“The sacred is, as to its content, the same as the terrible evil; their difference is purely formal/ structural—what makes it “sacred” is its exorbitant character, which makes it a limitation of “ordinary” evil.” – To see this, we should not only focus on religious prohibitions and obligations, but also bear in mind the rituals practiced by a religion, and the contradiction, already noted by Hegel, between prohibitions and rituals: “Often, the ritual consists in staging the violation of these prohibitions and violations” (143). The sacred is nothing but the violence of humans, but “expulsed, externalized, hypostazied” (151). The sacred sacrifice to the gods is the same as an act of murder—what makes it sacred is the fact that it limits/contains violence, including murder, in ordinary life. In times of crisis of the sacred, this distinction disintegrates: there is no sacred exception, a sacrifice is perceived as a simple murder—but this also means that there is nothing, no external limit, to contain our ordinary violence. SLAVOJ ZIZEK http://ift.tt/1Od9hQi


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