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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movement in which it is given . In fact it is in leaving the world of things that the
lost intimacy is regained . But in reality the world of things is not the world by itself
and pure transcendence toward a pure intelligibility ( which is also , glimpsed all
forms that which the movement of transcendence made them : an intelligible
beyond of being , where it situates intimacy ... whose movement of violence was
given independently of evil ( in reason ' s being torn away from the sensuous
world ) ...
This complete scission surrendered his life to a movement that he no longer
controlled , a movement whose consequences eventually frightened him .
Logically this movement engages a large share of production in the installation of