The elementary forms of religious life (Book, 1995) []
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The elementary forms of religious life

Author: Émile Durkheim; Karen E Fields
Publisher: New York : Free Press, [1995] ©1995
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
"Emile Durkheim (1858-1917), founder of the French school of sociology, produced an astonishing array of books and articles. He wrote both empirical studies and abstract treatises, most famously in his books on suicide and on the division of labor. But his last and greatest book, on a topic of utmost importance, is far less well known in the English-speaking world. Les formes élémentaires de la vie religieuse,  Read more...

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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Durkheim, Émile, 1858-1917.
Elementary forms of religious life
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Émile Durkheim; Karen E Fields
ISBN: 0029079365 9780029079362 0029079373 9780029079379
OCLC Number: 31605085
Language Note: Translated into English from original French.
Notes: Originally published by F. Alcan in 1912.
Ethnographic map of Australia on endpapers.
Translation of: Formes élémentaires de la vie religieuse.
Description: lxiii, 464 pages : map ; 25 cm
Contents: Translator's introduction: Religion as an eminently social thing --
Introduction: Subject of the study: religious sociology and the theory of knowledge --
Book one: Preliminary questions. Definition of religious phenomena and of religion ; The leading conceptions of the elementary religion: animism ; The leading conceptions of the elementary religion (continuation): naturism ; Totemism as elementary religion: review of the question ; method of treating it --
Book two: The elementary beliefs. The principal totemic beliefs: the totem as name and as emblem ; The principal totemic beliefs (continued): the totemic animal and man ; The principal totemic beliefs (continued): the cosmological system of totemism and the notion of kind ; The principal totemic beliefs (end): the individual totem and the sexual totem ; Origins of these beliefs: critical examination of the theories ; Origins of these beliefs (continued): the notion of totemic principle, or mana, and the idea of force ; Origins of these beliefs (conclusion): origin of the notion of totemic principle, or mana ; The notion of soul ; The notion of spirits and gods --
Book III. The principal modes of ritual conduct. The negative cult and its functions: the ascetic rites ; The positive cult: the elements of the sacrifice ; The positive cult (continuation): mimetic rites and the principle of causality ; The positive cult (continuation): representative or commemorative rites ; The piacular rites and the ambiguity of the notion of the sacred.
Other Titles: Formes élémentaires de la vie religieuse.
Religious life
Responsibility: Emile Durkheim ; translated and with an introduction by Karen E. Fields.
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In this work, first published in 1912, Emile Durkheim examines a wide range of religious topics including: forms of animism, naturism, and totemism; fundamental concepts such as the soul, spirits and  Read more...


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