This records the life and work of William Stuart Frederick Pickering (1922–2016), an ordained Anglican priest and internationally acclaimed scholar affectionately known as ‘Bill’, who had a wide range of interests in the fields of sociology and theology, but who came to specialize, through the sociology of religion, in the work of Émile Durkheim, and who founded the British Centre for Durkheimian Studies, the University of Oxford. It includes a bibliography of his major publications and, on behalf of his many friends and colleagues in France, a personal tribute from Professor Jean-Christophe Marcel.
W. S. F. Pickering
William Watts Miller
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?
Philippe Besnard (1942–2003)
W. S. F. Pickering
The British Centre for Durkheimian Studies has suffered a severe blow with the sad death of Philippe Besnard. He has continually supported the Centre from the time when it was founded in 1991, and indeed he might be called one of its ‘founding fathers’.
Claudette Kennedy, W. S. F. Pickering and Nick Allen
The late Mrs Claudette Kennedy was a niece of Mauss and a great niece of Durkheim. On 1 September 1992, Bill Pickering (WP) and Nick Allen (NA) – of the then recently formed British Centre for Durkheimian Studies at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Oxford University – met Claudette Kennedy (CK) in her house in Oxford and recorded a conversation with her. She had certain firm memories of Emile Durkheim, her great uncle, but more of Marcel Mauss. In all probability, she was the only person then alive with such memories, especially those of Durkheim. Pierre Mauss might have had recollections of Marcel Mauss but his memory was said to be failing.