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Robert Parkin

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.

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Society, Morality, Embodiment

Tracing Durkheim's Legacy

Sondra L. Hausner

This issue of Durkheimian Studies presents the collective efforts of the participants of a workshop held in late 2017, the centenary anniversary of Émile Durkheim’s death, at the University of Oxford. The articles that emerged from it, published together in this special issue for the first time along with some new material, demonstrate a continuation of classic Durkheimian themes, but with contemporary approaches. First, they consider the role of action in the production of society. Second, they rely on authors’ own ethnographies: the contributors here engage with Durkheimian questions from the data of their own fieldsites. Third, effervescence, one of Durkheim’s most innovative contributions to sociology, is considered in depth, and in context: how do societies sustain themselves over time? Finally, what intellectual histories did Durkheim himself draw upon – and how can we better understand his conceptual contributions in light of these influences?

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What Do Religions Actually Fight About?

A Durkheimian Perspective

Bruno Karsenti

In this article, I use a reading of The Elementary Forms of Religious Life to show the relevance of the sociological point of view developed by Durkheim in the analysis and understanding of issues related to the religious conflicts that affect contemporary societies. In particular, I focus on the definition of the critical social function of religion, based on a certain conception of the necessities of action in society and on a gradual transformation of the idea of salvation into a secular context.

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What of Effervescence?

Durkheim in the Cathedral

Simon Coleman

In this article I explore the continued salience of Durkheimian effervescence through an examination of ritual activities contained within contemporary English cathedrals. My argument focuses less on collective occasions of creative or destructive tumult and more on ritualised forms of action where modalities of engagement and participation are nuanced, reflexively negotiated and small-scale. My aim is to render more subtle – and potentially productive – our understandings of gradations in ritual intensity.

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Marine Dhermy-Mairal, Jean-François Bert, and Baudry Rocquin

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Nicolas Sembel

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Durkheim et Buisson

Un rendez-vous manqué ?

Matthieu Béra

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In Memoriam

W. S. F. Pickering

William Watts Miller