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The Elementary Forms of Religious Life
     

The Elementary Forms of Religious Life

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by Emile Durkheim
 

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ISBN-10: 0192832557

ISBN-13: 9780192832559

Pub. Date: 04/28/2001

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

In The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912), Emile Durkheim sets himself the task of discovering the enduring source of human social identity. He investigates what he considered to be the simplest form of documented religion - totemism among the Aborigines of Australia. For Durkheim, studying Aboriginal religion was a way 'to yield an understanding of the

Overview

In The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912), Emile Durkheim sets himself the task of discovering the enduring source of human social identity. He investigates what he considered to be the simplest form of documented religion - totemism among the Aborigines of Australia. For Durkheim, studying Aboriginal religion was a way 'to yield an understanding of the religious nature of man, by showing us an essential and permanent aspect of humanity'. The need and capacity of men and women to relate to one another socially lies at the heart of Durkheim's exploration, in which religion embodies the beliefs that shape our moral universe.

The Elementary Forms has been applauded and debated by sociologists, anthropologists, ethnographers, philosophers, and theologians, and continues to speak to new generations about the intriguing origin and nature of religion and society. This new, lightly abridged edition provides an excellent introduction to Durkheim's ideas.

About the Author:
Carol Cosman has translated works by Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Balzac and Yasmina Reza Mark Cladis is the author of A Communitarian Defense of Liberalim: Emile Durkheim and Contemporary Social Theory (Stanford, 1992) and editor of Durkheim and Foucault: Perspectives on Education and Punishment (1999).

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780192832559
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
04/28/2001
Series:
Oxford World's Classics Series
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 4.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii
Abbreviations xv
Translator's Introduction: Religion as an Eminently Social Thing xvii
INTRODUCTION
Subject of the Study: Religious Sociology and the Theory of Knowledge
1(20)
BOOK ONE: PRELIMINARY QUESTIONS
Definition of Religious Phenomena and of Religion
21(24)
The Leading Conceptions of the Elementary Religion: Animism
45(23)
The Leading Conceptions of the Elementary Religion (Continuation): Naturism
68(16)
Totemism as Elementary Religion: Review of the Question. Method of Treating It
84(15)
BOOK TWO: THE ELEMENTARY BELIEFS
The Principal Totemic Beliefs: The Totem as Name and as Emblem
99(28)
The Principal Totemic Beliefs (Continued): The Totemic Animal and Man
127(14)
The Principal Totemic Beliefs (Continued): The Cosmological System of Totemism and the Notion of Kind
141(17)
The Principal Totemic Beliefs (End): The Individual Totem and the Sexual Totem
158(11)
Origins of These Beliefs Critical Examination of the Theories
169(21)
Origins of These Beliefs (Continued): The Notion of Totemic Principle, or Mana, and the Idea of Force
190(17)
Origins of These Beliefs (Conclusion): Origin of the Notion of Totemic Principle, or Mana
207(69)
The Notion of Soul
The Notion of Spirits and Gods
276(27)
BOOK III: THE PRINCIPAL MODES OF RITUAL CONDUCT
The Negative Cult and Its Functions: The Ascetic Rites
303(27)
The Positive Cult: The Elements of the Sacrifice
330(25)
The Positive Cult (Continuation): Mimetic Rites and the Principle of Causality
355(19)
The Positive Cult (Continuation): Representative or Commemorative Rites
374(18)
The Piacular Rites and the Ambiguity of the Notion of the Sacred
392(57)
CONCLUSION
Index 449

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