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Marx, Weber and Durkheim on Religion by Jeramy Townsley I wrote this essay in response to an exam question during my doctoral work in social theory in If you are a lazy student who uses the internet for your sources, at least inform yourself about copyright law and proper citation procedures for your field, for example American Psychological Association style.
Marx, Weber and Durkheim on Religion Marx, Weber and Durkheim together comprise the historical core of the sociological tradition. While they each come from very different perspectives and offer profound contributions to the field, they each have tried to address problems associated with the advent of modernity.
One issue that has developed within the context of modernity is how religion factors into a society that increasingly is built on the foundations of rationalism. Many intellectuals started asking questions about the origin of religion, since, as Laplace stated to Napoleon, they no longer had need for the God hypothesis.
If, as they believed at the time, culture was moving to a place of mass non-belief, what did that mean for contemporary society which had many structures based around religion?
Marx, the earliest of the three thinkers, actually wrote very little about religion.
Marx makes the claim that the god s we sought in our religions were actually ourselves, as we have apparently discovered through the course of recent historical events, presumably modernism.
Not only is religion a representation of humanity, but further, it is a representation of our own self-consciousness. The study of religion would not simply be a study of the gods, but of society and of humanity itself.
As a reprieve from his apparent harassment of religion, Marx softens his critiques by telling us one of the primary purposes for religious beliefs: Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the sentiment of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions.
It is the opium of the people. The fact that religion persists is a sign that conditions persist that require a sublimated expression of inhumanity. The alienation that religion describes between humans and god represents the alienation that individuals feel from their material existence.
Further, the god that they worship, the perfect, loving, creative, free being that is idealized in religion is actually the idealized selves that humans could be if we were not constrained by the external forces of society. In longing for reunion with god, salvation, we are actually longing for a reunion with ourselves.
The call to abandon their illusions about their condition is a call to abandon a condition which requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, the embryonic criticism of this vale of tears of which religion is the halo. However, while Marx spends most of his writings on how economic factors drove the engines of history and spends very little time on the topic of religion, Durkheim invests a great deal of time exploring religion and how it has influenced the direction of society.
Like Marx, Durkheim wanted a scientific understanding of society, an objective study.Marx, Weber and Durkheim on Religion by Jeramy Townsley I wrote this essay in response to an exam question during my doctoral work in social theory in Accounting (back to top) ACCT Principles of Accounting I: Credits: 3: Basic principles and procedures in accounting relating to the complete accounting cycle for both service and merchandising companies owned as sole proprietorships and as corporations.
The field of sociology itself–and sociological theory by extension–is relatively new. Both date back to the 18th and 19th centuries. The drastic social changes of that period, such as industrialization, urbanization, and the rise of democratic states caused particularly Western thinkers to become aware of society.
The oldest sociological theories deal with broad historical processes. JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources.
Question 1. Examine the nature of Social Facts as understood by Emile Durkheim. ( words) Question 2.
THE FALSE ALLURE OF GROUP SELECTION. Human beings live in groups, are affected by the fortunes of their groups, and sometimes make sacrifices that benefit their groups.