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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 - Rituals-The Sacred and the Social - January 22.docx

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Mahiye Secil Dagtas

January 22, 2014. Lecture 3 – Rituals: The Sacred and the Social Key Terms: • Sacred • Social • Ritual • Rite • Morality • Liminality • Communitas Durkheim • Religion is society’s image of itself • Religion provides a form of social cohesion o Led to structural functionalist perspectives/Radcliffe-Brown • All religions can be understood as “true” once it is seen that what they represent is actually society. o All religion is a social reality; can be understood in this context from the non- believer perspective • “Religion is eminently a social thing.” • “Religious representations are collective representations that express collective realities. Rites are ways of acting that are born only in the midst of assembled groups and whose purpose is to evoke, maintain, or re-create certain mental states of these groups.” • Sacred/Profane o Sacred: not simply gods or spirits, but also objects  Superior to profane things  Placed in ideal and transcendental world (transcendent) o Profane:  Inferior to the sacred  Placed in the material world, immanent, real  Not only separate but also antagonistic • Beliefs: (thought) states of opinion, consists in representations • Rites: characterized by its action o Durkheim: “Society cannot make its influence felt unless it is in action, and it is in action only if the individuals who comprise it are assembled and acting in common”  “Rites are rules of conduct that prescribe how man must conduct himself with sacred things” • Classification (i.e. sacred/profane): cognitive or sociological? • Ritual: Sacred   Profane o Rituals address the relationship between
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