The ethics of ecstasy: Georges Bataille and Amy Hollywood on mysticism, morality, and violence

Journal of Religious Ethics 39 (2):299-320 (2011)

Abstract
Georges Bataille agrees with numerous Christian mystics that there is ethical and religious value in meditating upon, and having ecstatic episodes in response to, imagery of violent death. For Christians, the crucified Christ is the focus of contemplative efforts. Bataille employs photographic imagery of a more-recent victim of torture and execution. In this essay, while engaging with Amy Hollywood's interpretation of Bataille in Sensible Ecstasy, I show that, unlike the Christian mystics who influence him, Bataille strives to divorce himself from any moral authority external to the ecstatic episode itself. I argue that in his attempt to remove external authority he abandons the only resources that could possibly protect his mystical contemplation from engendering sadistic attitudes
Keywords mysticism  Bataille  ecstasy  psychoanalysis  torture
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9795.2011.00478.x
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References found in this work BETA

The Sovereignty of Good.Iris Murdoch - 1970 - New York: Schocken Books.
Summa Theologica.Thomas Aquinas - 1274 - Hayes Barton Press.
Guilty.Georges Bataille & Stuart Kendall (eds.) - 2011 - State University of New York Press.
Inner Experience.Georges Bataille & Leslie Anne Boldt-Irons (eds.) - 1988 - State University of New York Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Georges Bataille's Mystical Cruelty.Stephen S. Bush - 2012 - Journal of Religious Ethics 40 (3):551-555.

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