Bring an example of a religious practice you would like to know more about

Bring an example of a religious practice you would like to know more about

Ryan Schram

Mills 169 (A69)

March 15, 2017

Available at


Unit outline and assignment instructions.

Durkheim, Emile. 2008 [1912]. “The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life.” In A Reader in the Anthropology of Religion, edited by Michael Lambek, 34–47. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishing.

Other media

Anonymous. 2013. “Emile Durkheim and Socialization.” YouTube, September 12.

What did you bring?

You should bring an example of a religious practice to your tutorial today. Maybe some of you already have some ideas… Walk around and introduce yourself to people. Share what you have brought.

Now is a good time to mention my guide to research, The Quest: Discovering new ideas through research. Check it out. This week are a starting to seek a topic of research.

What have people brought?

Finding a topic of research

You should now have all read the unit outline, the assignment instructions, and hopefully, The Quest.

What is an “ethnography”? Why would it be good to find one to read?

Do you have any questions for me?

Society, religion, social theory, social studies of religion

This class focuses on the relationships between religion and society, and the role played by religious ideas, practices and institutions in societies.

Anthropology has its own special way of tackling this.

Weeks 2, 3, 4, and 5 introduce to key theories - abstract, general explanations or models - anthropology uses to understand religions in all their cultural diversity, and all their complexity.

The study of religion before anthropology

Emile Durkheim, founder of sociology and anthropology

Emile Durkheim invented the scientific study of society.

Durkheim's key ideas

Durkheim on religion and society

Society worshipping itself

Durkheim is best known for his statement that 'Religion is just society worshipping itself'. What does that mean?


Durkheim, Emile. 1964 [1895]. The Rules of the Sociological Method. Edited by George E. G. Catlin. Translated by Sarah A. Solovay and John H. Mueller. New York: The Free Press.

A guide to the unit