Contesting Sacrifice: Religion, Nationalism, and Social Thought in France

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9780226777368: Contesting Sacrifice: Religion, Nationalism, and Social Thought in France

From the counter-reformation through the twentieth century, the notion of sacrifice has played a key role in French culture and nationalist politics. Ivan Strenski traces the history of sacrificial thought in France, starting from its origins in Roman Catholic theology. Throughout, he highlights not just the dominant discourse on sacrifice but also the many competing conceptions that contested it.

Strenski suggests that the annihilating spirituality rooted in the Catholic model of Eucharistic sacrifice persuaded the judges in the Dreyfus Case to overlook or play down his possible innocence because a scapegoat was needed to expiate the sins of France and save its army from disgrace. Strenski also suggests that the French army's strategy in World War I, French fascism, and debates over public education and civic morals during the Third Republic all owe much to Catholic theology of sacrifice and Protestant reinterpretations of it. Pointing out that every major theorist of sacrifice is French, including Bataille, Durkheim, Girard, Hubert, and Mauss, Strenski argues that we cannot fully understand their work without first taking into account the deep roots of sacrificial thought in French history.

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Contesting Sacrifice traces the political theology of sacrifice in France. Ivan Strenski contends that debates over sacrifice among Catholics, Protestants, and free thinkers were pivotal to some of the most profound crises in French history. The idea of sacrifice, he shows, was an exposed nerve of French political culture: a constant irritant, too important to ignore, too fearsome to think away, and thus constantly interrogated by French thinkers of different ideological persuasions.

According to Strenski, the French dialogue on sacrifice originated in Reformation-era controversies over the nature of the Eucharist and its political associations with absolute monarchy. He contends that this Roman Catholic theology and its intransigent variants dominated French discourse on religion and nationalism for over three centuries. The idea of sacrifice functioned as an impetus for conceptualizing public attitudes toward the execution of Louis XVI, Michelet's call to nationhood, the punishment of Dreyfus, questions about the obligation of citizens to the Third Republic, and the meaning of death and heroism during the First and Second World Wars.

Pointing out that every major theorist of sacrifice is French, including Bataille, Durkheim, Girard, Hubert, and Mauss, Contesting Sacrifice ultimately confirms that we cannot fully understand their work, or for that matter French culture, without first taking into account the deep roots of sacrificial thought. Drawing on meticulous research and brimming with insight, this study will prove indispensable to intellectual historians, historians of France, and scholars or religion and its relationship to politics.

About the Author:

Ivan Strenski is the Holstein Family Community Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California, Riverside. He is the author most recently of Durkheim and the Jews of France, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2002. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 2nd. 237 x 161 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. From the counter-reformation through the twentieth century, the notion of sacrifice has played a key role in French culture and nationalist politics. Ivan Strenski traces the history of sacrificial thought in France, starting from its origins in Roman Catholic theology. Throughout, he highlights not just the dominant discourse on sacrifice but also the many competing conceptions that contested it. Strenski suggests that the annihilating spirituality rooted in the Catholic model of Eucharistic sacrifice persuaded the judges in the Dreyfus Case to overlook or play down his possible innocence because a scapegoat was needed to expiate the sins of France and save its army from disgrace. Strenski also suggests that the French army s strategy in World War I, French fascism, and debates over public education and civic morals during the Third Republic all owe much to Catholic theology of sacrifice and Protestant reinterpretations of it. Pointing out that every major theorist of sacrifice is French, including Bataille, Durkheim, Girard, Hubert, and Mauss, Strenski argues that we cannot fully understand their work without first taking into account the deep roots of sacrificial thought in French history. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780226777368

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2002. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 2nd. 237 x 161 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. From the counter-reformation through the twentieth century, the notion of sacrifice has played a key role in French culture and nationalist politics. Ivan Strenski traces the history of sacrificial thought in France, starting from its origins in Roman Catholic theology. Throughout, he highlights not just the dominant discourse on sacrifice but also the many competing conceptions that contested it. Strenski suggests that the annihilating spirituality rooted in the Catholic model of Eucharistic sacrifice persuaded the judges in the Dreyfus Case to overlook or play down his possible innocence because a scapegoat was needed to expiate the sins of France and save its army from disgrace. Strenski also suggests that the French army s strategy in World War I, French fascism, and debates over public education and civic morals during the Third Republic all owe much to Catholic theology of sacrifice and Protestant reinterpretations of it. Pointing out that every major theorist of sacrifice is French, including Bataille, Durkheim, Girard, Hubert, and Mauss, Strenski argues that we cannot fully understand their work without first taking into account the deep roots of sacrificial thought in French history. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780226777368

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Book Description 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 2nd. 161mm x 19mm x 237mm. Hardcover. From the counter-reformation through the twentieth century, the notion of sacrifice has played a key role in French culture and nationalist politics. Ivan Strenski traces the history of sa.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 237 pages. 0.490. Bookseller Inventory # 9780226777368

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