3 August 2015
Treating the Other
It is common to see throughout history many cases where two groups with different ideals must settle their differences and engage with the other. Often however, a superior/inferior relationship develops and one group falls to the power of the other. Encountering the other will generally lend itself to observation of a group and then an application of a knowledge-power relationship.
Columbus traveled to America to spread Christianity and to find gold and wealth. “The need for money and the desire to impose the true god are not mutually exclusive. There is even a relation of subordination between the two: one is a means, the other an end” (Todorov 10). Columbus needs to…show more content… These congregations create rituals that breed a feeling of intensified consciousness, also known as collective effervescence, which creates a situation in which “people are so far outside the ordinary conditions of life…they feel a certain need to set themselves above and beyond ordinary morality” (Durkheim 218). Furthermore, the exaltation during the completion of these ritual creates a system in which man is given “the idea that outside him there are one or several powers, moral yet mighty, to which he is subject,” a situation directly leading to the creation of a deity (Durkheim 211). Therefore, “the god of the clan… is none other than the clan itself,” or, a man-made manifestation of the moral values of any given society (Durkheim, 208). Collective effervescence ultimately provides the means by which recommended moral guidelines are transformed into social law, thus creating the necessary order required for society to thrive.
The societal power of religious congregations lies in its ability to drive a group of individuals to become an entity much greater than the sum of its individual components. The collective force of a group of people who share similar beliefs and ideals is necessary for societal progression because these gatherings reaffirm societal laws and strengthen the bond between its members.
Durkheim’s concept of collective effervescence can be related to Rousseau’s concept of general