Theory of Religion
Zone Books, 1989 - 126 páginas
Theory of Religion brings to philosophy what Georges Bataille's earlier book The Accursed Share brought to anthropology and history, namely, an analysis based on notions of excess and expenditure. No other work of Bataille's, and perhaps no other work anywhere since Weber's Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, has managed to draw so incisively the links between man's religious and economic activities.
"Religion," according to Bataille, "is the search for a lost intimacy." In a brilliant and tightly reasoned argument, he proceeds to develop a "general economy" of man's relation to this intimacy: from the seamless immanence of animality to the shattered world of objects and the partial, ritual recovery of the intimate order through the violence of the sacrifice. Bataille then reflects on the archaic festival, in which he sees not only the glorious affirmation of life through destructive consumption but also the seeds of another, more ominous order -- war.
Bataille then traces the rise of the modern military order, in which production ceases to be oriented toward the destruction of a surplus and violence is no longer deployed inwardly but is turned to the outside. In these twin developments one can see the origins of modern capitalism.
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Georges Bataille. Law and morality also have their place in the empire in that
they define a universal necessity of the relation of each thing with the others . But
the power of morality remains foreign to the system based on external violence .
He slowly reduced its violence to the sanction of the real order that morality
constitutes , provided that the real order conforms , precisely in morality , to the
universal order of reason . In reality , reason is the universal form of the thing (
Theoretically , the use of production was subordinated to morality , but morality
and the divine world were profoundly interdependent . The divine world drew its
strength from a violent negation which it condemned , and remained divine in