Inhabiting No-Man's Land : Durkheim and Modernity
Massimo Rosati Journal of Classical Sociology 2008 8: 233 DOI: 10.1177/1468795X08088873 The online version of this article can be found at: http://jcs.sagepub.com/content/8/2/233
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Journal of Classical Sociology
Copyright © 2008 SAGE Publications Los Angeles, London, New Delhi and Singapore Vol 8(2): 233–261 DOI: 10.1177/1468795X08088873 www.sagepublications.com
Inhabiting No-Man’s Land
Durkheim and Modernity
MASSIMO ROSATI University of Salerno, Italy
ABSTRACT This article is a translation of the Editor’s Introduction to the new Italian edition of The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. In it, the author maintains that though The Elementary Forms does not suggest how the experience of the sacred could be publicly recovered by citizens of modern democracies, it nonetheless recommends that modernity must remain open, with both courage and humility, to radical self-assessment in light of the centrality of ritual and the sacred to social life. The tentative suggestions to this end in Durkheim’s work – the cult of the individual, loyalty towards democratic political values – are the best solutions available to us, though they are part of a way of life that cannot be satisfied either with its present or with its desired state, even when the latter appears fully consistent with its own ideal aspirations. Thus, The Elementary Forms points to the continued need for a more... [continues]
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