The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life
One-hundred years after its first publication, we resurrect here a scholarly tome written by one of the foremost fathers of sociology, Émile Durkheim. Much of Durkheim’s work was concerned with how societies could maintain their integrity and coherence in modernity; an era in which traditional social and religious ties are no longer assumed, and in which new social institutions have come into being. The “modernity” of one-hundred years ago seems quaint to us today but the questions Émile sought to explore and answer then are perhaps even more urgent today. In The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, Durkheim lays bare the roots of human religiosity through an in-depth examination of the most primitive forms of religion then known on the very edges of an ever-encroaching “modernity”. Through this look at “primitive” man, perhaps we can find a deeper understanding of our own soul, what its needs are, and what drives it.