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Hope in Time of Abandonment. Paperback – January, 1978

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, French (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Jacques Ellul (1912-1994), a French sociologist and lay theologian, was Professor Emeritus of Law and of the History and Sociology of Institutions at the University of Bordeaux. He wrote more than forty books, including The Technological Society, The Humiliation of the Word, and The Technological Bluff. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Seabury Pr (January 1978)
  • ISBN-10: 0816421382
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816421381
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,316,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By G. Alterton on July 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
The "abandonment" that Ellul writes of is the withdrawal of God, and an analysis of what happens in a society where the presence of God is not evident, and the word of God is not heard. "Abandonment" is probably an unfortunate term to use; Ellul is referring to the real spiritual condition of God's "hiddenness" which is discussed frequently in the Psalms. Ellul points out that a society in which the voice of God is silent (or not heeded) bears certain traits: "death of the word" (i.e., language become content with no meaning); "an age of scorn" (i.e., to condemn another person to complete and final sterility; to destroy the honor an dignity of another such that they have no future hope of making a contribution -- this trait in particular is true of contemporary politics, both left and right...the "hate Bush" and "hate Clinton" vitriol that preceded it are perfect examples of what Ellul writes about in regard to "scorn"); mediocrity enveloping the church (i.e., no evidence of power and glory in the church, no evidence of God being active, the church producing only what man himself can produce through his best efforts); and the like.

"Hope" is man's only answer to God's "silence." Hope demands God to speak once again. Hope brings the individual, and society, to a reconsideration of who God is, and causes man to pound on the gates of heaven and demand that God speak and intervene again in the affairs of man.

Ellul, in typical "prophetic" manner, foresaw the day in which we live. We live in a period of "abandonment," of God's silence; and we also live in a day of hope, where man's only reasonable response is to appeal to God to speak again.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Book is an excellent analysis of the role of Christianity in American politics. Although this book was written awhile ago, it ended up being very prophetic with respect ot the rise of the religious right. Book is written from a pro-Christian perspective, but would be interesting to secular people as well.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J from NY VINE VOICE on April 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
Jacques Ellul was one of a kind. A law professor, theologian, anti-technology activist, and recpient of the "Righteous Among the Nations" award for his leading role in the French resistance, he helped redefine Christianity and the Christian's role in the modern world.

This book is pure flame. No one--atheist, secular humanist, Christian, whatever--can come away from the searing power of Ellul untouched. Ellul foresaw the rise of the religious right and the power of the modern world, devoid of hope, to allow this to come into being. Those who condemn, deride, and continually scorn, be they religious or not, are without hope:

"Such is the mentality of modern man. There's no hope. Very well, then, let's make up our minds. Since all is absurd, let's fix it so that I can live to day its fullest, cot loose from the future which is the very thing that makes today's endeavor absurd. For all practical purposes I relegate to the absurd, to the darkness crawling with monsters, the future which no longer concerns me. I have no more desire to be an empire builder nor a world builder. The passion which motivates me does not spring from any conviction nor truth. If there no truth because there is no future, then nothing is worthwhile to live passionately the thing thatI'm doing this instant whatever it might be. I hve no reason to be concerned with its underlying causes, which psychoanalysis and sociology have taught me to go so very deeply into. Nor do I need to bother about its consequences, because history is a tale of disenchantment on that score. The thing is to live absolutely and solely in the present, "caught between the empire of disenchantment and the kingdom of illusion", which I want no part of." (pg. 14).
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