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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Such a truth is negative , and we will not be able to establish it absolutely . We
can at least imagine an embryo of that ability in animals , but we cannot discern it
clearly enough . While a study of those embryonic aptitudes can be done , such a
The Positing of Immanent Elements in the Sphere of Objects The positing of the
object known clearly and distinctly from without generally defines a sphere of
objects , a world , a plane on which it is possible to situate clearly and distinctly ,
... know ourselves distinctly and clearly until the day we see our selves from the
outside as another . Moreover , this will depend on our first having distinguished
the other on the plane where manufactured things have appeared to us distinctly