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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Where This Book Is Situated vanThe foundation of one ' s thought is the thought
of another ; thought is like a brick cemented into a wall . It is a simulacrum of
thought if , in his looking back on himself , the being who thinks sees a free brick
ment of thought to restricted domains , as scientists do , no one could assimilate
the acquired knowledge . To the essential incompletion of thought this adds an
inevitable de facto incompletion . Moreover , rigor demands a clear recognition of
It is true that the results of thought are strangely tied to tests of rivalry . No one can
entirely separate what he thinks from the real authority the expression of this
thought will have . And authority is acquired in the course of games whose ...