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Totemic Outsiders

Ontological Transformation among the Makushi

James Andrew Whitaker

When entering Surama Village in Guyana, one is met with the sight of a large totem pole standing in front of the village office. Amerindian societies in the Guianas (as well as those across broader Amazonia) have no history of making such objects

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The ‘Revelation’ in Durkheim's Sociology of Religion

A Moment of Creative Evolution?

William Watts Miller

crucial, interconnected changes. Comparisons with Durkheim's Thesis A message that Durkheim repeated again and again in his new journal was that, in the beginning, religion permeated the whole of social life and this religion was totemism. In

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One Hundred Years of "Totem and Taboo"

Roland Littlewood

One hundred years after the publication of Totem and Taboo, Freud’s book is summarized, and its reception and current status noted.

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Crime et religion chez Durkheim

Les liens forts entre ses sociologies criminelle et religieuse

Matthieu Béra

est une pratique collective, liée à un ritualisme qui n'est pas sans rappeler la religion, si ce n'est la religion elle-même. Les marques inscrites sont ‘sacrées’, indélébiles, comme des totems qu'elles reproduisent. Le fait n'est pas anodin, c'est à

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A Totem and a Taboo

Germans and Jews Re-enacting Aspects of the Holocaust

Jeremy Schonfield

Holocaust possible, while for Jews it was a totem of belief that all Jews shared equally in the suffering. For Jews and Germans alike there may be a taboo on recognizing certain emotional commonalities between victims and perpetrators, although this

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Children of the Totem – Children under the Law

Notes on the Filiation Bond in Emile Durkheim

Luca Guizzardi

This essay asks why Durkheim was so opposed to free consensual unions, in a support for marriage and the family. But it is above all an attempt to explore the theoretical sources of his insistent and even dogmatic opposition to 'free unions'. Accordingly, it involves Durkheim's thinking about the sacred in two key areas. One centres round issues of filiation, and involves his account of totems, clans and the individual's social identity. The other centres round his view that individualism grows along with the increasing activity of the state, and involves interrelated questions of property, inheritance, the contract and the role of civil law. The result is a tension in his thought between an emphasis on the sacred as the origin of things and a more secular concern with the importance in modern life of moral relations expressed and regulated by civil law. Although his opposition to free unions has roots in 'children of the totem', it is suggested it is above all a modern concern with 'children of the law'.

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Modi's Journey from a Chowkidar (Watchman) to Great God

A Durkheimian Analysis

Anand Raja

evolution of an elementary religion with chowkidar as a totem, the making of a clan, collective effervescence, invoking a civilised hero, and the emergence of a great god. The article suggests new concepts of actor totem, which acts in everyone's interest

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On Halbwachs's Sociology of Knowledge Program

The Two Hidden Categories of ‘La doctrine d'Émile Durkheim’

Jean-Christophe Marcel

idea of soul exists. It is a piece of the totem embodied, which has become the life principle of men. At the origin of the distinction between soul and body, between spiritual faculties and senses, we find the distinction between the profane and the

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Introduction

One Hundred Years of Anthropology of Religion

Ramon Sarró, Simon Coleman, and Ruy Llera Blanes

One could say that in 2012 the scientific study of religion, particularly in its anthropological form, has become one hundred years old. In 1912, Durkheim published The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, perhaps the most influential book in the social study of religion, and certainly in the anthropology of religion, of the entire twentieth century. But this was not the only seminal work published around a century ago. A little earlier than that, in 1909, Arnold van Gennep’s Les rites de passage inaugurated an interest in liminality and ritual that has accompanied our discipline ever since. That same year, Marcel Mauss wrote La prière, an unfinished thesis that started an equally unfinished interest in prayer, one of the central devotional practices in many religions across the globe. In 1910, Lévy-Bruhl published his first explicitly anthropological book, How Natives Think, a problematic ancestor of a debate about rationality and modes of thought that has accompanied anthropology and philosophy ever since. In 1913, Freud tackled the then fashionable topic of totemism in his Totem and Taboo. Around those early years of the century, too, Max Weber was starting to write about charisma, secularization, and rationalization, topics of enduring interest.

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Book Reviews

Understanding Agency: Social Theory and Responsible Action, by Barry Barnes. London: Sage Publications, 2000. Reviewed by Christine MacDonald

Rationality and Power: Democracy in Practice, by Bent Flyvbjerg. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998. Reviewed by Roger Deacon

Is Data Human? The Metaphysics of Star Trek, by Richard Hanley. Basic Books, 1997. Reviewed by Deane Baker

The Skeptical Environmentalist, by Bjorn Lomborg. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. Reviewed by Julia de Kadt

Edward Said and the Writing of History, by Shelley Walia. Icon/Totem Books, 2001. Edward Said: A Critical Introduction, by Valerie Kennedy. Cambridge: Polity, 2000. The Edward Said Reader, edited by Moustafa Bayoumi, Andrew Rubin and Edward Said. Vintage Books, 2000. Reviewed by Derek Hook

Lenin: A Biography, by Robert Service. London: Macmillan, 2000. Reviewed by Derek Hook

Citizenship and Democracy in a Global Era, edited by Andrew Vandenberg. Macmillan and St Martin’s Press, 2000. Reviewed by Kirsten Trotter

Democracy as Public Deliberation: New Perspectives, edited by Maurizio Passerin d’Entrèves. Perspectives on Democratisation Series. Manchester University Press: Manchester and New York, 2002. Reviewed by Laurence Piper