Love and Communication

Edition: 1st
Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 2021-08-09
Publisher(s): Polity
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Paddy Scannell's Love and Communication is an intriguing philosophical and religious inquiry into the meaning of 'talk' – and ultimately the meaning of 'being human'.

Taking an historical approach, Scannell argues that the fundamental media of communication are (and always have been) talk and writing. Far from obviating 20th century new media (radio and television), these old media laid the foundation for today's current technologies (AI and algorithms, for instance). Understanding the importance of these relationships, the book makes the case for recognizing what a religious sensibility might reveal about these technologies and the fundamental differences between a human-made world (which includes broadcasting) and a world that is beyond our grasp. Drawing on the pioneering work of John Durham Peters, the book proposes that communication and love go together, which can be understood in two ways, as a human accomplishment, or a divine gift. Ultimately, the book highlights the essential conundrum of today: do we wish to remain in a human><human world, or are we in the early stages of a human><machine world, and a world defined by machine><machine interactions?

Completing a trilogy that began in 2007, this book draws on a lifetime of academic work and the author's personal experience. It will be of interest to scholars and students of media and communication who will welcome this highly original and searching examination of love as communication.

Author Biography

Paddy Scannell is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan.

Table of Contents


Part One

Talk and communication

Writing and language

Chapter One     The Still Face Experiment

Chapter Two     Talk and writing

Chapter Three   The wonder of the world

Part Two


Chapter Four    Heidegger’s teacup

Chapter Five    Miracles

Chapter Six     Love and communication


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