Theory of religion

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Zone Books, Jan 20, 1989 - Philosophy - 126 pages
9 Reviews
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.

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Review: Theory of Religion

User Review  - Joe - Goodreads

10/27/2010 Bataille, Kojčve, Nietzsche It is remarkable that none of the previous reviews here on Amazon mention Alexandre Kojčve. At the end of this book Bataille lists several authors who provided ... Read full review

Review: Theory of Religion

User Review  - mm - Goodreads

I found the translation a bit choppy. It left me with the feeling that it was translated literally as opposed to figuratively. This makes it much more difficult to understand. Throughout the book, I ... Read full review

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About the author (1989)

Georges Bataille was a French poet, novelist, and philosopher. He was born in Billon, Puy-de-Dome, in central France on September 10, 1897. His father was already blind and paralyzed from syphilis when Bataille was born. In 1915, Bataille's father died, his mind destroyed by his illness. The death marked his son for life. While working at the Bibliotheque National in Paris during the 1920s, Bataille underwent psychoanalysis and became involved with some of the intellectuals in the Surrealist movement, from whom he learned the concept of incongruous imagery in art. In 1946 he founded the journal Critique, which published the early work of some of his contemporaries in French intellectual life, including Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida. Bataille believed that in the darkest moments of human existence-in orgiastic sex and terrible death-lay ultimate reality. By observing them and even by experiencing them, actually in sex and vicariously in death, he felt that one could come as close as possible to fully experiencing life in all its dimensions. Bataille's works include The Naked Beast at Heaven's Gate (1956), A Tale of Satisfied Desire (1953), Death and Sensuality: A Study of Eroticism and the Taboo (1962), and The Birth of Art: Prehistoric Painting (1955). Bataille died in Paris on July 8, 1962.

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