Author: Joel Elliott
September 1990

Last Edited: February 23, 1999

1. Aron, Raymond. Main Currents in Sociological Thought, II. Durkheim, Pareto, Weber. Translated by Richard Howard and Helen Weaver. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1967. LC#: HM 19 A74

Aron's book is a good, concise yet relatively thorough introduction to Durkheim and Weber. A short introductory essay explains the contextual significance of Durkheim, Pareto and Weber. The section on Durkheim (pp. 11-117) individual treats De la division du travail social, Le Suicide, Les formes elémentaires de la vie religieuse, and Las Règles de la méthode sociologique.

2. Barnhardt, J. E. The Study of Religion and Its Meaning: New Explorations in Light of Karl Popper and Emile Durkheim. The Hague: Mouton, 1977. LC#: BL 48 B364

3. Bellah, Robert. "Durkheim and History." American Sociological Review 24 (1959): 447-61.

Bellah argues that although Durkheim is often regarded as an ahistorical theorist, history is actually central to Durkheim's work. "Almost all of [Durkheim's] own researches draw heavily from historical and ethnological sources and are in fact organized in an historical framework" (p. 448). Bellah shows that Durkheim believed "history is a primary field of sociological research and that structural-functional theory provides the variables for an adequate theory of social change" (p. 460).

4. Bellah, Robert. "The Ethical Aims of Social Inquiry." In Social Science as Moral Inquiry, pp. 360-81. New York: Columbia University Press, 1983. LC#: H61 S58994

5. Bellah, Robert. "Religion - II. The Sociology of Religion." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 1968 ed. [13:406-414]

6. Bellah, Robert, ed. Emile Durkheim on Morality and Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973. LC#: HM216 D852

The work is particularly important for its introductory essay by Bellah (pp. ix-lv). The introduction is a narrative interpretation of Durkheim's life and work. The book includes previously untranslated material (chs. 1-5) and selections from Durkheim's translated works in chs. 6-12 (including selections from The Division of Labor in Society, The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life).

7. Berndt, Ronald M. "Australian Religions: An Overview." Encyclopedia of Religion. Edited by Mircea Eliade. 1987 ed. [1:529-46].

A summary of research on the religion of the Australian Aborigines. It surveys the ethnographic research of Baldwin Spencer, F. J. Gillen and Carl Strehlow which played a crucial role in Durkheim's interpretation and analysis of Australian religion in The Elementary Forms.

8. Beidelman, T. O. W. Robertson Smith and the Sociological Study of Religion. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1974. LC#: BX 9225 S55 B46

This volume contains a biographical sketch of Smith's life, and a substantial analysis of Smith's important work, Lectures on the Religion of the Semites. The book also contains a valuable bibliography of Smith's principal publications and of works relating to the life and work of Smith. This is a useful book that will enable students to appreciate the pivotal significance of Smith for methodological assumptions of Durkheim and others.

9. Bloor, David. "Durkheim and Mauss Revisited: Classification and the Sociology of Knowledge." In Sociology and Knowledge: Contemporary Perspectives on the Sociology of Knowledge, pp. 51-76. Edited by Nico Stehr and Volker Meja. New Brunswick: Transaction Books, 1984.

Reprinted with revisions from Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 14 (1982): 267-97. The essay addresses Durkheim and Mauss' "De quelques formes primitives de classification" in which they argue that the classification of things reproduces the classification of men. There are three general lines of criticism: empirical, theoretical and logical. Bloor adds a fourth area of criticism called the "network model" which attempts to augment the alleged paucity of theoretical underpinnings for the central claim of Durkheim and Mauss.

10. Carroll, Michael P. "Durkheim on the Emergence of Religion: Reviewing the Archaeological Evidence (at Last)." Studies in Religion/Sciences religieuses 17 (1988): 291-301.

Carroll attempts to evaluate Durkheim's hypothesis regarding the social evolutionary origins of religion in light of the archeological evidence that has come to light in the past 60 years. Carroll concludes that Durkheim's hypothesis "seems consistent with the archeological record." Further, Carroll argues that "it might now be time to reconsider the question of social evolutionary origins in light of the careful investigations conducted by modern archeologists" (p. 300).

11. Collins, Steven. "Categories, Concepts or Predicaments?: Remarks on Mauss's Use of Philosophical Terminology." In The Category of the Person: Anthropology, Philosophy, History, 46-82. Edited by Michael Carrithers, et al. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985. LC#: BF 697 C288

Collins' articles addresses the origins of "categories of understanding" and the general issue of epistemology and the sociology of knowledge in the work of Durkheim and Mauss. The volume also contains a translation of Mauss' "A Category of the Human Mind: The Notion of Person; The Notion of Self" (translated by W. D. Halls, pp. 1-25).

12. Durkheim, Émile. "De la définition des phénomènes religieux." L'année Sociologique 2 (1897-98): 1-28.

The English translation ("Concerning the Definition of Religious Phenomena") is available in Pickering's Durkheim on Religion, pp. 75-99. This is Durkheim's first attempt to delineate the scope of the sociology of religion. In this early essay, Durkheim proposed the following definition of religion: "phenomena held to be religious consist in obligatory beliefs, connected with clearly defined practices which are related to given objects of those beliefs" (Pickering, p. 93). Much of the content of the essay is repeated in The Elementary Forms, although Durkheim's formal definition of religion underwent significant modifications. In The Elementary Forms, Durkheim acknowledged that this early definition was "too formal, and neglected the contents of the religious representations too much" (p. 47 n.1).

13. Durkheim, Émile. The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life. Translated by Joseph Ward Swain. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1915.
Les formes élémentaires de la vie religieuse: Le système totémique en Australie (1912)

14. Durkheim, Émile, and Mauss, Marcel. Primitive Classification. Translated with an introduction (pp. vii-xlviii) by Rodney Needham. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1963. LC#: GN 490 D813

Originally published in L'année Sociologique 6 (1903), pp. 1-72: "De quelques formes primitives de classification: contribution à l'étude des représentations collectives." The essay argues that human classification systems were originally based on social models. They contend that "logical hierarchy is only another aspect of social hierarchy, and the unity of knowledge is nothing else than the very unity of the collectivity, extended to the universe" (p. 84). This important concept in the sociology of knowledge would later play a crucial role in Durkheim's Elementary Forms of the Religious Life.

15. Evens, T. M. S. "On the Social Anthropology of Religion." The Journal of Religion 62 (1982): 376-91.

16. Fenton, Steve; with Reiner, Robert; and Hamnett, Ian. Durkheim and Modern Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984. LC#: HM 22 F8 D788

Fenton observes that there has been something of a revival of interest in the work of Durkheim (p. 1). In light of this revival, Fenton attempts to provide a basic introduction to Durkheim's thought. Fenton is particularly concerned to qualify the perception of Durkheim as a social conservative; Fenton contends that "there is an important strand of radical criticism in [Durkheim's] work, backed by a secular reforming spirit" (p. 3). Fenton believes Durkheim was "a man of conservative temperament with a broad vision of necessary social reconstruction" (p. 5). The first chapter (pp. 8-47) is a general guide to Durkheim's major writings and public life. Chapter seven is dedicated to "Durkheim and the Study of Religion" (see entry under Hamnet, Ian).

17. Fox, Robin. "The Passionate Mind: Brain, Dreams, Memory, and Social Categories." Zygon 21 (1986): 31-46.

18. van Gennep, Arnold. L'état actuel du problème totémique. Paris, 1920. N/A

Regarded to be a major and informed critique of Durkheim's theories of totemism.

19. Giddens, Anthony. Durkheim. Sussex: The Harvester Press, 1978. LC#: HM 22 F8 D818

A useful and concise (125 pages) introduction to Durkheim. The book is divided into five chapters which describe the content and development of Durkheim's life and thought. Chapter five focuses specifically on "Religion and the Theory of Knowledge" (pp. 80-100). The sixth and final chapter ("Critical Commentary," pp. 101-120) contains Giddens' short but incisive critiques of Durkheim.

20. Giddens, Anthony, ed. Emile Durkheim: Selected Writings. Cambridge: At the University Press, 1972. LC#: HM 22 F8 D778

This is a valuable collection of selections from Durkheim's writings. There is a lengthy introduction (pp. 1-50) entitled "Durkheim's Writings in Sociology and Social Philosophy." Chapter 11 includes selections grouped under the title of "Religion and Ritual" (pp. 219-249). Several of the lengthy excerpts are from The Elementary Forms, but there are several from other sources. This book seems particularly useful as general compendium of Durkheim's work; Pickering's work is more useful for Durkheim's contributions to the study of religion.

21. Godlove, Terry F., Jr. "Epistemology in Durkheim's Elementary Forms of Religious Life." The Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (July 1986): 385-401.

Godlove attempts an assessment of Durkheim's epistemology and compares it with Kant's approach to epistemology. Durkheim pursues a "sociological idealism" which he intended as a "middle way" between empiricism and apriorism.

22. Godlove, Terry F., Jr. "Interpretation, Reductionism and Belief in God." The Journal of Religion 69 (1989): 184-98.

23. Godlove, Terry F., Jr. Religion, Interpretation and Diversity of Belief. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. LC#: BL 51 G69

Godlove argues that the "framework model" of religious belief, which claims "that religious traditions typically represent alternative conceptual frameworks, or ways of looking at the world," is erroneously attributed to Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. Godlove believes that Durkheim's Elementary Forms helped to establish the so-called framework model in modern thought. Durkheim's understanding of Kant is informed but ultimately inadequate (p. 4).

24. Greenwald, David E. "Durkheim on Society, Thought and Ritual." Sociological Analysis 34 (1973): 157-68.

25. Gustafsson, Berndt. "Durkheim on Power and Holiness." In Myth of the State, pp. 20-30. Edited by H. Biezais. Based on papers read at the Symposium on the Myth of the State held at Abo on the 6th-8th September, 1971. Stockholm, Almqvist & Wiksell, 1972. LC#: JA 35 S9

26. Halbwachs, Maurice. Sources of Religious Sentiment. Translated by John A. Spaulding. New York: The Free Press of Glencoe, Inc., 1962. LC#: GN 470 H313

This is a translation of Halbwachs' Les origines du sentiment religieux (1925). It is a short summary (106 pp.) of Durkheim's The Elementary Forms with a brief bibliography. Halbwachs states that "the work here offered to the reader is as exact, even literal, a summary of these ideas as possible" (p. 5).

27. Hall, Robert T. Emile Durkheim: Ethics and the Sociology of Morals. Contributions to Sociology, No. 69. New York: Greenwood Press, 1987. LC#: BJ 319 H25

28. Hammond, Phillip E. "Religious Pluralism and Durkheim's Integration Thesis." In Changing Perspectives in the Scientific Study of Religion, pp. 115-42. Edited by Allan W. Eister. New York: Wiley, 1974. LC#: BL 41 E37

Hammond asks "what happens to Durkheim's integration thesis in societies marked by religious pluralism?" Hammond argues that civil religions provide the necessary social cohesion or integration in contemporary societies.

29. Hamnett, Ian. "Durkheim and the Study of Religion." In Durkheim and Modern Sociology, pp. 202-259. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984. LC#: HM 22 F8 D788

Hamnett analyzes some major conceptual elements of The Elementary Forms, then surveys Durkheim's contemporary influence as manifested in the writings of Guy Swanson (The Birth of the Gods), Mary Douglas (Natural Symbols, Purity and Danger) and Claude Lévi-Strauss. Hamnett observes that "students of religion in modern societies have. . . found little guidance in Durkheim's professedly religious writings. The work of Max Weber has proved much more helpful in this respect" (p. 208).

30. Hawkins, M. J. "Comte, Durkheim and the Sociology of Primitive Religion." Sociological Review n.s. 27 (1979): 429-46.

31. Heelas, Paul. "Social Anthropology and the Psychology of Religion." In Advances in the Psychology of Religion. Edited by L. B. Brown. International Series in Experimental Social Psychology. Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1985. LC#: BL 53 A27

32. Isambert, Francois A. "The Early Days of French Sociology of Religion." Social Compass 6 (1969): 435-52.

Although French contributions to the sociology of religion were somewhat dependent on international sources (e.g., Weber, Troeltsch, Wach), Isambert wishes to describe those developments that derive from French traditions. Isambert considers Comte, Saint-Simon, Buchez, Le Play, Durkheim and Lévy-Bruhl.

33. Isambert, Francois A. "Elaboration of la notion de sacre dans l'"ecole" durkheimienne." Archives de Sciences Sociales des Religions 21 (July-December 1976): 35-56.

34. Jones, Robert Alun. Emile Durkheim: An Introduction to Four Major Works. Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, 1986. LC#: HM 22 F8 D828

35. Jones, Robert Alun. "Durkheim, Frazer and Smith: The Role of Analogies and Exemplars in the Development of Durkheim's Sociology of Religion." American Journal of Sociology 92 (1986): 596-627.

36. Jones, Robert Alun. "Robertson Smith, Durkheim and Sacrifice: A Historical Context for the Elementary Forms of the Religious Life." Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 17 (1981): 184-205.

37. Karady, Victor. "French Ethnology and the Durkheimian Breakthrough." Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford 12 (1981): 165-76.

38. Kippenberg, Jans G. "Religionssoziologie ohne Saekularisierungsthese: E Durkheim und M Weber aus der Sicht der Symboltheorie." Neue Zeitschrift für systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie 27 (1985): 177-93.

39. LaCapra, Dominick. Emile Durkheim: Sociologist and Philosopher. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985. LC#: HM 22 F8 D83

40. LaPointe, Roger. "Durkheim socio-religiologue." Studies in Religion/Sciences religieuses 17 (1988): 279-90.

41. Leach, Edmund. "Anthropology of Religion: British and French Schools." In Nineteenth Century Religious Thought in the West, Vol. II, pp. 215-62. Ninian Smart et al, eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985. LC#: BL 98 N56

This is a wonderfully informative and readable survey of the rise anthropology from the early nineteenth century in Britain and France. The essay is particularly helpful in placing important scholars like Tylor, Robertson Smith, Durkheim and others in their historical and academic milieu. Leach traces the rise of social evolutionism and the nineteenth century preoccupation with the origins of religion. Durkheim's classic definition of religion includes the fundamental dichotomy of sacred/profane as universal absolute. While many have rejected this dichotomy as universally applicable, it has been particularly influential on twentieth century scholars like Otto, van der Leeuw. Leach outlines the importance of McLennan and Robertson Smith to Durkheim's thought. This influence is particularly manifested in Hubert and Mauss' essay on Sacrifice. Leach concludes this essay by acknowledging the important shift in anthropology from the arm-chair "guesswork" of nineteenth century figures like Tylor and Frazer to the extensive fieldwork methods pioneered by Malinowski, Rivers, Boas, Lowie and others.

42. Lee, Gary R., and Clyde, Robert W. "Religion, Socio-economic Status, and Anomie." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 13 (1974): 34-47.

Lee argues that "sociological studies of the concept of personal normlessness or anome have, since Durkheim's time, strongly emphasized socioeconomic 'causes.' Data reported here which suggest that certain religion variable may be of greater importance than socioeconomic factors as sources of variance in personal normlessness" (p. 34).

43. Lessa, William A.; and Vogt, Evon Z., eds. Reader in Comparative Religion: An Anthropological Approach. 4rd edition. New York: Harper & Row, Pub., 1979 [2nd ed., 1965; 3rd ed., 1972]. LC#: BL 80.2 L44

This important reader in comparative religion includes several selections that are indispensable for an adequate understanding of Durkheim. These readings include selections from Tylor's Primitive Culture (on animism), and Fustel de Coulanges' La cité antique. The 2nd edition of the Lessa and Vogt reader included essays by W. Robertson Smith from Lectures on the Religion of the Semites (on sacrifice among the Semites), and chapters on "Mana and Taboo" and totemism.

44. Lukes, Steven. "Durkheim, Émile." In The Encyclopedia of Religion. Mircea Eliade, ed. 1987 ed. (4:517-19)

This is a very good and concise summary of Durkheim's life and work by an internationally recognized authority on Durkheim. It contains a brief overview of Durkheim's major publications, along with a very useful annotated bibliography of works by Durkheim and some secondary literature.

45. Lukes, Steven. Émile Durkheim: His Life and Work. A Historical and Critical Study. London: Allen Lane/The Penguin Press, 1973. LC#: HM 22 F8 D845

This publication is the fruit of Lukes' Oxford Ph.D. dissertation (1968) entitled, "Émile Durkheim: An Intellectual Biography." Lukes' work appears to be the definitive critical biography of Durkheim; the text of the book is 676 pages. It includes a definitive bibliography of Durkheim's publications (pp. 561-590) and a comprehensive bibliography of secondary literature (591-615).

46. Lukes, Steven. "Prolegomena to the Interpretation of Durkheim." Archives Européennes de sociologique / European Journal of Sociology 12 (1971): 183-209.

47. McCarthy, Gerald D. "The Elementary Form of the Religious Life." The Scottish Journal of Religious Studies 3 (1982): 87-106.

48. MacDonald, Henry. The Ethics of Comparative Religion. Lanhan, MD: University Press of America, 1984. LC#: BJ 47 M43

49. Mansueto, Anthony. "Religion, Solidarity and Class Struggle: Marx, Durkheim and Gramsci on the Religion Question." Social Compass 35 (1988): 261-77.

50. Maybury-Lewis, David. "Durkheim on Relationship Systems." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 4 (1965): 253-60.

Maybury-Lewis argues Durkheim's ideas on relationship systems (e.g., consanguinity, marriage) have been generally neglected. These ideas are buried in thousands of pages of reviews and essays in L'année Sociologique and Durkheim never systematically developed them. While Durkheim is not remembered as a "kinship" theorists, he was in fact a seminal thinker in relationship systems.

51. Mestrovic, Stjepan G. "Anomia and Sin in Durkheim's Thought." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 24 (1985): 119-136.

52. Mestrovic, Stjepan G. Emile Durkheim and the Reformation of Sociology. Totawa, NJ: Rowman & Littlefield, 1988. LC#: HM 22 F8 D854

53. Mestrovic, Stjepan G. "Reappraising Durkheim's Elementary Forms of the Religious Life in the Context of Schopenhauer's Philosophy." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 28 (1989): 255-72.

Mestrovic argues that Schopenhauer's philosophy supplanted Comte's positivism in France at the turn of the century and that Durkheim was enamored with Schopenhauer.

54. Mol, Hans. "The Origin and Function of Religion: A Critique of, and Alternative to, Durkheim's Interpretation of the Religion of Australian Aborigines." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 18 (1979): 379-89.

Mol believes that "Durkheim imposed his own totemic or ordering principle on the interpretation of Australian religion. Unfortunately his frame of reference did not fit well, and as a result the data received short shrift." Mol argues that Durkheim overlooked tensions that existed between sub-units of social organization; Mol proposes an alternative model.

55. Nandan, Yash. The Durkheimian School: A Systematic and Comprehensive Bibliography. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1977. LC#: Z7164 S68 N36

56. Nandan, Yash. Emile Durkheim: Contributions to L'année sociologique. New York: Free Press, 1980. LC#: HM 55 P848

57. Nielsen, Donald A. "Auguste Sabatier and the Durkheimians on the Scientific Study of Religion." Sociological Analysis 47 (1987): 283-301.

58. Nisbet, Robert. The Sociology of Emile Durkheim. New York: Oxford University Press, 1974. LC#: HM 22 F8 D863

59. Parsons, Talcott. "Durkheim, Émile." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 1968 ed. [4:311-20].

An important and comprehensive article on Durkheim. The article covers Durkheim's intellectual background, his sociological mehtod and his theory of culture.

60. Parsons, Talcott. "Durkheim on Religion Revisited: Another Look at The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life." In Beyond the Classics? Essays in the Scientific Study of Religion. New York: Harper & Row, 1973. LC#: BL 41 G55

Parsons intends this chapter as an update to his material on Durkheim in The Structure of Social Action (1937, see pp. 640-96). Parsons attempts to reassess Durkheim's contribution to the study of religion, especially in light of Bellah's influential essay on "Durkheim and History." Parsons speculates that the near future will see a "rediscovery" of Durkheim. This revival of interest is indicated by the important contributions of R. Bellah, K. Burke, P. Berger and C. Geertz. While these thinkers are not "Durkheimians," they are developing the lines of thought that Durkheim intended.

61. Parsons, Talcott. The Structure of Social Action. A Study in Social Theory with Special Reference to a Group of Recent European Writers. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., Inc., 1937 [2nd ed., 1949]. LC#: HM 66 P32

62. Pearce, Frank. The Radical Durkheim. London: Unwin Hyman, 1989. LC#: HM 22 F8 D869

63. Pickering, W. S. F., ed. Durkheim: Essays on Morals and Education. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979. LC#: HM 216 D854

64. Pickering, W. S. F., ed. Durkheim on Religion: A Selection of Readings with Bibliographies. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975. LC#: BL 50 D85

This book is a necessary source for English-speaking students of Durkheim, especially for those interested in the development Durkheim's thought on religion. The book predictably contains lengthy sections from Elementary Forms, but it also contains selections from virtually everything of significance that Durkheim wrote on religion in book reviews, articles and books. It also includes relevant essays by other scholars such as A. A. Goldenweiser's review of The Elementary Forms (from American Anthropologist 17 [1915]: 719-35), G. Richard's article on "Dogmatic Atheism in the Sociology of Religion," and W. E. H. Stanner's "Reflections on Durkheim and Aboriginal Religion." Besides the extensive bibliography, Pickering also abstracts many Durkheim's publications that are relevant to his sociology of religion (pp. 323-42).

65. Pickering, W. S. F. Durkheim's Sociology of Religion: Themes and Theories. London: Routledge & K. Paul, 1984. LC#: BL 60 P53

This is the promised companion volume to Pickering's selection of readings from Durkheim (Durkheim on Religion, 1975). It is a substantial book (577 pp.) and is Pickering's attempt "to come to terms with Durkheimian thought about religion" (p. xx). Pickering addresses the following subjects in Durkheim's work: (1) the methodology of the sociology of religion, (2) the theory of religion based on social origins, (3) the interpretation of the religion of certain Australian and other tribes (including totemism), (4) ritual and collective effervescence, (5) the modern religious situation, the decline of traditional religions and the rise of "secular" religions (p. xxiii). Pickering includes a bibliography of Durkheim's works on religion (pp. 535-43) and a general bibliography on Durkheim and religion by other authors (pp. 544-62).

66. Poggi, Gianfranco. Images of Society: Essays on the Sociological Theories of Tocqueville, Marx and Durkheim. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1972. LC#: HM 19 P64

67. Poggi, Gianfranco. "The Place of Religion in Durkheim's Theory of Institutions." Archives Européennes de sociologique / European Journal of Sociology 12 (1971): 229-60.

68. Prades, Jose A. "Explication et irréductibilité de la religion: faut-il vraiment choisir entre Otto et Durkheim?" Studies in Religion/Sciences religieuses 16 (1987): 145-58.

69. Preus, J. Samuel. Explaining Religion: Criticism and Theory from Bodin to Freud. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987. LC#: BL 41 P69

Preus' chapter on Durkheim (ch. 8, pp. 157-177) is particularly helpful in locating Durkheim's place in the history of European scholarship. Preus finds the origins of Durkheim's thought in Vico, Comte and W. Robertson Smith, and a substantial amount of the chapter is spent comparing Freud and Durkheim. Preus argues that Freud and Durkheim represent the completion of the "naturalistic paradigm" in the modern study of religion; despite their differences, both believe that psychosocial causes lie at the roots of religious experience.

70. Rutledge, Paul. "Anthropology of Religion: Three Major Anthropological Figures in Contemporary Religious Thought." East Asia Journal of Theology 3 (1985): 76-87.

71. Schmaus, Warren. "Hypotheses and Historical Analysis in Durkheim's Sociological Methodology: A Comtean Tradition." Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 16 (March 1985): 1-30.

72. Schoffeleers, Matthew, and Meijers, Daniel. Religion, Nationalism and Economic Action: Critical Questions on Durkheim and Weber. Assen, The Netherlands: Van Gorcum, 1978. LC#: BL 48 S375

The book includes two essays: "Clan Religion and Civil Religion: On Durkheim's Conception of God as a Symbol of Society," by Matthew Schoffeleers (pp. 13-51) and "Singular and Plural Ethical Systems: A Critical Analysis of the Weber Thesis," by Daniel Meijers (pp. 54-94). Schoffeleers' essay addresses the Durkheimian notion that the modern nation-state is "a mode of human sociation which could play an integrating role in the modern world" (p. 5). This emphasis in Durkheim on the nation as "a sacred entity and as a provider of existential meaning" results in particularizing forces which encourage nationalism. Meijers' essay on Weber concludes that "formal rationality" is not solely the product of the puritanical tradition. Meijer's argues that one must distinguish between single and plural systems and that "single systems have a much more pronounced tendency towards that type of rationality" (p. 6).

73. Segal, Robert A. "Interpreting and Explaining Religion: Geertz and Durkheim." Soundings 71 (1988): 29-52.

Segal argues that the distinction between "interpreters" and "explainers" of religion is easily exaggerated, as both seek to account for religion in the human experience. "Interpreters" of religion usually are preoccupied with the "meaning" of religion, while "explainers" address the causes of religion. Segal contends that C. Geertz seeks to understand both the cause and function as well as the meaning of religion, and that Durkheim became gradually concerned with the meaning of religious phenomena. While Geertz studies religion primarily as it serves the individual, he is also interested in religion's social dynamics. Durkheim was primarily interested in the role of religion in society, but he also was concerned with religion as it serves the individual.

74. Segal, Robert A. "The 'De-Socializing' of the Sociology of Religion." The Scottish Journal of Religious Studies 7 (1986): 5-28.

75. Seger, Imogen. Durkheim and His Critics on the Sociology of Religion. Monograph Series, Bureau of Applied Social Research. [New York]: Columbia University, 1957. UNC (Davis Library) LC#: HM 22 F8 D875 (82 pp.)

76. Siedman, Steven. "Modernity and the Problem of Meaning: The Durkheimian Tradition." Sociological Analysis 46 (1985): 109-130.

77. Sperber, Daniel. "Anthropology and Psychology: Towards an Epidemiology of Representations." Man 20 (March 1985): 73-89.

78. Stanner, W. E. H. "Reflections on Durkheim and Aboriginal Religion." In Social Organization: Essays Presented to Raymond Firth, pp. 217-40. Maurice Freedman, ed. Chicago: Adine Pub. Co., 1967. LC#: GN 29 S6

An important critique of Durkheim's Elementary Forms. Stanner argues that the basic theoretical basis of Durkheim's book was developed in the decade of 1898-1907. "The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life was not the consummation of his thought: it was but antepenultimate" (p. 227). On the other hand, Stanner believes that Talcott Parsons is mistaken in his contention that the ethnographic details of The Elementary Forms "are incidental to the general theoretical enquiry" (p. 239). Durkheim's analysis of the Australian ethnographic data was framed as "a well-founded experiment" and the argument of the book stands or falls on an credible interpretation of that data. Stanner argues that Durkheim's reading of the ethnographic data is seriously flawed.

79. Steeman, Theodore M. "Durkheim's Professional Ethics." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 3 (1964): 247-54.

80. Stirrat, R. L. "Sacred Models." Man 19 (June 1984): 199-215.

81. Swatos, William H., Jr. "A Durkheimian Miscellany." Sociological Analysis 50 (1989): 111-87.

82. Thompson, Kenneth. Emile Durkheim. Chicherster: Tavistock Publications, 1982. LC#: HM 22 F8 D8737

83. Tiryakian, Edward A. "Durkheim's 'Elementary Forms' as 'Revelation'." In The Future of the Sociological Classics, pp. 114-35. Edited by Buford Rhea. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1981. LC#: HM 51 F9

84. Tiryakian, Edward A. "Introduction to a Bibliographical Focus on Emile Durkheim." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 3 (1964): 247-254.

This is an introductory essay on Durkheim that serves as a preface to a more detailed analysis of some of Durkheim's published works. The essay discusses Durkheim's thought in context with Freud and Weber, and it especially emphasizes Durkheim's approach to the sociology of religion.

85. Turner, Bryan James. "The Social Origins of Academic Sociology: Durkheim." Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, 1977. UNC (Davis Library) LC#: HM 22 F8 D876; Xerox University Microfilms #77-15, 298.

86. Turner, Bryan S. "Sociological Founders and Precursors: The Theories of Religion of Emile Durkheim, Fustel de Coulanges and Ibn Khaldûn." Religion 1 (1971): 32-48.

Since awareness of the development of sociology is important to theorizing, Turner's aim is "to examine the related but distinctive theories of religion" of Durkheim, de Coulanges and Ibn Khaldûn (p. 32). All theorists shared a common understanding of the integrating functions of religion. Turner argues that there was little in Durkheim's theory of religion not already developed by de Coulanges, although de Coulanges' treatment of "the sacred" differed significantly from Durkheim's. Turner also analyzes Ibn Khaldûn's Muaddimah and his impact on European and American sociology.

87. Turner, Stephen P. "Durkheim as Methodologist: Part 1 - Realism, Teleology, and Action." Philosophy of the Social Sciences 13 (1983): 426-50.

88. Turner, Stephen P. "Durkheim as Methodologist: Part 2 - Collective Forces, Causation, and Probability." Philosophy of the Social Sciences 13 (1984): 51-72.

89. Turner, Stephen P. The Search for a Methodology of Social Science: Durkheim, Weber, and the 19th-Century Problem of Cause, Probability and Action. Dordrecht, Holland: D. Reidel Pub. Co., 1986. LC#: Q 174 B67 vol. 92

90. Wagner, Roy. "Totemism." In The Encyclopedia of Religion. Edited by Mircea Eliade. 1987 ed. [14:573-76]

A useful survey of research on totemism; it summarizes the contributions of Frazer, Goldenweiser, Durkheim, Freud, van Gennep and Lévi-Strauss. It also includes an annotated bibliography of important works.

91. Wallace, Ruth. "Emile Durkheim and the Civil Religion Concept." Review of Religious Research 18 (1977): 287-90.

Wallace argues that Durkheim's emphasis on civil religion and the role of public schools in its implementation are important themes in Durkheim's work that are not always given adequate attention.

92. Wallwork, Ernest. Durkheim: Morality and Milieu. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1972. LC#: HM 22 F8 D895

93. Wallwork, Ernest. "Durkheim's Early Sociology of Religion." Sociological Analysis 46 (1985): 201-218.

94. Wallwork, Ernest. "Religion and Social Structure in The Division of Labor." American Anthropologist 86 (March 1984): 43-64.

95. Wax, Murray. "Religion as Universal: Tribulations of an Anthropological Enterprise." Zygon 19 (1984): 5-20.

Wax discusses problems related to the use of the term "religion" universally or cross-culturally. Non-western peoples do not always recognize a genuinely analogous entity that can conveniently or accurately labeled "religion." With reference to Durkheim, Wax discusses the problems involved in Durkheim's notion of sacred/profane. Wax argues that this dichotomy is "peculiar to the Western tradition and not translatable into other languages" (p. 10). Durkheim's dichotomy was also rejected by Evans-Pritchard and W. E. H. Stanner. Wax also discusses Durkheim contributions to the idea of "civil religion" and its subsequent development by Warner and Bellah.

96. Westley, Francis. The Complex Forms of the Religious Life: A Durkheimian View of New Religious Movements. Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1983. LC#: BL 60 W47

This was the author's Ph.D. dissertation at McGill University (1978). Modern society is characterized by increasing secularization and religious and cultural plurality with little consensus about symbols. Durkheim claimed that as society evolved so would religion. Westley attempts to study some modern forms of religion which seem "to capture and express the essence of life in a modern, complex society." Westley's intention is to study religion in modern pluralistic society in a somewhat comparable way to Durkheim's study of religion in primitive society.

97. Wilson, Bryan. "The Academic Position of Sociology of Religion in Modern Science." Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 9 (1982): 9-40.

98. Wolff, Kurt H. Emile Durkheim, 1858-1917. A Collection of Essays, with Translations and a Bibliography. Columbus, Ohio State University Press [1960]. LC#: HM 22 F8 D88

99. Worsley, P. M. "Émile Durkheim's Theory of Knowledge." The Sociological Review 4 (1956): 47-62.


Joel Elliott
Chapel Hill, NC
September 2, 1990

[excerpt from a letter]

There is an enormous amount of bibliographical data on Durkheim, and it was difficult to know what items to exclude. In general I have included items which relate to Durkheim and religion, although I have included many items that do not really meet this criterion. There are several items in the bibliography that are not annotated. This usually means that the source was unavailable to me, it was apparently of marginal significance to the subject of Durkheim and religion, or that I found the item too late to abstract it. I worked on the bibliography in libraries at Baylor University and UNC, as well at Strozier (FSU). Both Baylor and UNC have Religion Index One on CD-ROM. This is really a wonderful source and having it in CD allowed me to do a very thorough (and exhausting) search. FSU really needs to get this. Both Baylor and UNC allow you to use individual CD-ROM disks like the Oxford English Dictionary, Religion Index One, etc. Where possible I have included the Library of Congress call number at the end of the entry, but this does not necessarily mean that it is available in Strozier Library.

Pickering's sources on Durkheim looked really useful, especially his Durkheim on Religion (1975). The authoritative bibliography of Durkheim has to be massive tome by Steven Lukes (Émile Durkheim: His Life and Work, 1973). Lukes' volume provides a thorough introduction to the general contributions of Durkheim, while Pickering's Durkheim's Sociology of Religion, 1984) provides a comparably exhaustive analysis of Durkheim's thought on religion.

I thought you might be particularly interested in the items which focused on the epistemological questions raised by Durkheim. Godlove's works directly address this issue as well as the articles by S. Collins and D. Bloor…



Author: Joel Elliott
September 1990

Last Edited: February 23, 1999