DurkheimJune30ReligionOutline

DurkheimJune30ReligionOutline - Development of Sociological...

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Development of Sociological Theory Manjusha Nair Key points Social function of religion Sacred and Profane Collective Effervescence Contemporary relevance Emile Durkheim [1858-1917] Religion appears among all societies, albeit in different forms Religions, then, must serve some important social function And, consequently, they must have some basic characteristics in common Emile Durkheim [1858-1917] A belief in a supernatural realm is not necessary or common among religions. What is common is the separation of different aspects of life, physical things, and certain behaviors into two categories: Examples? Emile Durkheim [1858-1917] The sacred: "extraordinary, transcendent and outside the everyday course of events" The profane: everything else Rites (ritual): rules governing how to behave toward sacred objects Church: members united by common ideas and rites regarding the sacred Emile Durkheim [1858-1917] sacred things are those isolated and protected by powerful interdictions; profane things are those which, according to those interdictions, must remain at a distance from their sacred counterparts; religious beliefs are representations which express the nature of sacred things and their relations, either with one another or with profane things; religious rites are rules of conduct which prescribe how one should behave in the presence of sacred things; and finally, where "a certain number of sacred things sustain
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relations of co-ordination or subordination with each other in such a way as to form a system having a certain unity," Emile Durkheim [1858-1917] Religion: "a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say,
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This note was uploaded on 11/11/2011 for the course COMMUNICAT 300 DoST taught by Professor Nair during the Summer '10 term at Rutgers.

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DurkheimJune30ReligionOutline - Development of Sociological...

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