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The Rivers North of the Future

Written by Charles Taylor

& David Cayley

  • 256 Pages
  • 9780887848933
  • EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects
  • PHILOSOPHY / Political



Publication Date February 26, 2005

In The Rivers North of the Future David Cayley has compiled Ivan Illich's moving and insightful thoughts concerning the fate of the Christian Gospel.

Illich's view, which could be summed up as "the corruption of the best is the worst," is that Jesus' call to love more abundantly became the basis for new forms of power in the hands of those who organized and administered this New Testament. Illich also explores the invention of technology, the road from hospitality to the hospital, the criminalization of sin, the church as the template of the modern state, and the death of nature. Illich's analysis of contemporary society as a congealed and corrupted Christianity is both a bold historical hypothesis and a call to believers to re-invent the Christian church.

With a foreword by Charles Taylor.

Ivan Illich (1926-2002) was a brilliant polymath, an iconoclastic thinker, and a prolific writer. He was a priest, vice-rector of a university, founder of the Centre for Intercultural Documentation in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and author of numerous books, including Deschooling Society, Tools for Conviviality, Energy and Equity, and Medical Nemesis.


Charles Taylor
Charles Taylor is emeritus professor of philosophy at McGill University. He is also the author of the much acclaimed books Sources of the Self and A Secular Age. He is the winner of the 2007 Templeton Prize.

David Cayley
David Cayley is a producer at CBC Radio as well as a writer. He is the author of The Rivers North of the Future and The Expanding Prison which began as a series of broadcasts for Ideas. Cayley is also a contributor to Anansi's In Conversation series, which includes books on Ivan Illich, Northrop Frye, and George Grant. He lives in Toronto.