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The elementary forms of the religious life.

Author: Émile Durkheim
Publisher: New York, Free Press [1965, ©1915]
Series: Free Press paperback.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Durkheim, Émile, 1858-1917.
Elementary forms of the religious life.
New York, Free Press [1965, ©1915]
(OCoLC)610153537
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Émile Durkheim
ISBN: 0029080002 9780029080009
OCLC Number: 268860
Description: 507 pages 21 cm.
Contents: Subject of our study: religious sociology and the theory of knowledge --
Book 1: Preliminary questions --
1. Definition of religious phenomena and of religion --
1. Religion defined by supernatural and mysterious --
2. Religion defined in connection with the idea of God or a spiritual being --
3. Search for a positive definition --
4. Necessity of another characteristic to distinguish magic from religion --
Book 2: Leading conceptions of the elementary religion --
Animism --
Distinction of animism and naturism --
The three theses of animism: genesis of the idea of the soul; formation of the idea of spirits; transformation of the cult of spirits into the cult of nature --
Criticism of the first thesis --
Distinction of the idea of the soul from that of a double --
Dreams do not account for the idea of the soul --
Criticism of the second thesis --
Death does not explain the transformation of a soul into a spirit --
The cult of the souls of the dead is not primitive --
Criticism of the third thesis --
The anthropomorphic instinct --
Spencer's criticism of it; reservations on this point --
Examination of the facts by which this instinct is said to be proved --
Difference between a soul and the spirits of nature --
Religious anthropomorphism is not primitive --
Conclusion: animism reduces religion to nothing more than a system of hallucinations --
Leading conceptions of the elementary religion --
Naturism --
History of the theory --
Exposition of Max Muller's naturism --
If the object of religion is to express natural forces, it is hard to see how it has maintained itself, for it expresses them in an erroneous manner --
Pretended distinction between religion and mythology --
Naturism does not explain the division of things into sacred and profane --
Totemism as an elementary religion --
Brief history of the question of totemism --
Reasons of method for which our study will be given specially to the totemism of Australia --
The place which will be given to facts from America --
The elementary beliefs --
Totemic beliefs --
The totem as name and as emblem --
Definition of the clan --
The totem as name of the clan --
Nature of the things which serve as totems --
Ways in which the totem is acquired --
The totems of phratries; of matrimonial classes --
The totem as emblem --
Totemic designs engraved or carved upon objects; tatooings or designs upon the body --
Sacred character of the totemic emblem --
The churinga The nurtunja --
The waninga --
Conventional character of totemic emblems --
Totemic beliefs --
The totemic animal and man --
Sacred character of the totemic animals --
Prohibition to eat them, them or pick the totemic plants --
Different moderations given these prohibitions --
Prohibition of contact --
The sacred character of the animal is less marked than that of the emblem --
The man --
His relationship with the totemic animal or plant --
Different myths explaining this relationship --
The sacred character of the man is more apparent in certain parts of the organism: the blood, hair, etc --
How this character varies with sex and age --
Totemism is not plant or animal worship --
Totemic beliefs --
The cosmological system of totemism and the idea of class --
The classification of things into clans, phratries and classes --
Genesis of the notion of class: the first classifications of things take their forms from society --
Differences between the sentiment of the differences of things and the idea of class --
Why this is of social origin --
Religious significance of these classifications: all of the things classified into a clan partake of the nature of the totem and its sacred character --
The cosmological system of totemism --
Totemism as the tribal religion --
Totemic beliefs --
The individual totem and the sexual totem --
Individual totem as a forename; its sacred character --
Individual totem as personal emblem --
Bonds between the man and his individual totem --
Relations with the collective totem --
The totems of sexual groups --
Resemblances and differences with the collective and individual totems --
Their tribal nature --
Origins of these beliefs --
Critical examination of preceding theories --
Origins of these beliefs --
The notion of the totemic principle, or Mana, and the idea of fore --
Origins of these beliefs --
Origin of the idea of the totemic principle or Mana The idea of the soul --
The idea of spirits and Gods --
The principal ritual attitudes --
The negative cult and its functions --
The ascetic rites --
The positive cult --
The elements of sacrifice --
The positive cult --
Imitative rites and the principle of causality --
The positive cult --
Representative or commemorative rites.
Series Title: Free Press paperback.
Other Titles: Formes élémentaires de la vie religieuse.
Responsibility: Translated from the French by Joseph Ward Swain.

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