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Negative EcstasiesGeorges Bataille and the Study of Religion$
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Jeremy Biles and Kent Brintnall

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823265190

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823265190.001.0001

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The Religion of Football

The Religion of Football

Sacrifice, Festival, and Sovereignty at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa

(p.81) The Religion of Football
Negative Ecstasies

David Chidester

Fordham University Press

In taking Georges Bataille to the 2010 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup in South Africa, this chapter examines two sacrificial rituals that demonstrated the contrast between hierarchical transcendence and sacred immanence. As an instance of what Bataille called expenditure, spectacular loss, the World Cup was a festival of sacred immediacy, but it was also an occasion for asserting competing claims on political sovereignty in South Africa. Bataille’s theoretical work on sacrifice, festival, and sovereignty is helpful in placing the World Cup within a political economy of the sacred.

Keywords:   Festival, Football, Sacred, Sacrifice, South Africa, Sovereignty, transcendence

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