The Elementary Forms of Religious Life
Durkheim refers to “cult of the individual” as a new religion. According to Durkheim, the cult of the individual begins with a cooperative, shared vivacity. The first moments for the cult could be found in democratic revolutions that took place in Europe around the end of the 18th and 19th centuries. Durkheim described the French Revolution as the perfect example of a cult’s united momentum. Durkheim believed that religion is part of the human condition and as long as humans are grouped together, they will inevitably form some type of religion. Characterized as a state in transition, a new religion would emerge out of Europe. Individuals assume independence, gifted with wisdom, of which all are born with. The cult revolves around this idea. Every cult has two aspects; one negative and one positive according to Durkheim.
Durkheim described the negative cult as a whole set of rites that exist to bring about an important state of disconnection. Sacred beings are separate beings and are characterized by a confusion or misperception between them and profane beings. The sacred and profane are outside of each other. These special rites that prevent unwarranted mixing and contact of the two realms from intruding on each other are negative cults. The faithful to these negative cults are limited from certain ways of acting. These negative rites take the form of exclusion, or are referred to as taboo.
A positive cult according to Durkheim is an individual maintaining optimistic and mutual relations with the negative cult. Relations that are controlled and organized by a set of ceremonial repetitions. Individuals in the posi...
... middle of paper ...
...zation of society, the concept of “God” is not on the verge of extinction. Cults continue to rise up but always seem to fail in the end with a lot of confusion and non-believers. The idea of a supernatural power, which most of society recognizes as “God”, religion, better realized as a relationship, with God, is very acceptable to modern society.
Durkheim, Emile. The Elementary Forms of Religious. Translation by Carol Cosman. OxFord World’s Classics, 2008.Print
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- essay Emile Durkheim: Elementary forms of religious life Emile Durkheim (1858 - 1917) was born in Lorraine, France, and was raised in a traditional Orthodox Jewish family. In 1893 he brought a doctoral dissertation entitled Division of Labor in Society (1893), which became a classic in sociology. He wrote the rules of Sociological Approach (1966/1895) and suicide (1897). Durkheim in 1906 became a professor at the Sorbonne and in 1912 issued his final book / last, The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, where he developed his theory of religion.... [tags: Sociology, Religion, Sociology of religion]
1597 words (4.6 pages)
- The crux of Emile Durkheim’s The Elementary Forms of Religious Life lies in the concept of collective effervescence, or the feelings of mutually shared emotions. Through a hermeneutical approach, Durkheim investigates the reflexiveness of social organization, the balance between form and content, and the immense cooperation in collective representations. In his work, society is the framework of humanity and gives it meaning, whereas religion acts as the tool to explain it. Since society existed prior to the individual, the collective mind must be understood before the concept of the individual can be grasped.... [tags: emotions, society, individualism]
1346 words (3.8 pages)
- Emil Durkheim’s Elementary Forms of Religious Life presents religion as a social phenomenon. Based on this idea, this essay will examine the role of religion and its influence on society. Durkheim defined religion as “a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden -- beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a Church, all those who adhere to them.”1 Hence Durkheim’s emphasis is on the function of religion as a unifier of individuals.... [tags: Religion]
1537 words (4.4 pages)
- Emile Durkheim As An Idealist In "Elementary Forms Of The Religion Life" Durkheim's most important rationale in The Elementary Forms was to explain and clarify the generally primordial religious conviction identified by man. However, his focus as a consequence irk a number of outside connection for historians as his fundamental rationale went distinctly ahead of the modernization of an old culture for its own accord; quite the opposite, Durkheim's interest in The Division of Labor and Suicide, was eventually both contemporary as well as workable as he asserts that if prehistoric religion were taken as the topics of investigations, then it is for the reason that it apparently appears “to us b... [tags: Social Phenomena, Suicide, Conduct]
641 words (1.8 pages)
- In many areas of the globe, specifically the West, there is a new focus on individualism rather than seeing religion as an all-embracing principle. However, religion undoubtedly performs a social function to some extent in all religions, especially when analysing ideas surrounding death. Dumont argues that there has been a shift from ‘religious truth to a purely social fact’. (1970) For Durkheim, religion is an eminently social thing. ‘Religious representations are collective representations which express collective realities’ (Thompson, 1982, p.... [tags: Sociology, Hinduism, Death, Life]
1436 words (4.1 pages)
- In this paper, I will examine some of the factors contributing to the importance and prevalence of religion and religious practice in some societies and how the concept of religion and religious practice has had an impact on the development of capitalism, particularly in western societies. Looking at the works of Emile Durkheim and Max Weber and their studies of religion and other writings drawing upon the ideologies of Durkheim and Weber, I will attempt to explain and extrapolate some of the reasons for the continuing nature of religion in many societies, in one form or another.... [tags: Sociology, Religion, Émile Durkheim, Max Weber]
1847 words (5.3 pages)
- The relationship between religious ritual and social power is very complex in its nature. In each society examined thus far religious ritual is intertwined into almost every aspect of life from social taboos to rites in hunting, marriage and an innumerable amount of other cultural aspects. Religious ritual is so interwoven into the fabric of society that separating ritual from the act is often times impossible. In researching this topic I have become aware of two forms of connection that must be addressed to fully cover the idea governing the connection of these principles.... [tags: Religion, Society]
1625 words (4.6 pages)
- Religion Has Much to Teach Us Are the bonds created through religion enough to help one overcome poor social health. All superficial controversy aside, it is very important for individuals to recognize the impact that the practice of religion has upon the majority of the human populous. It is clear that religion is a leading contributor towards to the social health of many people. Religion tackles many issues of poor social health by bringing people together and giving them a common mindset.... [tags: Religion, Sociology, Major religious groups]
1078 words (3.1 pages)
- Wallace Stevens and Emile Durkheim To more fully understand Stevens' poem "The Idea of Order at Key West," one can look at the ideas of the poem in context of social-philosophical thought. Emile Durkheim's theories on religion closely parallel those of Stevens. Both men believe that there is no supreme greater being, or God, that gives things order and meaning. But both men also believe that humans need to read order and meaning into the world to understand it, even if the meaning humans imply is false because there is no God.... [tags: God Religion Religious Essays]
1484 words (4.2 pages)
- Religion is one of the most important and essential aspects in human lives throughout the history. It is evident that in the past and the present, people believed in something and someone and religion has a profound influence on people’s behavior. Religion can provide a deep meaning and sense of what is the purpose of life. Religion also contributes to people’s morals, generosity and overall kindness. If there weren’t religion, people wouldn’t be concerned if someone was watching over him or if he will reach salvation in the afterlife.... [tags: Religion, Meaning of life, Life, Islam]
1976 words (5.6 pages)
- The Age Of Computers, Smartphones And Spellcheck
- International And Local Non Governmental Organizations
- Vygotsky 's Theory Of Human Psychological Function
- The Community Policing Division Of Centervale Police Department
- Cyberbullying : A Terrible Problem On The Internet For Many Young Children Everywhere
- Analysis Of ' Daddy ' By Sylvia Plath