By N. J. Allen (Ed.), W. S. F. Pickering (Ed.), W. Watts Miller (Ed.)
This is often the 1st choice of essays to be released on Durkheim's masterpiece The simple varieties of spiritual lifestyles and comprises paintings through an important overseas Durkheim students.
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Extra info for On Durkheim's Elementary Forms of Religious Life
1904:33–4) The distinction being made by Spencer and Gillen is clearly reminiscent of that between the sacred and profane, although the emphasis is different. Spencer and Gillen are more concerned with the increasing role the sacred takes in a man’s life as he grows older rather than with dividing social life and the annual cycle of activity into two absolutely distinct phases. Nevertheless the distinction between the sacred and ordinary parts of an individual’s life is strongly drawn. Durkheim cites this passage on two key occasions (307–8/ 214–15, 437/306, and also 497/348).
The men leaped and pranced about… the burning torches continually came crashing down on the heads and bodies of men, scattering sparks in every direction. This description is in fact Durkheim’s (312/218) but it could equally be Spencer and Gillen’s, so close is the language. They wrote: The excitement was growing gradually more and more intense… each of the twelve men was handed one of the wanmanmirri; fires were made…one of the men charging full tilt, holding his wanmanmirri like a bayonet, and driving the blazing end into the midst of the group…the signal for the commencement of a general melee, the men were leaping and prancing about, the burning torches continually came crashing down upon the heads and bodies of men, scattering lighted embers all around.
The success of the term reflects the fact that their analysis has been reinforced and developed, rather than contradicted, by subsequent researchers (see Morphy 1995 for a detailed discussion). Durkheim’s use of Spencer and Gillen’s ethnography Spencer and Durkheim were equally evolutionists and scientists in their selfconceptions. However, they had very different notions of science and those differences affected the role that evolutionary theory played in their work. Spencer was an empirical natural scientist who sought to uncover facts that would confirm or falsify theories.
On Durkheim's Elementary Forms of Religious Life by N. J. Allen (Ed.), W. S. F. Pickering (Ed.), W. Watts Miller (Ed.)