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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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Bataille, Teilhard de Chardin, and the Death of God

Bataille, Teilhard de Chardin, and the Death of God

(p.202) Bataille, Teilhard de Chardin, and the Death of God
Negative Ecstasies

Allan Stoekl

Fordham University Press

This essay attempts to consider Bataille’s notion of the “death of God” from the perspective of the Internet. The connection might not be absurd, given that Bataille’s double in his thinking of a mortal God may be Teilhard de Chardin, a contemporaneous Catholic philosopher for whom God is immanent in an emerging planetary consciousness (the noosphere). Stoekl first presents Bataille’s atheology as a kind of radical immanence derived from Sade’s atheism; Bataille, however, grants to God a status beyond the mere fictionality Sade accords the deity. For Bataille God stands (and falls) as the absent center, the signifier that can mean only through its eroticized absence. Teilhard in turn posits a God present as a central node of meaning and consciousness—the converse of Bataille’s position. And if Teilhard’s noosphere can be read as an anticipation of today’s Internet, Bataille’s eroticized divine void can be read as an anticipation and perhaps more rigorous version of today’s cybereroticism.

Keywords:   The virtual, atheology, immanence, the coldness of the Law, eroticized death of God, absolute knowledge, Omega Point, Internet, noosphere, cybereroticism

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