As we are commemorating the centenary of Durkheim's death in this issue, it seems appropriate to reflect on what we know about it. We know, of course, that he died on 15 November 1917 at the age of 59 – not a young age at which to die a hundred years ago, but not an old one, either. Also, we know that he died during World War I, but in his bed, unlike many of his younger colleagues, who died on the battlefield, including his own son.
Robert Parkin is an Emeritus Fellow of the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, where he was formerly a Departmental Lecturer in Social Anthropology. His previous post was as a lecturer at the University of Kent at Canterbury. As well as his interest in the Durkheim school, he has worked on issues to do with kinship and marriage, identity and politics, and religion in relation to South Asia and parts of Europe, especially western Poland, on all of which he has published. In connection with the Durkheimian legacy, he has written on the work of both Louis Dumont and Robert Hertz, and has also translated the latter's work on sin and Henri Hubert's work on time into English.