My main aim is to show that Les Formes élémentaires de la vie religieuse is a crucial work for understanding Durkheim's moral theory. A fundamental point is that he locates the 'ideal' at the core of morality. Accordingly, explaining the genesis of morality depends on establishing how he conceptualizes the ideal and traces its origins. Searching for the deepest roots of the ideal - basically understood as a sacred idea - takes us to the work's key concern with effervescence, and to issues it raises in the case of the modern world.
Effervescence as the Key to Understanding Morality
W. S. F. Pickering and Raquel Weiss
Durkheimian studies around the world have suffered a great loss, a totally unexpected tragic one, in the early death of Massimo Rosati. Here was a formidable, up-and-coming Italian scholar, whose work was much influenced by Durkheim and of whom he was a notable interpreter. Now, at the age of forty-four, he has died.