This volume examines the relationship between law and sacrifice as a crucial nexus for theorizing the dynamics of creation, destruction, transcendence, and violence within the philosophical and legal discourse of western society.

At a time of populist political unrest, what philosophical and theoretical resources are available for conceptualizing the discontent that seems to emanate from practically every sphere of society? What narrative strategies have been employed within literary, theological, philosophical, and legal discourse to tame or mystify human violence? Engaging with the work of preeminent theorists of sacrifice, such as Georges Bataille, René Girard, Giorgio Agamben, and Jacques Derrida this collection examines from an interdisciplinary perspective the sacrificial logic that characterizes the cultural and political dynamics of law in society.

The book will be of interest to students and scholars in the field of legal theory and philosophy.

chapter 1|11 pages


Approaching the Problem of Sacrifice in Law, Literature, and Philosophy
ByBrian W. Nail

chapter 2|11 pages

Sacrifice and the Origin of Law

ByWolfgang Palaver

chapter 3|21 pages

Towards a Sacrificial Aneconomy?

Georges Bataille and the Aporia of Sacrifice
ByMarie Chabbert

chapter 4|14 pages

(Misguided) Self-transcendence and the Imagination of Sacrifice

ByArthur Cools

chapter 5|21 pages

A We Not Modeled on the I

The Law of Law, and Futurity
ByA. Samuel Kimball

chapter 6|23 pages

Homo Sacrificus

Sacrificial Economization and Neoliberal Subjectivity
ByBrian W. Nail

chapter 7|11 pages

Law, Authority, and the Sovereign Exception

The (Im)possibility of Political Agency
ByRichard Hajarizadeh

chapter 8|37 pages

The Gift of Time and the Hour of Sacrifice

A Philosophical-Anthropological Analysis of the Deep Difference between Political Liberal and Populist Politics
ByJohan van der Walt

chapter 9|19 pages

Sacrificial Liberalism

The Politics of Zeal and its Selective Denial in Rawls’s Political Liberalism
ByRichard Mailey

chapter 10|21 pages

The Sacrifice of Law’s Madness

ByJeffrey A. Ellsworth