Durkheim and Religion. Ritual is formal ceremonial behavior usually used to approach or deal with the supernatural. French philosopher Emile Durkheim's book The Division of Labor in Society (or De la Division du Travail Social) debuted in 1893.It was his first major published work and the one in which he introduced the concept of anomie or the breakdown of the influence of … In The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912), Emile Durkheim sets himself the task of discovering the enduring source of human social identity. Which of the following is NOT true of Durkheim's understanding of religion? Durkheim’s major book “The elementary forms of Religious life” (1912) has been regarded as one of the most profound and most original work upon Religion. He wrote on the division of labour, methodology, suicide and education, but his most prolific and influential works were his writings on religion, which culminated in his controversial book The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life. The famous French sociologist Emile Durkheim is universally recognised as one of the founding fathers of sociology as an academic discipline. Durkheim – Totemism . In his work, Durkheim focused on totemism, the religion of the Aboriginal Australians and Native Americans. He investigates what he considered to be the simplest form of documented religion - totemism among the Aborigines of Australia. As such, he wrote:: 220. He based his work upon a study of totemism as practiced by Australian aboriginal societies and urged that totemism represents religion in its most elementary or simple form.A totem was originally an animal or plant considered to have a particular symbolic significance for a group. Formation of Collective Consciousness. Durkheim conducted a study of the Arunta, an Australian aboriginal tribe’s religious beliefs in order to establish the function of the beliefs and ceremonies and what it really signified. According to Durkheim, the collective consciousness is formed through social interactions. Durkheim saw this religion as the most ancient religion, and focused on it as he believed its simplicity would ease the discussion of the essential elements of religion. Now the totem is the flag of the clan. INTRODUCTION. In particular, Durkheim thought of the close-knit interactions between families and small communities, groups of people who share a common religion, who may eat together, work together, and spend leisure time together. Durkheim's primary purpose in The Elementary Forms was to describe and explain the most primitive 1 religion known to man. Durkheim deliberately chose what he considered to be a very primitive religion in order to focus on the essential elements of belief and its functions. Durkheim elaborates his theory of religion at length in his most important work, Forms. Durkheim called this Totemism. It is regarded as his best and most mature work. The function of society is to create: Social order and to criticize human beings. Aboriginal Australians and Native Americans. It was Australian Aboriginal religion which Durkheim took as the model for religion in its first, origianl form. Hans Mol, “The Origin and Function of Religion: A Critique of, and Alternative to, Durkheim's Interpretation of the Religion of Australian Aborigines,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 18, no. According to Durkheim, religion is the product of human activity, not divine intervention. Durkheim's Two Problems. 4 (1979):379-389. Relevance: Sociology Paper I: Sociological Thinkers: Emile Durkheim- Division of labour, social fact, suicide, religion and society. Durkheim studied aboriginal societies and saw their religion to be the most basic. Aboriginal societies divide themselves up into clans; these are similar to large extended families. Society is a living _____. He thus treats religion as a sui generis social fact and analyzes it sociologically.