The Elementary Forms of Religious Life

The Elementary Forms of Religious Life

5.0 1
by i'Amile Durkheim
     
 

ISBN-10: 0199540128

ISBN-13: 9780199540129

Pub. Date: 06/15/2008

Publisher: Oxford University Press

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

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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 Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199540129
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
06/15/2008
Series:
Oxford World's Classics Series
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
287,152
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
Note on the Text
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of Emile Durkheim
Map
The Elementary Forms of Religious Life
Introduction3
1A Definition of the Religious Phenomenon and of Religion25
2The Leading Conceptions of Elementary Religion: I. Animism47
3The Leading Conceptions of Elementary Religion: II. Naturism63
4Totemism as Elementary Religion: Historical Review of the Question, Method of Treating It76
1Central Totemic Beliefs: I. The Totem as Name and Emblem87
2Central Totemic Beliefs: II. The Totemic Animal and Man101
3Central Totemic Beliefs: III. The Cosmological System of Totemism and the Notion of Genus109
4Central Totemic Beliefs: IV. The Individual Totem and the Sexual Totem121
5The Origins of These Beliefs: I. A Critical Examination of the Theories126
6The Origins of These Beliefs: II. The Notion of the Totemic Principle or Mana, and the Idea of Force140
7The Origins of These Beliefs: III. The Genesis of the Notion of the Totemic Principle or Mana153
8The Notion of Soul183
9The Notion of Spirits and Gods203
1The Negative Cult and its Functions: Ascetic Rites221
2The Positive Cult: I. The Element of Sacrifice243
3The Positive Cult: II. Mimetic Rites and the Principle of Causality261
4The Positive Cult: III. Representative of Commemorative Rites276
5Piacular Rites and the Ambiguity of the Notion of the Sacred289
Conclusion310
AppSelect List of Anthropologists and Ethnologists who Informed Durkheim's Work344
Explanatory Notes345
Index351

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