'Feted and reviled in his own lifetime, Marshall McLuhan has made a dramatic comeback in recent years. Marchessault gives a balanced and carefully considered appraisal of McLuhan’s contribution to cultural theory, which may be even more pertinent now, in the early twenty-first century, than when he originally formulated it in the 1950s and ‘60s' Jim McGuigan, Professor of Cultural Analysis, Loughborough University Why is McLuhan important? What use can we make of his approach to the media today? In this insightful critical introduction, McLuhan's contribution is carefully explained and his reputation reassessed. The book: · Explains McLuhan's key ideas · Engages with critical issues in media and contemporary art · Demonstrates the relevance of his work for students of media and communications · Addresses his methodological contribution · Revises our understanding of his place in the history of ideas. Illustrated with many examples from the network society, the book works as a guide to anyone who wants to know why McLuhan is important.

Sacred Technologies, Historical Imagination

Sacred Technologies, Historical Imagination

Sacred technologies, historical imagination

In tracing the history of literacy, McLuhan was also investigating the history of the human spirit. He was interested in the ‘desacralized cosmos’ as a ‘recent discovery’ that he correlated with literacy and with the splitting apart of word and action. While there are different modalities in which to experience the sacred, whether in the religious experience of time, ritual, human consecration, or in the vitality of physiological acts, the desacralized world is a product of modern consciousness. In The Sacred and the Profane (1961), Mircea Eliade analyzes this difference in terms of space. He argues that for religious cultures, space is not homogenous. Sacred spaces are not Euclidean, they are pluralistic, unique, and filled with qualitative differentiation, ...

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