Love and Communication
Love and Communication

<i>Love and Communication</i> is an intriguing philosophical and religious inquiry into the meaning of “talk” – and ultimately the meaning of “being human.”

Taking an historical approach, Paddy Scannell argues that the fundamental media of communication are (and always have been) talk and writing. Far from being made redundant by twentieth-century new media (radio and television), these old media laid the foundation for today’s technologies (AI and algorithms, for instance). Emphasizing these linkages, Scannell makes the case for recognizing what a religious sensibility might reveal about these technologies and the fundamental differences between a humanmade world 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 essential conundrum of today is highlighted: do we wish to remain in a human>

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.

Show More
Buy Now


Order Exam Copy

For Lecturers Only

More Info
  • August 2021
  • 160 pages
  • 143 x 221 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $59.95
  • 9781509547524
  • Paperback $19.95
  • 9781509547531
  • Open eBook $48.00
  • 9781509547548
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

About the Author
Paddy Scannell is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan.
Show More


Love and Communication marks yet another chapter in Paddy Scannell’s searching and brilliant investigations of media, communication, and everyday life. Working through ideas about language and talk, Scannell provides a fascinating account of what restores our trust in the goodness of daily, everyday life: faith, hope, and love. For a new generation of media scholars grappling with a digital world on edge, this book is an indispensable guide.”
Aswin Punathambekar, University of Virginia

“This rare and special book is the synthesis of a career considering the most fundamental issues of communication. It brings together talk and communication, language and writing, radio and television, along with three worlds: God’s world of yesterday, the human world of today, and the machine world of tomorrow.”
John Durham Peters, Yale University

“Paddy Scannell’s new thought-provoking book is a sort of intellectual and scholarly testament...this profound study is a great deal more than merely a summary of a prominent communications scholar’s research and reflections. He also feels forced to explore hitherto largely ignored territory.”

Show More