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Emile Durkheim

By rutiaga60 Sep 15, 2013 629 Words
Emile Durkheim was born on April 15, 1858 at Epinal in the eastern French Province of Lorraine. His father had been a rabbi and so had his fathers before him. Growing up Durkheim studied Hebrew, the Old Testament and the Talmud, intending to become a rabbi himself. Along with his religious studies, he also had regular course studies at a secular school. After his thirteenth birthday, after his traditional Jewish confirmation, he developed an interest in Christianity due to his Catholic teacher. He attended the College d'Epinal, there he was awarded various awards and honors. He then transferred to the one of the great french schools, the Lycee Louis-le-Grand located in Paris. From here, he started to prepare himself for the rigorous entrance exams for the Ecole Normale Superieure. It was said to be one of the most prestigious and traditional learning areas for Frances most intellectually elite. After Durkheim attempted twice unsuccessfully, he was finally admitted in the school in the year 1879. Once gaining the great achievement of being admitted into the Ecole Normale, Durkheim didn’t quite seem so thrilled to be there. He was soon nicknamed the “Metaphysician” by his peers for being a studious, earnest, and dedicated man. He rebelled against a course at Ecole in the belief that they made the readings of Greek verse and Latin more important than the teachings of the newer philosophical doctrines and findings of the sciences. Due to his thoughts and his reputation amongst the students and his professors he graduated close to the bottom of the list of successful candidates when he graduated in 1882. Durkheim, when studying the Sociology of Religion believed that “society has to be present within the individual”. From that he focused his attention on Religion, it being one of the main sources that creates a persons moral obligations to the demands of society. Countless of French thinkers wondered how a persons morals would remain intact without the use of religious sanctions. Durkheim argues that religion was the very basis of society, it turned men from there everyday routines to a devotion within their society to sacred things. Religion is a group bound together by same beliefs and practices to become a church. Durkheim stated that religious phenomenons came to be in a society when the separation between everyday activities (sphere of the profane) and the extraordinary (sphere of the sacred). Although an object is neither at the start, man decides whether he wants to consider the value of the object. The distinctions between whether an object is sacred or profane becomes distinctive when a group comes together due to common objects of worship. Durkheim then argued that people need not worry about what happens if religion ever comes to end, because religion is based off of society its self. As long as men realize that the dependence of religion is on society. Society is the origin of everything in daily life. Durkheim contribution about Religion was, to me, more of a realization. He proves that the idea of religion amongst the human population will never disappear, and that society never has to worry about a life without it. He states that the very idea of religion is based of the ideas and practices of everyday life within a society. It is the society’s idea about what to worship and practice, from here a religion is born. Religion is what helps men distinguish what is right and wrong. The idea of it ever being gone from the lives of the human population would cause a scandal. When Durkheim proves that it will never be truly gone, he not only calms society with his discovery but he also sheds light on how much society impacts our every day thinking’s and ideas.

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