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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It is in and by – or better still , as – “ his ” Desire that man is formed and is
revealed – to himself and to others – as an I , as the I that is essentially different
from , and radically opposed to , the non - I . The ( human ) I is the l of a Desire or
The apathy that the gaze of the animal expresses after the combat is the sign of
an existence that is essentially on a level with the world in which it moves like
water in water . CHAPTER II Humanity and the Development of the Profane
Of course this counter operation is not in any way opposed to the movement of
consciousness reduced to that which it essentially is – to that which , from the
start , each one of us always knew it was . But this will be clear consciousness
only in ...