October 23 Sociology 2S06 - Religion continued Religion a Durkheims study In 1912 Durkheim published the elementary forms of religious life Religion is

October 23 Sociology 2S06 - Religion continued Religion a...

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October 23, 2015 Religion continued Religion a) Durkheim’s study In 1912 Durkheim published the elementary forms of religious life Religion is a social fact – they all have consequences that constrain and shapes behaviour Religion shapes and constrains behaviour He examined it empirically Empirical data for his study came from descriptions of religious beliefs and activities of tribal societies in Australia and North America b) What is Religion? All religions make an extinction between the sacred and the profane Profane – ordinary and common place elements of life Sacred – refers to elements beyond everyday life Christianity as an example – the cross, holy water and the bible are considered sacred in Christian religion Religious beliefs articulate the nature of the sacred – identify what is considered to be sacred Religious practices indicate how to act in relation to the sacred Religion is a unified system of beliefs and practices connected to what is sacred c) Totenism The totem in tribal society The totem is an animal, plant, or object which the members of a tribal society have come to see as being sacred and therefore having supernatural powers

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