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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CHAPTER II Humanity and the Development of the Profa ne World For the moment , I will not try to give the foregoing a firmer support . What I have said implies an excursion of the intellect outside the domain of the discontinuous which ...
But this generalized reduction , this perfect fulfillment of the thing , is the necessary condition for the conscious and fully developed posing of the problem of man's reduction to thinghood . Only in a world where the thing has ...
In the first place it was not amenable to the autonomous development of clear consciousness or of philosophy ( yet ... Mysticism and monasticism developed ; the arts remained in principle within the limits of iconoclasm but escaped ...