mitcham
    Pages 1-14
  3. Civilization of Technique

  4. Autonomous Technology

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 97-97
    2. Langdon Winner
      Pages 99-113
    3. José Luís Garcia, Helena Mateus Jerónimo
      Pages 129-144
    4. Nathan Kowalsky, Randolph Haluza-DeLay
      Pages 159-175
  5. Reason and Revelation

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 243-262

About this book


This volume rethinks the work of Jacques Ellul (1912-1994) on the centenary of his birth, by presenting an overview of the current debates based on Ellul's insights. As one of the most significant twentieth-century thinkers about technology, Ellul was among the first thinkers to realize the importance of topics such as globalization, terrorism, communication technologies and ecology, and study them from a technological perspective.

The book is divided into three sections. The first discusses Ellul’s diagnosis of modern society, and addresses the reception of his work on the technological society, the notion of efficiency, the process of symbolization/de-symbolization, and ecology. The second analyzes communicational and cultural problems, as well as threats and trends in early twenty-first century societies. Many of the issues Ellul saw as crucial – such as energy, propaganda, applied life sciences and communication – continue to be so. In fact they have grown exponentially, on a global scale, producing new forms of risk.

Essays in the final section examine the duality of reason and revelation. They pursue an understanding of Ellul in terms of the depth of experience and the traditions of human knowledge, which is to say, on the one hand, the experience of the human being as contained in the rationalist, sociological and philosophical traditions. On the other hand there are the transcendent roots of human existence, as well as “revealed knowledge,” in the mystical and religious traditions. The meeting of these two traditions enables us to look at Ellul’s work as a whole, but above all it opens up a space for examining religious life in the technological society.


Ellul Ecology Ellul Religion Ellul propaganda Ellul technics La Technique ou l' enjeu du siecle Le Bluff Technologique Protestantism technology Technician ecology Technology politics society The Technological Bluff The Technological System The technological society le systeme technicien

Editors and affiliations

  • Helena M. Jerónimo
    • 1
  • José Luís Garcia
    • 2
  • Carl Mitcham
    • 3
  1. 1.Technical University of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.University of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.Liberal Arts and International StudiesColorado School of MinesColoradoUSA

Bibliographic information