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Hardcover | Out of Print | ISBN: 9780942299083 | 128 pp. | 6 x 8.8 in | January 1989
Paperback | $27.95 Trade | £19.95 | ISBN: 9780942299090 | 128 pp. | 6 x 8.8 in | June 1992

Theory of Religion

Translated by Robert Hurley

Overview

Theory of Religion brings to philosophy what Bataille's earlier book, The Accursed Share, brought to anthropology and history; namely, an analysis based on notions of excess and expenditure. Bataille brilliantly defines religion as so many different attempts to respond to the universe's relentless generosity. Framed within his original theory of generalized economics and based on his masterly reading of archaic religious activity, Theory of Religion constitutes, along with The Accursed Share, the most important articulation of Bataille's work.Georges Bataille (1897-1962), founder of the French review Critique, wrote fiction and essays on a wide range of topics. His books in English translation include Story of the Eye, Blue of Noon, Literature and Evil, Manet and Erotism.Robert Hurley is the translator of The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault and cotranslator of Anti Oedipus by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. Distributed for Zone Books.

About the Author

Georges Bataille (1897-1962) was a French writer, essayist, and philosopher whose works include The Story of the Eye, The Blue of Noon, The Accursed Share, and Theory of Religion.

Endorsements

“"According to Bataille, religion is the search for a lost intimacy.' Bataille's discussion of this claim moves from the complete immanence of animality to the shattered world of objects and then to the partial recovery of intimacy and immanence through sacrifice. More ominous, Bataille argues that not only was the archaic festival an affirmation of life through destructive consumption, but it also sowed the seeds of war. The book concludes with a discussion of the rise of the modern military order and the origins of modern capitalism. The argument here is wide-ranging and significant. Ethics”