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The Meaning of the City [Paperback]

By Mr. Jacques Ellul (Author)
Our Price $ 20.40  
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Item Number 144066  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   232
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.53" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.66 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 31, 1993
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802815553  
EAN  9780802815552  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Jacques Ellul, a member of the Law Faculty at the University of Bordeaux, is increasingly being recognized as a brilliant and penetrating commentator on the relationship between theology and sociology. In The Meaning of the City he presents what he finds in the Bible --- a sophisticated, coherent theology of the city fully applicable to today's urbanized society. / Ellul believes that the city symbolizes the supreme work of man --- and, as such, represents man's ultimate rejection of God. Therefore it is the city, where lies man's rebellious heart, that must be reformed. The author stresses the fact that the Bible does not find man's fulfillment in a return to an idyllic Eden, but points rather to a life of communion with the Savior in the city transfigured. / The Meaning of the City, says John Wilkinson in his introductory essay to the book, is the "theological counterpoint" to Ellul's Technological Society, a work that analyzed the phenomenon of the autonomous and totally manipulative post-industrial world. Ellul takes issue with those who idealistically plan new urban environments for man, as though man alone can negate the inherent diabolism of the city. For Ellul, the history of the city from the times of Cain and Nimrod through to Babylon and Jerusalem reveals a tendency to destroy the human being for the sake of human works. Nevertheless, continuing the theme of the tension between two realities that characterizes all his works, Ellul sees God as electing the city as itself an instrument of grace for the believer.

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More About Mr. Jacques Ellul

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jacques Ellul was a professor at the University of Bordeaux. He is the author of Propaganda, The Subversion of Christianity, and The Technological Society. William H. Vanderburg is the director of the Center for Technology and Social Development at the University of Toronto. He is the author of The Growth of Minds and Cultures and The Labyrinth of Technology.

Jacques Ellul was born in 1912 and died in 1994.

Jacques Ellul has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Jacques Ellul Legacy

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Anthropology > Cultural   [5830  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > General   [17908  similar products]
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5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( E ) > Ellul, Jacques   [14  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A masterpiece!  Jun 16, 2006
Jacques Ellul is a master of prose and of theology. He beautifully weaves together themes from across the canon to produce a set of insights that kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. Highly recommended!
The "Shout (that) Re-echoes Through Scripture From Beginning to End"-Jacques Ellul  Sep 27, 2005
"COME OUT OF BABYLON (Rome), MY PEOPLE". Revelation 18, Daniel 2

This book is so beautiful. It's the first book I've read by Jacques Ellul. If all of his other books are similarly written, I'm totally sold on them. This book is the best book I've ever read by a christian author. It's very substantive, and you can tell throughout each and every page, that the author is steeped in biblical understanding and wisdom. Babylon doesn't exist anymore, though within 100 miles from Baghdad, Babylon is a symbol for all that is wrong with human civilization. So what does Babylon symbolize? What is it about this type of city that G-d despises, and how can the city please G-d? The leaving of the city is also symbolic; getting out of the mob is no easy matter, though physically still in the city, one's previously good mob friends will more than likely kill you when you get out (my thoughts). So the leaving I believe, though Ellul does not directly say it is spiritual, symbolic.

My favorite chapter is the first, "The Builders", where Ellul speaks mostly about the first half dozen chapters of Genesis and how the first city was built by the first murderer, Cain, who killed his brother Abel. G-d told Cain that his brother's cries were heard by Him. Once Cain realizes his grave wrongdoing, G-d offers him protection by 'setting a mark' on him. Yet Cain seemingly takes no stock of this act of grace by G-d, and determined to secure eternity for himself, builds a city, and begets children. The city without G-d's presence and without citizens who acknowledge His sovereignty has a spiritual power of its own which draws people into everything the city has to offer, all of which is destructive and becomes a place, as Nahum, the Hebrew prophet cries, 'a bloody city, full of lies and distortions, no end of victims'. Yet G-d sanctified Jerusalem, an ordinary pagan city, by His presence, when King David captured the city for the jews. And this was the place where G-d redeemed mankind for all of our sins, potentially, if one truly gets out of these evil networks found among people who inhabit cities. The last chapters deal with the New Jerusalem described in books like Revelation and Ezekiel. This book, I believe, sounds the warning found in Ezekiel 33 from the watchman who sees the enemy coming and must alert the cities' inhabitants of G-d's coming judgment because it is clear from scripture that He will punish those (maybe not in this lifetime, but surely in the life to come) who twist the truth, who exalt themselves, who trample upon the livelihood of people, and those who foster all manner of deceivableness. This is a book that I got from the library, and is long overdue. One day I will buy this book to have on hand, its contents very valuable.

Jacques Ellul is a French protestant lawyer and sociologist by profession, protestant christian by faith. His life, I'm discovering, unique. He was involved with the French underground during WWII and after the war defended in court people who would have killed him because they were treated so mercilessly afterwards in breach of law. He's written many books in his lifetime. He died in 1994 at the age of 82, his life spanning both world wars in France. Once he became a christian in his twenties, he became enamored with Karl Barth's writings/theology and became a member of the Reformed Church. I'd love to read a biography about him. This book, I absolutely adore. He dedicated this book to his son Simon who died while he was writing it.
Prophetic and Compelling  Apr 5, 2000
In this remarkable piece of original theology, Ellul convincingly argues that the city exists as a theological category in Biblical thought. True to his own dialectical approach, he contends that the city is simultaneously an instrument of human rebellion and also a Divinely elected instrument of hope for humanity. This is a prophetic, compelling and ultimately hopeful foundation for a theology with which to engage the modern phenomena of urbanization.

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