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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Only the slave , whom the military order has made a commodity , draws out the
complete consequences of the reduction . ( Indeed , it is necessary to specify that
without slavery the world of things would not have achieved its plenitude . ) ...
Georges Bataille. PART Two Religion Within the Limits of Reason From the
Military Order 0 to Industrial Growth CHAPTER I The Military Order From a
Balance of Resources TWO RELIGION WITHIN THE LIMITS OF REASON.
From the outset Islam was a military order , limiting , even more strictly than
others , those activities whose purpose was not force and military conquest . But it
presents these peculiarities : it went , suddenly and discontinuously , from a ...