Mediology of the Incarnation


Regis Debray’s theory, Mediology, provides a powerful intellectual platform for examining means of cultural transmission. However, the vast majority of his communications remain in his native language, French. In an effort to glean further insight into Mediology, I have translated one of his lectures, titled “Incarnation, Médiation, Transmission”. This lecture originated from a conference in 1991 where Debray addressed the Protestant Faculty of Theology of Paris. More specifically, Debray discussed the current dilemma that grips Protestantism: How can they restore dwindling faith, how can they preserve their religious tradition? Through a thorough Mediological analysis, Debray concludes that the qualities on which Protestantism was founded severely limit its growth potential today, perhaps because our mediums for communication are changing. Salvation for Protestantism may lie in rebranding itself so that God can be found not only through “the Book”, but also through increasingly information-rich sciences and technology.


Translation of Regis Debray's Incarnation, Mediation, Transmission


I come here with humility, not being an expert of theology. What I have here is a profane, utilitarian report. First, I consider it – it’s a banality – like the first of the human sciences, it seems that everything anthropological should be in order. This is how, on a more personal note, I have come to find myself on a quest for the sacred. First, reflecting on that which was intellectual in the modern world, I have done my research and have evidently come down to the cleric, which is to say, the man who intercedes between transcendent values and “works and days”[1] , the human medium, the one who connects. I saw in him the man of God and, at the same time, the statesman in the house where he assumes the references of the founding values of a community. I’ve already committed myself to the path of religious reflection. Reflecting then on the socialist utopia, I evidently and like the rest of the world, noticed a secular messianism, errant, as if the utopia was nothing but a phase between two moments of religion. Reflecting next on the nation I’ve noted that the national idea has been the means of transference of the royal myth; that one has passed the sacred body of the king to the sacred body of the community, one and invisible, because of sacredness. And when I finally reflected on the idea of the republic and of secularism, I stumbled on these paradoxes that, basically, the republic is a religious idea, that secularism is perhaps a godless spirituality, that in any case it can’t exist without mystique.

So then, parting from purely historical and contingent phenomenons, how does one happen to bring back the enigma of belief. All this is trivial up to now. It was said by Durkheim, by all the sociologists, it was noted a hundred times, but never explained, that one cannot completely exist without dedicating himself to something infinite, or moreover, that reunion in one plain of reality supposes union on a superior plain of reality first.

Nevertheless, I believe, and I return to this in an exposé that may shock you, that these phenomenas of beliefs, or of transcendence, could have a logical explanation; and all the same, I would say that that one could generate it – and it’s this point that I worked to make in a book named "La critique de la raison politique ou l’inconscient religieux[2] , which I believe to be structurally invariant to the geneses of the group, which I named, in honor of the Theorem of Godel, the Incompleteness.

This means that no system can shut itself with the sole help of it's interior elements; otherwise said that the closure of a field, whatever it is, can only proceed contradictorily by opening an element exterior to that field. This is actually mathematically logical and the application of this axiom of Godel to the historic and social terrain is extremely fecund. It demonstrates that in terms of organization, immanence is fatal, since no set of relationships is self evident, or then it’s no longer a group. In other terms, the self proclaimed transcendence of a group only acts as the delimitation of the group; and for a group to delimit itself, that is to say distinguish itself from environmental chaos, acquire an identity, a stability, thus a durability, it must refer to itself as a real and symbolic entity, physical or mathematical, by which it unifies itself as a community. This point of unification is the sacredness of the group; this could could be a manager, an author, a father of a testament, a writer; in any case the expression “religious community” is a pleonasm. Otherwise said, it is natural that there is the supernatural; In this way I have applied the old expression “natural religion” to my argument. Finally, one understands why the infinite is bound to the body of finite; in the measure where something finite is embodied, it encloses itself and can only close itself by opening itself; by opening itself to an element outside its domain. Translated not terms of logic but of morals: reduced to its essence, humanity goes to its ruin, or additionally, humanity is insufficient, because it is separated from itself; it’s that which can be translated in terms of the attitude of conscience: Hagel has already said it, “only the animal is innocent”, man must justify himself. To my understanding, he must justify himself in the measure where he makes a group, he forms a community; the fulfillment, the sentiment of fullness always comes to us from elsewhere, from a presence not present. It’s said that there is a certain inhumanity to the human, that these religious doctrines convey superhumanness. They need it because man is otherwise unsatisfied by the absence.

That’s is my definition the sacred. I recognize that there are some reasons to not like this word first employed very loosely, and also because sacred is not divine: but in any case, I have given you my logical construction of this idea, which is not the attribute or the propriety of a Being but much more so a rapport between a community and the Being, personal or not, by which it comes sees itself as a community. This point of contact of a transcendent element with a strategy for immanence, this relationship established between a founding text and a community, this is the work of mediation: this is the role of the man most especially charged by his group to relay the unforeseeable daily events with the Valeur[3] , the Founding Heros, or the Literary Saints.

The social aporia is that the group is powerless to appear transparently to itself as a justified whole. That’s what acts as the intermediary, the kingpin of the group: the non-immediacy of the social whole displaces the hard core of the group’s enigma (how does the group form, how is a connection formed?) on the figure of the mediator. So, mediology, is that what it signifies? I recognize that it’s an ambiguous word and perhaps inappropriate, because there is a confusion with media, mass media, so then the problem is much more more radical; and then there are all sorts of branches of knowledge: one could have the study of astrology or that of ethnology, one should not confuse a false science with a discipline. I do not know what the future will be for mediology. I specify in any case what I mean by “médio”; for me, médio is the combination of intermediate bodies, it’s the entre-deux [the in-between], between an intelligible being and his sensible effects, mundane or political. Jules Lagneau, who was an idealist, a great professor at the end of the last century, said: what could the pure spirit do if it did not begin by giving itself a body for acting on the other bodies? A body, what does that mean? First, a letter is a typographical body, in the case of the written and printed transmission, that which implies materialization, with an external physical support; but a body is also a collective organization, that is to say a school, a club of thoughts, a network, but also a sect, a church, in short, an institution of the senses where one talks of these bodies of the State; then a body is also a tradition, a memory, that is to say, a channel of susceptible transmission that can carry the body of a message from generation to generation.

You see that “médio”, is the combination of intermediate bodies that solidify an abstraction, that acts as a verb that makes itself flesh, that an ideology becomes a material force, that a parlance becomes evident. Every form of effective symbolism, by which a word, an image, a sign acts as a force and displaces [other] forces. The immaterial produces material effects, it seems to be something completely natural, but, personally, I am astonished, since astonishment is the beginning of philosophy. I find it absolutely stupefying and I insist on understanding, but it seems to us so natural that we are accustomed to thinking that there is nothing to understand. It’s true that I have already been surprised to discover a practitioner of power in the intellectual, an entirely practical and not very sympathetic man; otherwise said, the great mediators are great organizers, which has already been a reason to connect the question of the organization with the question of the transmission. An educator is a conductor of men; and Calvin was an intellectual and an educator, but he was also as much an homme de fer[4] as a man of power. Protestantism interests me because it forces me to go to the limits of my system of explanation. I will return to this point.

What is mediology? it’s a certain way of problematizing Christian solutions, and the first of the Christian solutions which is, for me, the most opaque and the most enlightening to the time (in the measure where it codes the great human mystery) is the dogma of the incarnation. The figure of the mediator by excellence, the unique and singular mediator, Christ – “no one can come to the Father except through me” – and so the unsurpassable, universal, and normative mediator of salvation.

I am not going to relay here the story of the dogma of the incarnation which is a political and theologically complicated story. I am not going to talk with you of the Council of Nicea – in any case just to say that all the same it’s a question (that of the mediator) linked to the dualistic Western space. I think that in China, unified cosmology, organic cosmology, all the spaces are able to become mediums, otherwise said, one doesn’t need to fill the gaps between the soul and the body, the material and the spiritual : everything is spiritual. I say that to raise the idea that the formidable Christian revolution is necessitated by the Platonic dualism which formed the Western thought.

That which seems astonishing to me in the incarnation, and promising for the mediologue, is what I will call the “rite of shame”. Christianity gave the body a crucial ontological status, which makes Christianity a veritable Hellenistic heresy. The saving material was a scandal. The old prison that was the body during a thousand years of Hellenic thought or Hellenism thus became, not what frees souls, but the means by which the salvation of the soul arrives. To me, that seems to be to genius of Christianity.

The body as a mean of communication with the Eternal, the body as a mean of deliverance is obviously the Gospel of Christ, but it’s also, Saint Paul. Perhaps I do not have the same Saint Paul as you, the one of grace, of salvation by the faith; me, I have Saint Paul the “materialist”. Anyway, It’s probably not that different; I interpret Christianity as a materialistic religion, as mediology is a religious materialism: we are made to understand! A religious materialism, insofar as I refuse to think in binary, which is to say the sign and the thing, the soul and the body, the interior and the exterior; the important thing is the ponter[5] , that is to say to act of making them intersect and fertilize one another. All the same, Saint Peter is a man who excellently highlighted the physical aspect of the spirituality: he urged Christians to offer their bodies but he also had this conception of the Church as the body of Christ, so Christians are the members; it was all a theme of the community as a body. It’s not a metaphor, but literally a reality, since he does not separate from the spiritual material. So, for example, the real presence, the bread and the wine, also makes the spiritual presence of the flesh and the blood. And Saint Paul also said to the apostles that they were a letter of Christ, written not with ink but with the spirit of the living God (moreover, epistle and apostle, it’s the same saying in Greek). In this very imaginative, unorthodox way, I thus see Saint Peter as the man who developed this aspect of anti-Hellenism in Christianity. To know that the spirit does not exist outside the body, like the Christian does not exist outside his community, is to say that the faith is collective or it isn’t.

For me, it’s the bodies that think, and not the spirit. There was a political exploitation of this concept of the body since unfortunately, a body like that has a head and that head commands: the body of Christ is the Church, which has a head, thus a hierarchy, and there, next to justification by faith, there is already implementation of a monarchy. In any case, I learned from the spread of Christianity (here you do not agree, otherwise you would not exist as Protestants) that to transmit is to submit, to organize is to hierarchize. It’s to structure a “being together” because the ascent to God is done together: the liturgical acts, the congregational hymns... From the outset, the Christian transmission is a political transmission, to the time where there is a community and everything is hierarchic. At any rate, the mystery of the incarnation, stands out as the greatest revolution we have known in the history of the past past two millennia. It was because of it that there is a Christian era and the Occident. This civilization is not like the others, first because there are images in the monotheistic Occident while the other two monotheisms exclude the image; there is a possible figurative intercession: we are the civilization of painting, of cinema and today of video, a little because of the incarnation. Islam and Judaism were not the means of passage for this invasion of idolatry, which today takes the form of a punishment, but it would be wisely noted that even Christianity, in its infancy, condemned the image, and as it arrived to power, after the fourth century, it found that the image was necessary.

We have also been, as the civilization of the incarnation, the place of development for physical science. For the Greeks, it was unthinkable to make a science for that which moves, the science of life; for them, they only had science that was immobile, there was only science that was mathematic. If there was for us a physical math, it’s because it was conceivable to search for a rationale in the things, since a verb became flesh in the individual; behind the flesh of appearances, it was a spiritual or rational verb. The appearance created meaning. And so the incarnation permitted this “admirable” institution that is the Catholic Church. I say admirable for the solidity, the longevity, the continuity and the efficiency: that which interests me, captures my attention, in the Protestant formation, that which obliges me to raise question, is that you are apparently in some sort of denial of my thesis. I explain myself: same as primitive Christianity was the intrusion of a strong mediology in the world of a weak mediology, that is to say, the intrusion of a whole series of intermediaries between the meaning and the things, Protestantism was the intrusion of a very specific mediology in a religiosity of overly rich mediations. These organs of transmission, which were called the Virgin, angels, saints, martyrs, priests... you dispensed of, and yet the transmission was made and continues. You removed the driving belts for transmission and there was a tradition, which is to say heritage. That is surprising and deserves tribute, even a pass at mediological reflection.

Second mediological paradox: you have separated the faith of religion. For you, the primacy of the individual conscience makes the Church a simple means and not an end in itself. But, my contention is that the ecclesiology would lead to the formation of Catholic theology, that it was the organizational constraints that led to select among the dogmas, the most compatible dogmas with the best organization possible. But, when [one takes the Scripture and the faith for authority, the ecclesiastic messianism shifts and the Church is no longer the minister of the mediation of Christ. You are the most secular of religions and yet this religion exists. But your qualities have perhaps become problems. Why?

You know my little tripartition.

Firstly, the logosphere, age of the oral, of the oral revelation, like all the great religious revelations, and positioned nevertheless in a text (for us, the Old and the New Testament). This age of the logosphere (“logos” in the Hellenic and Joannic[6] sense of the word, the reason of things, the vital breath, the spirit of the world), it’s something that characterized the world of transmissions until the birth of printing or graphoshpere, that is to say, the replacement of the sacred book by books, up until the emergence of what I call the videosphere, spawned from the mechanization of the image and, today, its digitization.

Everyone knows that Luther is a son of Gutenberg, everyone knows that the Reform is more a religion of reading the book that a religion of the book, religion of the written transmission, religion by text and exegesis, by public recitation or more accurately by private assimilation. We are not, today, in this sphere. Does Protestantism not suffer from what might be called the cathodic counter-reform, which is to say, the preeminence given to the image, to the visual, to the affective, with all that is monarchic and authoritarian [to] the transmission of images? Protestantism is religion of symbolism, Catholicism is more a religion of the imagination, close to the magical and to the affective, closer to the body and thus more visible. Isn’t the lack of visibility today a problem for a religion that was steeped in the written sign?

Second Question: Protestantism, solution to the lesser evil?

It may be more of a lesson: when I said that the evangelical religions were less organized than the Catholic religion, I was a little hasty. Since there is an organizational flow chart, councils, synods, synodical assemblies, there is very well a Protestant hierarchy. But what seems to me entirely respectable and interesting for a mediologue, professional of the organization and of the transmission, is that it acts as an ascending hierarchy and not descending: it functions by election and not by the nomination. Therefore, it seems to me that Calvinism and Lutheranism did not escape the necessity of the Orthodoxy, which is to say the necessity of the relationship of order. Can one think of an organized community life that is not characterized by a hierarchic relationship, by a relationship of obedience and of commandment? One needs an institution to escape the cruelty of the moment, the cruelty of force, one needs an institution for the duration.

Can there be an institution without boundaries and thus without alienation, can there be an institution without orthodoxy? It is possible that you have historically found the response of lesser evil. It seems to me a little too easy to say that the founders – Luther or Calvin – weren’t founders of orthodoxy. We hasten then to charge Beza, the same as we charged Saint Paul or as the Marxists charged Lenin. So then successors carry the sin of exclusion, of hierarchy, dogmatism. There was Michael Servetus, that is to say that there was establishment of one law, one magistrate, one discipline, with sanction, regulation, excommunication. The decisions of pastors, in Geneva, in the 16th century, were enforceable, there was a secular arm. In short, not everything was pneumatic, charismatic, there were also strong organizational constraints. It seems to me however that in this dialectic of the closed and the opened, of immanence and of transcendence, you, Protestants, found the optimal degree of openness. I personally admire the fact that a confession, an act of faith that gives primacy to both the individual and to the interiority, could go on, in effect, spread and be instituted without confiscation of inner freedom. It is something that seems quite exceptional. I am not aware of a statue of the Galileo in Rome, but the the Calvinists, of the beginning of this century have erected an expiatory statue to Michael Servetus near Geneva; there, for the Republican and the Democrat that I am, something signifies the Protestant originality.



Introduction


"Qu’est-ce que la médiologie? C’est une certaine façon de problématiser les solutions chrétiennes et la première des solutions chrétiennes qui est pour moi la plus opaque et la plus éclairante à la fois (dans la mesure où elle code le grand mystère humain), c’est le dogme de l’incarnation." ~ R. Debray

“What is mediology? it’s a certain way of problematizing Christian solutions, and the first of the Christian solutions which is, for me, the most opaque and the most enlightening to the time (in the measure where it codes the great human mystery) is the dogma of the Incarnation.”


With a belief that dominant religions have shaped cultures and impacted events throughout history, I am interested in understanding how Protestantism, in particular, rose to power. An especially strong religious tradition in the United States, Protestantism is a worthy subject to examine under a Mediological lens. Where does Protestant faith originate? Is faith even necessary within Protestantism? How does Protestantism establish its identity separately from other Christian traditions such as Catholicism? Is Protestantism sustainable within our society? Are other Christian traditions sustainable within our society? Debray’s theory lends itself excellently to these questions of identity and sustainability, which are largely “invisible”, unquantifiable, yet key players in the act of transmitting cultural ideas.


The Body, The Meaning and the Medium


In his lecture, Debray argues that Protestantism and Catholicism are not actually so different. They both have a church body, a congregation of people. Both bodies create themselves by defining what they value and what they condemn, religiously speaking, by creating a canon. The act of seeking these values highlights the values’ position outside the church body, all the while, betraying the location of the sinful counterparts within the body. Debray aptly notes that humans feel a need to explain themselves, defend their innocence and find greater meaning. The greater meaning Debray refers to in this case is the idea of God, which is to say superhumanness. Protestants and Catholics alike relentlessly seek the superhumanness located outside their church body.

While both Protestants and Catholics have a God seeking congregation, their mediums, or paths from the church body to God, differ greatly. The Catholic Church has a broad, well-defined hierarchical structure that connects the church body to God. Debray cites the Virgin, angels, saints, martyrs and priests as médios, or the transportive agents within the structure of a medium. Meanwhile, Protestants have a more narrowly defined structure connecting the church body to God. For Protestants, it is the active teaching and practice of the word of God – the Bible – which serves as the primary médio.

A specific example Debray discusses is the difference in the Catholic and Protestant observations of the Eucharist. The Catholic body is more charismatic, meaning it is a more image-centric religion in which its médios are divinely conferred. The Catholic Eucharist is the literal act of consuming Jesus Christ’s divine flesh and blood, thereby cleansing the body’s sinful nature by consuming some amount of superhumanness. In the Protestant tradition, by comparison, the Eucharist merely represents the body and blood of Jesus Christ. For Protestants, consuming the symbolic bread and wine serves as a meditative cleansing act and a faithful observation of the written word of God. While, the Protestant tradition mindfully brings God to its church body – perhaps by way of faith, perhaps merely by way interpretation and symbolism – the Catholic Church, physically brings God to its church body most definitely by way of faith.

Leonardo Da Vinci's "Last Supper" (1495-1498)
Leonardo Da Vinci's "Last Supper" (1495-1498)

A Note on the Translation


Debray references Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem to support his assertion that phenomenas of belief or transcendence could have a logical explanation. With regard to mathematical equations, Godel[7] thought that if a system was consistent it couldn’t be complete, and consistency could not be proved within a system. The book in which Debray claims to expound upon the idea of “Incompleteness” has not been translated to English yet, so I left its title in French. The words roughly translate to “The critique of political logic or religious unconsciousness”. Debray connects the idea of “Incompleteness” with his theory of mediology in his lecture by stating:

"L’aporie sociale, c’est que le groupe est impuissant à s’apparaître en transparence à lui-même comme totalité fondée. C’est ce qui fait de l’intermédiaire la cheville ouvrière du groupe : la non-immédiateté de l’ensemble social déplace le noyau dur de l’énigme du collectif (comment ça se fait qu’il y a du groupe, comment ça se fait qu’il y a du lien ?) sur la figure du médiateur."

“The social aporia is that the group is powerless to appear transparently to itself as a justified whole. That’s what acts as the intermediary, the kingpin of the group: the non-immediacy of the social whole displaces the hard core of the group’s enigma (how does the group form, how is a connection formed?) on the figure of the mediator."


A Question of Faith

The first printed Bible: the Gutenberg Bible (c. 1454)
The first printed Bible: the Gutenberg Bible (c. 1454)

Despite Protestantism being the most secular of the great religions, it still exists as a religion. The degree of secularism is both curious and problematic: curious to mediologists and problematic to Protestants. While Protestants argue that faith is integral to their religion, mediologists such as Debray are more than willing to cross that mental divide and entertain the opposite idea. What if faith is not necessary for the transmission of Protestant values? At its core, what is the content of the Bible – the primary Protestant médio – to Protestants? Is the text taken as the word of God through an act of faith? Or is the Biblical text scholarly interpreted through an act of education? Is the Bible a “living book”, which is to say a médio directly connected to a “living God”? Or is the Bible a relic of our past?

The Catholic Church body does not interpret God, divinity, but this is exactly what the Protestant Church body does. Ironically, the act of interpreting the Biblical text, which was so empowering to the Protestant Church body when it was formed in the 16th century, is the very quality that has the church body sailing rudderless in the water, powerless to changes in the proverbial cultural winds. The Image is a much stronger gathering point than group interpretation in today’s opinionated, individualistic, image-centric world. One might well wonder: is the word of God timeless? Has the Bible – a book – withstood the test of time? Or has mental stimulation through new forms of media mortally wounded this sacred, printed work within the Protestant tradition?

A Note on the Translation


Debray takes his time to define le sacré, which I have translated as the sacred, or sacredness. In continuity with the Theorem of Godel, Debray states that the sacred is the point of unification between real and symbolic, the entre-deux, the “between two” or the “in-between”. He also states that sacred is not divine.The sacred is the unquantifiable médio that links a church body to the divine, which is the symbolic superhumanness.


Technology and the Times


“Vous connaissez ma petite tripartition...” ~ R.Debray

In his lecture, Debray introduces his theory of mediospheres that define the ages. The first sphere, the logosphere is the age of oral evaluation, which is characterized by writing, the (one) kingdom, religions and faith. He argues that the logosphere defined religious transmissions until the onset of printing, which signaled the beginning of the graphosphere. The graphosphere can be distinguished by the nation, knowledge and laws. At this point in history, the sacred Bible could be reprinted en masse and distributed widely to large collectivities. After the graphosphere came the videosphere, or the age of audio and video broadcasting. The videosphere can be distinguished by individuals, information and opinions. This is the sphere which defines our current time and culture.

Debray is careful to balance of the emphasis on technology and social codes for each age, for each medium. He argues that the graphosphere and videosphere originated in the Occident by no mistake. To some degree, the prominent role of the Image in the Christian Church’s médios created a fertile space for new image-centric mediums to develop. Debray argues that the Incarnation, or the embodiment of the Son of God in human flesh and blood, marries the Image to our Western culture, and thus the Image manifests itself in our mediums. The Image and the sacred mystery of its tie to God, superhumanness, became fundamental to Catholicism by the fourth century. Protestantism, however, gained its distinction from the Catholic Church in the 16th century by cutting through much of the dualistic, charismatic Imagery. Instead of valuing physical forms, the Protestant Church put its value into the realm of the mind, thoughtfulness and interpretation. While the graphosphere may have made the formation of Protestantism possible with its emphasis on knowledge and ideologies, the progression of the videosphere may favor the médios of the Catholic Church.

A Note on the Translation


Galileo, a 16th century scientist who claimed the Earth revolved around the sun, was strongly condemned by the Catholic Church as a heretic. Debray stated that he was not aware of any statue to Galileo in Rome, inferring that he was not aware of any effort made by the Catholic community to acknowledge their wrongness and modify their ways. Since Debray gave his lecture in 1991, however, the Catholic Church has admitted to treating Galileo poorly, and at one point it even made plans to erect a statue of him within the Vatican walls. This plan has not been carried out.[8] ) Arguably, Debray’s observation of the Catholic attitude towards change remains largely accurate.

Around the same time of Galileo’s condemnation, Michael Servetus, a scientist and theologian who opposed the Trinity (the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost), was burnt at the stake as a heretic by the Protestant council of Geneva. At the beginning of the 20th century, Debray notes that Calvinists (Protestants) built a statue in honor of Michael Sevetus’ intellectual contributions. Debray comments that Protestants may have found the optimal degree of “du clos et de l’ouvert, de l’immanence et de la transcendance”, which generally means the “degree of open-minded change and closed-minded dogma, the degree of secularism and faith in the divine.” Debray carries on by saying that the Protestant willingness to confess (here, not a reference to the Catholic sacrament) may be the “Protestant originality” – perhaps ultimately the quality that will allow the Protestant Church to transcend their dependence on the written word and adapt the age of digitization.


Conclusion

Building off of Debray’s ideas, I would argue that Protestants need to redefine their body in order to reestablish their connection to the Incarnation and restore belief. Considering that Protestantism has already established itself as a rather secular tradition, perhaps the best move is to further embrace new sciences and technologies. As a side effect, this may cause their church body to become even more secular, but as Debray points out, this may not be a problem since faith may not be entirely necessary in the first place. Mediologically speaking, the Western church bodies that define themselves with the Incarnation may be splitting two directions: one towards the Image and belief in a living God, another towards Information through new mediums, with a heritage in Jesus. Protestantism, moving towards the latter, should embrace its path away from the spiritual Image and towards virtual Information.

"The Resurrection of Piss Christ"
"The Resurrection of Piss Christ"





Further Reading


The Mediology Website (mostly in French) and What is Mediology (English)

Regis Debray's Website (French)

The Resurrection of Piss Christ Website

Works Cited


Debray, Regis, “Incarnation, Médiation, Transmission” Les Cahiers du christianisme social, n•32 , 1991-1992.

Debray, Regis, “Media Manifestos”, pp. 1-40; 69-79; 97-107; Tables, 171-174. Chap. 1 in pdf.

Debray, Regis “Transmitting Culture”, New York: Columbia University Press, 2000, (excerpts), Trans. Eric Rauth.

Debray, Regis, "What is Mediology?" Le Monde Diplomatique, Aug., 1999, Trans. Martin Irvine.

Joscelyne, Andrew, "Debray on Technology", Wired Magazine, Jan. 1995.

Kurt Godel wikipedia page

Odhner, Carl T., “Michael Servetus, his life and teachings”, Press of J.B. Lippincott Company, 1910.

Owen, Richard, “Catholic Church abandons plans to erect statue of Galileo”, The Times, January 29, 2009.

“Proceedings of the Trial Against Galileo Galilei”, Vatican Secret Archives, 1616, 1632-1633.
  1. ^ Translator's Note: This is most likely an allusion to an ancient Greek poem written by Hesiod called “Works and Days”
  2. ^ Translator's Note: This book has not been translated to English, so I have left the title in French. The words roughly translate to “The critique of political logic or religious unconsciousness”
  3. ^ Translator's Note: The eminence, the value
  4. ^ Translator's Note: Literally translates to “man of iron” or “iron man”; Perhaps a reference to Joseph Stalin
  5. ^ Translator's Note: Roughly translates to "bridge-ify"
  6. ^ Translator's Note: Joannic refers to Saint John
  7. ^ Kurt Godel Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_G%C3%B6del
  8. ^ Owen, Richard, “Catholic Church abandons plans to erect statue of Galileo”, The Times, January 29, 2009. Retrieved from: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article5612996.ece