Jacques Ellul – Introductory Reading Guide

May 22, 2015


Jacques Ellul

This week marked the anniversary of the death of Jacques Ellul….

Jacques Ellul was one of the keenest and most provocative Christian thinkers of the 20th century.

In remembrance of him, we offer this introductory reading guide, which highlights his most important books and suggests an order in which to read them.


7) The Humiliation of the Word

The Humiliation of the Word is Ellul’s exploration of the importance of language in Christian faith. After delineating in basic terms the distinction between truth and reality, the verbal and visual, Ellul explores the biblical-theological basis for this distinction. He examines the biblical emphasis on the word (both the divine Word and human words which witness to the divine truth) and the biblical critique of idolatry (which is, of course, visual). He goes on to delineate the ways in which the visual dominates modern life and to examine the correlate of this exaltation — the devaluation of the word.  Finally, Ellul focuses on specific aspects of the Bible that appear problematic and discusses the ultimate reconciliation of truth and reality that is to be found only in God.

BOOK 7 of 7



IMAGE CREDIT: From the Cover of Understanding Jacques Ellul