Sacrifice in the modern world : on the particularity and generality of Nazi myth /
David Pan.
Evanston, Ill. : Northwestern University Press, 2012.
xii, 169 p. ; 25 cm.
0810128160 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780810128163 (cloth : alk. paper)
More Details
Evanston, Ill. : Northwestern University Press, 2012.
0810128160 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780810128163 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
Violence and culture: the sublime from Kant to Adorno -- The politics of myth in the Nazi period: Alfred Baeumler and Carl Einstein -- Theories of sacrifice in the modern world: Georges Bataille, Rene Girard, and Walter Burkert -- The genealogy of Nazi morality.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Main Description
A landmark book, David Pan's Sacrifice in the Modern World seeks to explain the continuing emphasis, in modern times, on sacrifice. Pan specifically turns to the culture of sacrificeritualized and sanctified deathin Nazi Germany, showing how that regime co-opted an existing discussion of sacrifice and infused it with its own mythology. Pan suggests that sacrifice is a key value in every society but that there is a preponderance of association of sacrifice with Nazi culture and therefore a largely pejorative treatment of sacrifice. Surveying the arguments of philosopher Alfred Baeumler and other symptomatic Nazi texts, Pan shows how the Nazis' reactionary intellec­tual culture unraveled much of the Enlightenment project. In so doing, he is able to offer a compelling new perspective on basic theoretical concepts in the work of Kant, Nietzsche, Adorno, Bataille, Girard, and others. He posits that it is only by clearing our way through the Nazis' misuse of sacrifice that we can understand the durability of sacrifi­cial structures thatfollowing several of the theorists he discusses establish the fundamental values by which we live our lives. Rather than condemning the Nazi appeal to sacrifice itself, this book looks at the particular ways in which sacrifice was distributed and structured within that society. All cultures must grapple with the existential violence of the human condition, and they frequently do so through aesthetic treatments of sacrifice, rooted in myths and tradi­tions. Pan argues that our task is not to eradicate these traditions but to engage them by carefully evaluating the commitments and values that they imply.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
List of Abbreviationsp. xi
Introductionp. 3
Violence and Culture: The Sublime from Kant to Adornop. 13
The Politics of Myth in the Nazi Period: Alfred Baeumler and Carl Einsteinp. 45
Theories of Sacrifice in the Modern World: Georges Bataille, Rene Girard, and Walter Burkertp. 79
The Genealogy of Nazi Moralityp. 113
Conclusionp. 149
Notesp. 153
Indexp. 163
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