The Elementary Forms of Religious Life

Paperback | May 17, 2008

byEmile DurkheimTranslated byCarol CosmanEditorMark S. Cladis

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'If religion generated everything that is essential in society, this is because the idea of society is the soul of religion.' In The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912), Emile Durkheim set himself the task of discovering the enduring source of human social identity. He investigated what he considered to be the simplest form of documented religion - totemism among the Aborigines of Australia. Aboriginal religionwas an avenue '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 socially lies at the heart of Durkheim's exploration, in which religion embodies the beliefs that shape our moraluniverse. The Elementary Forms has been applauded and debated by sociologists, anthropologists, ethnographers, philosophers, and theologians, and continues to speak to new generations about the origin and nature of religion and society. This new, lightly abridged edition provides an excellent introductionto Durkheim's ideas.

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'If religion generated everything that is essential in society, this is because the idea of society is the soul of religion.' In The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912), Emile Durkheim set himself the task of discovering the enduring source of human social identity. He investigated what he considered to be the simplest form of ...

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).

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.79 inPublished:May 17, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199540128

ISBN - 13:9780199540129

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