Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 9 of 9 items for

  • Author or Editor: Carl Olson x
  • Search level: All x
Clear All
In: Religion Past and Present Online
In: Numen
Author:

Abstract

Marcel Mauss' study of the gift is generally considered a classic work in the field of religious studies and in the discipline of anthropology. This exemplary paradigm of scholarship, however, is not given the same respect and acceptance by some postmodern thinkers because it fails to address in part the significance of difference. After reviewing the major highlights of Mauss' theory and the insights of Jacques Derrida and George Bataille on the phenomenon of the gift, these theories will be placed within the context of theoretical work on the Hindu notion of the gift in order to test their reflections about the nature of the gift within the context of a particular tradition. Finally, some aspects of the work of Bataille and Derrida will be compared with Mauss in order to demonstrate some of the problems with the respective positions of each side and briefly to compare some aspects of their respective positions on such issues as time, presence, and rationality.

In: Method & Theory in the Study of Religion
in Religion Past and Present Online
Author:

Abstract

This essay reviews the "ten affinities" Bryan S. Rennie proposes, in his book, Reconstructing Eliade (1996), to establish Mircea Eliade as a precursor of postmodernism. These affinities can be grouped together as historical, ontological, and epistemological. The paper goes on to refute these affinities between Eliade and postmodernism by drawing on the work of undisputedly recognized postmodern thinkers.

In: Method & Theory in the Study of Religion
Author:

Abstract

A fascinating and controversial theory of religion and ritual is offered by Georges Bataille, an influential French postmodern thinker and writer In his collected works he suggests that religion, which he identifies with the sacred, can best be understood by the interconnections and workings of eroticism, violence, and sacrifice. The key to understanding Bataille's theory is to focus on his concept of eroticism, which was one of his life-long obsessions. According to Bataille, a common feature of eroticism, sacrifice, and religion is violence which represents a danger to overflow at anytime. If eroticism opens the way to death, sacrifice effects it. Unable to reject violence, Bataille maintained that human beings practice both internal and external forms of violence in sacrifice. And because the love object of a sexual encounter and the victim of a sacrifice are stripped of their identity in these respective activities, there is an intimate connection between eroticism and sacrifice. Due to the fact that Bataille does not use ample examples from various religions to support his theory, this paper tests his ideas by applying them to the Sun Dance of the Sioux. This dramatic form of sacrifice enables one to recognize the many deficiencies of Bataille's theory.

In: Method & Theory in the Study of Religion
In: Numen