One of the most original thinkers of the twentieth century, Jacques Ellul (1912–1994) was a French law professor, sociologist, lay theologian, and self-described “Christian anarchist.” Collecting Ellul’s lectures on the Bible, On Being Rich and Poor contains his prescient meditations on some of the most important theological questions of the modern age. In this volume, a follow-up to the Ellul lectures collected in On Freedom, Love, and Power, Ellul asks how it is that Christianity can justify abandoning the poorest, weakest, and most vulnerable members of society, depriving the next generation of a liveable future, and participating in an unprecedented wave of environmental destruction.
In these talks, Ellul observes that some of the harshest language in the Jewish and Christian Bibles is reserved for those who are rich and powerful, and thus able to bend others to their will. Through his analysis of the prophetic vision of Amos and the epistle of James, Ellul exposes the gap between the principles of Christian life and the practices of the modern world. Critiquing a world that values domination over collaboration, he offers an alternative path.
Transcribed from the original recordings and translated by Willem H. Vanderburg, a student and long-time colleague of Ellul’s, On Being Rich and Poor is an unprecedented look at how one of the twentieth century’s foremost thinkers grappled with some of today’s most challenging issues.
|Publisher:||University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.78(h) x 0.74(d)|
About the Author
Willem H. Vanderburg is the founding director of the Centre for Technology and Social Development and is now Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Amos
Chapter 1: Introduction to Amos
Chapter 2: The Prophecies Against the Six Surrounding Nations
Chapter 3: The Prophecies Against Judah and Israel
The Prophecy Against Judah
The Prophecy Against Israel
Chapter 4: Intertwining Themes…
The Role of Prophecy
Chapter 5: God’s Pedagogy and the Evolving Revelation
The Five Scourges
God Awaits His People
Chapter 6: Justice and Related Themes
The Power of God
Chapter 7: The Five Visions
The Five Visions
Vision and the Word
Chapter 8: Confronting the Religious Establishment, and the Silence of God
The Quarrel with the High Priest of Bethel
The Silence of God
Chapter 9: Reconciliation
Israel in History
Israel from an Eschatological Perspective
Part 2: The Letter of James
Chapter 10: Introduction to James
Chapter 11: Overview of the Christian Life
To All People
Life as a Test of Who We Are
Money as a Test
Beginning a New Life
The Word and the New Life
Chapter 12: The Other
Life without Religion?
Life as the Practice of Faith
Chapter 13: The Word
Wisdom, Intelligence, Words and Lies
Chapter 14: Life in the World
What Is the World?
The World and Defilement
The World of Judgements and Planning
Chapter 15: To Whom or What do we Belong?
The World of the Rich
Chapter 16: Our Christian Lives Together
Postscript: The Poverty and Riches of Jews and Christians
The Flesh, the Law and the Spirit
Love and Justice
Grafted Onto the Jewish Tree
What People are Saying About This
“On Being Rich and Poor is one of the best introductions to Jacques Ellul’s Christian views. His discussion of prophecy and prophets is eye-opening, and his commentary on the epistle of James is likewise startling. This is a remarkable book that will unsettle both Christians and non-Christians who think they know what Christianity is.”
“On Being Rich and Poor is a book whose time has come, for there are numerous Christians of every persuasion who have given up on the Church, confusing its institutional machinations with the simplicity of faith in God through Christ. Willem H. Vanderburg helps bring to light Ellul’s astute observations and insight, clearing away some of the clutter that Christianity has gathered through the centuries.”