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Critiques of Durkheim's Theory of Religion as Social

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Steven Fouse

on 12 September 2013

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Transcript of Critiques of Durkheim's Theory of Religion as Social

Emile Durkheim? More like Emile Jerkheim!
(Critiques of Durkheim's Theory of Religion)

Beliefs and Rites
Sacred and Profane
One Moral Community
Totems Represent Community
Social is Sacred
Emile Durkheim's Theory
Totems Tend to Divide Rather than Unite (Sexual, Individual)
"Relation between individual and group is dialectical rather than subsidiary"
Territory, Society, and the Rise of Religion - Ignored by Durkheim
What About the Self? - Hans Mol, 1979
"Pluralistic does not equal weakly integrated"
Correlation between Church Membership and Suicide is Only a Modest Reduction
Three options: Durkheim was right (at the time), wrong, or right (now). We aren't sure.
"Suicide" is Killing Me - Rodney Stark, et. al., 1983
Durkheim's Effervescent Positivity vs. Girard's Curative Violence
"Ritual violence 'cures' runaway violence...[it can] 'cure' the community of potentially destructive violence."
Failure to recognize the injustice of such violence creates moral relativism
Religion is Violent
- Rene Girard via
E.T. Graham, 2007
D: "Human nature is indeterminate matter which the social factor fashions"
Evolutionary Psychology: "False"
How does grouping occur?
What About the Mind? - Matthew Day, 2009
Hans Mol, "The Origin and Function of Religion: A Critique of, and Alternative to, Durkheim's Interpretation of the Religion of Australian Aborigines" Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 1979, 18(4), 379-389.

Rodney Stark, Daniel P. Doyle, and Jesse Lynn Rushing, "Beyond Durkheim: Religion and Suicide" Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 1983, 22(2), 120-131.

E. Tyler Graham, "The Danger of Durkheim: Ambiguity in the Theory of Social Effervescence" Religion, 2007, 37:1, 26-38.

Matthew Day, "Constructing Religion without the Social: Durkheim, Latour, and Extended Cognition" Zygon, 2009, 44(3), 719-737.
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