In July, I attended a conference at UC Berkeley dedicated to the life’s work of Jacques Ellul, the French philosopher, sociologist, law professor, lay theologian, and Christian Anarchist. The conference took place from July 6 to 8, 2016 at the Faculty Club on the Berkeley campus. Entitled Politics without Illusion, Revolution without Violence, the 3-day event drew on themes Ellul addressed in such works as The Political Illusion, The Politics of God and the Politics of Man, Autopsy of Revolution, De la révolution aux révoltes, Changer de révolution, Violence, and Anarchy and Christianity.
The conference organizers asked me to do a presentation of my poetry, relating to Ellul if possible, at the conference banquet, the evening of the second day, Thursday the 7th. I read “Artisan and Clerk” and “Science” from Rest on the Flight into Egypt, one of Ellul’s poems in French and in my translation, and a few remarks on culture by Ellul from The Technological Bluff (1988; English tr. 1990).
I also had the pleasure of chairing a plenary session on Friday July 8, from 9:00 to 10:30 am. Gregory Wagenfuhr will deliver a talk on Revolution or Subversion? A Constructive Critique of Ellul’s Vision of Christian Political Engagement. And Sylvie Justôme will present Resistance in Thought and Action: From the Global to the Local at Verndon.