Through ethnographic research, Durkheim can explain the fundamentals of religion and its relation to society. We are not born with the innate knowledge of structural situations or cultural effects that occur within a society. Nor, are we aware of the effects our behaviors and attitudes have on a society. Durkheim’s worked untimely explained how the moral realm functioned by focusing on primitive religion. Religious ceremonies closely resemble social life, containing highly routined acts. The essential elements of religion include rites which are expressed by rituals and practice. Rituals unite social groups regardless of individual differences, which are found in both modern and traditional societies because rituals are a part of both. Durkheim noted, to have a
I have chosen the article, Does Science Threaten Religion? (p. 497) as my focus for this tutorial. I strongly believe the article uses the structural-functionalism approach as well as scientific sociology.
In this essay I will be looking at the theories of Edward Burnett Tylor and Émile Durkheim, and comparing them to see which theory I think gives a better explanation about what religion is, or whether religion is actually definable. On the one hand we have Tylor’s theory that tells us that religion is belief in spiritual beings and that religion is just a step on the way to reaching full evolutionary potential. Durkheim’s theory, however, says that religion is very much a social aspect of life, and something can only be religious or “sacred” if it is something public (Durkheim 1965:52). Ultimately these theories do not give us an outright explanation about what ‘religion’ is, but there are aspects of the theory that can be used to gain an understanding or idea.
When dwelling into the explorations about science and religion, one can find it quite amusing. "If science and religion are to continue to coexist it seems opposed to the conditions of modern thought to admit that this result can be brought about by the so-called
Conversely, according to (Turner 23-109), Durkheim points out that religion is part and parcel of the society and that each society has religion. Emile Durkheim’s purpose was to assess the connection between particular religions in various cultures, and finding a common cause. Basically, he wanted to comprehend the three major aspects of religion; that is the empirical together with the social and the spirituality components. His definition of religion is that; it is a joining arrangement of beliefs together with practices in relation to sacred things. According to him, it is religion that establishes the contemporary society as
As I read Émile Durkheim’s classic piece, The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, I experienced a whirlwind of thoughts, expressing agreement, disagreement, and complete puzzlement over the details of his logic and conclusions. As far as my essay goes, I will attempt to put these thoughts in a neat, coherent order like the one mentioned above.
According to author Randall Collins, Emile Durkheim has been deemed sociologies most famous representative (Collins, The Durkheimian Tradition, 211.) The Durkeimian Tradition is “sociology’s most original and unusual set of ideas but revolutionary in the same sense ” (Collins, 211). Durkheim contributed an insightful view on the role of religion and how “God is the symbol of the society and its moral power over individuals” (Collins, 211.) By proving that “religion is the moral foundation of society” simply shows the dire need of religion in order to live. As a result of following any religion comes a consistent ritual, no matter what steps it consists of and a link to social interaction. According to Durkheim, rituals are instrumental in the process of providing concepts or ideas that directly echo the structure of society (Collins, 212.) Durkeim’s original beliefs still apply to the structure of society today. Though it may not be solely focused on religion, people identify themselves within other social groups. I myself identify to be apart of a social group with my involvement in the women’s basketball team at Hofstra. Like other student-athletes, there is an obvious distinction of athletes around campus and noticeable segregation between athletes and regular students. Durkheim discussed rituals that took place amongst those who followed a religion, and like that social group; my team performs
Within philosophy, there has long been a question about the relationship between science and religion. These two systems of human experience have undoubtedly had a lot of influence in the course of mankind’s development. The philosopher Ian Barbour created a taxonomy regarding science and religion that has become widely influential. His taxonomy postulates that there are four ways in which science and religion are thought to interact. The four categories are: conflict, independence, dialogue, and integration. By using articles from a select few philosophers, theologians, and scientists, it is clear to see the ways in which these two systems of human experience are categorized in the four categories presented by Ian barbour. However, it will be apparent that the category of conflict may be seen as the most dominant in regard to the interaction between science and religion.
Emile Durkheim and Max Weber are two prominent philosophers whose theories unequivocally differed on countless themes. The outlooks of Durkheim and Weber contrast however, their general message in which they attempt to convey are of similar ideologies. When examining Durkheim and the concept of sacred and profane, one would see how it parallels with Weber’s notion of enchantment and disenchantment. Their stances on religion correspond with each other and despite their distinct conceptual frameworks and differing perspectives, Durkheim and Weber both offer profound contributions to the concepts of religion and modernity.
Moreover, Durkheim compares religion to society. He says that society is the cause of the unique sensations of the religious experiences, so called “sui generis” (Ritzer, 84). This concept
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. However, one component seems missing from his social theory – what underlies society in terms of rituals and rites? Only when this
Similarly to Weber, Durkheim believed that religion plays an integral part in society. He defined religion as a “unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things… beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a church...” (Durkheim EF: 47). This functional definition describes what Durkheim believes what role religion plays in contemporary society: it unities it. He analyzed religion within the context of the entire society and recognized its influence on people’s thoughts and behaviors. Durkheim was interested in the communal bonds forged by participating in religious activities and stressed the importance of the communal aspect of religion.
Emile Durkheim is a sociologist, born 1858 in northeastern France. As a young boy he was also, strongly affected by a schoolteacher who was Romance Catholic. The influence by the school teacher may have contributed something to his general interest in religious endeavors but they did not make him a believer (86). Durkheim spent much of his academic career studying religions, especially those of small societies. The toteism, or primitive kinship system of Australian aborigines, primarily interested him (98). This research formed the basis of Durkheim 's 1921 book, The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, a well know book on the sociology of religion. Durkheim viewed religion with the context of the entire society and acknowledged societies influences of thinking and behaviors by the members
In order to truly assess the legitimacy of Durkheim 's functionalist definition of religion, his notion of Social facts, (upon which his theory is constructed) must be examined. Durkheim advocated that amongst the reputable fields of biology, psychology and history, Sociology also warranted a specific focus. It was, for him: a 'sui generis ' "something that had to be explained on its own terms". Sociology was not, for Durkheim, a field that should be susceptible to overlapping subject matter: he believed that there existed concrete social facts recognisable "by the power of eternal coercion" which they are "capable of exercising over individuals". This claim is an imperative one because it is the platform on which his functionalist