The Rivers North of the Future: The Testament of Ivan Illich
In this provocative new book, respected Canadian journalist David Cayley compiles and reflects upon the thoughts of Ivan Illich, one of the 20th century's most visionary cultural critics. Illich believed that the West could only be understood as a corruption of the Christian New Testament. Cayley presents Illich's exploration of this idea, illuminating Illich's thoughts on...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by House of Anansi Press
(first published March 10th 2005)
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De Clarke, friend and feminist writer, dropped Ivan Illich on me (decades after he had been dropped on the public). This has been a few years now. My gratitude still runs deep, and I go back to Illich again and again and again. Illich was a thoughtful polemicist back in the day. His pamphlets on education-as-product (Deschooling), medicine as radical monopoly (Medical Nemesis), society and energy (Energy and Equity), to name a few, were characterized with an amazing clarity... but to get the cla...more
Jan 12, 2014 Thomas rated it 3 of 5 stars · review of another edition
I got this after Charles Taylor cited Illich so frequently in the final stages of "A Secular Age". Illich was a radical Roman Catholic thinker who believed that the modern world was essentially a corrupt outgrowth of early Christianity. His general explanation of the "corruption of the best is the worst" - in that the modern world is essentially a corruption/perversion of the Christian story and the new human relationship brought into being - using Christ's telling of the story of the Samaritan...more
Radical social critic Ivan Illich provides a bigger picture of modernity in this work, adapted from interviews with him near the end of his life. He basically argues that modernity is a corruption of Christianity, which has both good and bad consequences. His ideas are nothing if not thought-provoking; he highlights many features of modern society we take for granted and offers unexpected alternatives. As a work of refined philosophical history this book is insufficiently organized and argued, b...more
Ivan I. presses the uncomfortable notion of who's really your brother and what are you going to do about it. He sees the current control of the modern nation state as a perverted hybrid of the Christian Church. Not a pleasant read at times but even at it's tangled reasoned worse, it still rings authentic across a clanging chorus of new age self help writings competing for the readers attention.