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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Insofar as tools are developed with their end in view , consciousness posits them
as objects , as interruptions in the indistinct continuity . The developed tool is the
nascent form of the non - I . The tool brings exteriority into a world where the ...
And this autonomous determination of consciousness brings about , in dualism ,
a profound alteration in the representation of the world . Originally , within the
divine world , the beneficent and pure elements opposed the malefic and impure
Of course archaic man did not continually participate in the contagious violence
of intimacy , but if he was removed from it , the rituals always kept the power to
bring him back to it at the proper time . At the level of the dualistic conception , no