In a roundtable presentation from 1944 entitled “Discussion on Sin,” Georges Bataille accused Christianity of being boring. However, there have always been other strains in Christianity, and some of those strains have been interesting in very Bataillean ways—cruel, sacrificial, or perverse. It is in its refusal of comfort, and especially its deliberate discomfort, that Christianity is least boring, and this chapter focuses on one mode of such discomfort—confessional obedience—which can only occur where the body meets language. In confession is a particular kind of obedience, one that emerges through the sacrifice of language and, with it, of the will of the subject obedient to the pastoral imperative of (narrative) self-construction. The language of confession turns language against itself, at once obeying and undoing its imperatives.
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