Sample Sociology Essays On Durkheim and Religion

Homework Question on Durkheim and Religion

  • The following essay exam is worth 100 points. You must write your answer in traditional essay/paper format  with introduction, body, and conclusion.


  1. Explain in detail the connection between social life and religion as outlined by Emile Durkehim. Be sure to include and define key terms introduced within the elementary forms of religious life.

Homework Answer on Durkheim and Religion

Emile Durkheim was a French sociologist whose contribution to sociological and philosophical theory remains evident to date. Durkheim, together with Karl Marx and Max Weber are considered the founders of modern sociological perspectives and their ideologies aimed to explain the social dynamics characteristic of the Industrial Revolution in Europe. Durkheim initially maintained that the society could live without religious aspects but later changed this stance and suggested that the society must indeed have a religious perspective and alluded to a relationship between divinity and the social existence of humans.

According to Durkheim’s philosophy, religion is deeply intertwined within the social fabric and social life can be viewed either as a cause or effect religion. Various religions manifest in different forms but despite this, he maintains that religion is the most fundamental component of social life. In his philosophy of religion, Durkheim analyses religion as a social phenomena with qualitative attributes that can be studied ethnographically.

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He further posits that religion does not have an absolute origin or starting point and metaphysically speaking it begins nowhere.Religion must be viewed as a result of observable social forces or factors that permeate the society and a closer examination is necessary for the establishment of its relationship with the society. Durkheim describes religion as a set of beliefs related to sacred objects together with a collection of people who subscribe to these beliefs and the important components of religion according to this definition are beliefs, sacred object and a community of people.