(Teilhard, 1959, p. 283), The technologies human beings create are marked by a sort of moral neutrality. Because such groups are organic and have well structured material, spiritual and emotional life, they are not easily penetrated by propaganda. Originally written in 1954 (and not translated into English until 1964), Ellul… challenge the overwhelming influence of technique and simulation. The ascent of technology. An individual can be influenced by forces such as propaganda only when he is cut off from membership in local groups. A French philosopher, law professor, and lay theologian, his ideas resonated with me and I began reading many of his books beginning with The Technological Society, False Presence of the Kingdom, The Meaning of the City, Hope in Time of … Photo by Denisse Leon on Unsplash. Jacques Ellul… https://isi.org/modern-age/hope-beyond-technique-on-jacques-ellul On the other hand, Merton—Trappist monk, religious writer, and social critic—did read and comment on Ellul. The problem, however, is much graver, and it is telling that most of the backlash stories invariably omit any mention of technology’s greatest critic, Jacques Ellul. Ellul and Merton Jacques Ellul’s Influence on Thomas Merton by Gordon Oyer (April 2016) As best we know, Jacques Ellul and Thomas Merton never corresponded with each other, and Ellul never mentions Merton in his writings. Ellul, the Karl Marx of the 20th century, predicted the chaotic tyranny many of us now pretend is the good and determined life in technological society. Ellul, Technique, and Technology We begin this part of the paper by quoting the French sociologist Jacques Ellul from his The Technological Society. I first encountered the ideas of Jacques Ellul in the 1970’s through an article in a scholarly Christian mag.
Merton, who died a sudden and accidental death in 1968, seemingly read none of Ellul’s explicitly theological works. compiled for the peacemakers retreat two years earlier.