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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General View of the Relations of Production to Nonproductive Destruction • What
this negation of the divine value of works makes possible is the reign of
autonomous things – in a word , the world of industry . In archaic society ,
was required for the rational organization of an empire , as concerns the use of
the resources produced , in the first phase the order of things maintained
ambiguous relations with the archaic society ; production remained subordinated
Only the gigantic development of the means of production is capable of fully
revealing the meaning of production , which is the nonproductive consumption of
wealth – the fulfillment of self - consciousness in the free outbursts of the intimate
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Where This Book Is Situated
TWO RELIGION WITHIN THE LIMITS OF REASON
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