By Owen Bradley
The guiding thread of Owen Bradley's analysis is Maistre's theory of sacrifice, a comparativist study of the ritualization of human barbarity in religious practices, punishments, wars, and revolutions. Against the Enlightenment, Maistre insisted upon the central and inevitable place of violence and irrationality in human experience, a dark view of humanity that anticipates the doubts of the twentieth century. His central concern was how human disorder is shaped, limited, and managed by ritualized behaviors and symbolic forms. As Bradley demonstrates, Maistre was less an extremist obsessed with excess and paradox than an important theorist of excessive and paradoxical situations. The Maistre who emerges from this study is a far more nuanced, compelling, and modern author than has been previously imagined.
- Lincoln, NE