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Write a 12 page essay on Theories of the origin of religion by Durkheim and Freud.Download file to see previous pages... Since faith has always been a subject of grave concern for a large majority of
Write a 12 page essay on Theories of the origin of religion by Durkheim and Freud.Download file to see previous pages...
Since faith has always been a subject of grave concern for a large majority of the people belonging to diverse ethno-racial and social backgrounds since ever, the topic maintains great sociological significance in its scope. Religion is rightly stated to be an essential part of the public and private life of the individuals belonging to various cultures and civilisations since the known history of the globe (R Lowe, 1963:532-3). It is partly because of man’s developing strong belief in the metaphysical objects and supernatural powers existing in the universe, with which man maintains emotional and sentimental association (C Ember &. M Ember, 2007:393). These supernatural powers are considered to be strongly influencing the destiny of the people by dint of their control over the universal phenomena. Not only this that these powers are in a position of providing the humans with emotional and financial support, but also they serve as the forces that play decisive role in protecting them from all internal setbacks and external threats (A Kroeber, 1963:82-3). Additionionally, these forces are thought to be having the power to inflict woes and pains upon the humans. as well as liberating them from these calamities at the moment when the humans seek their support on finding themselves absolutely vulnerable. (Ember &. Ember, 2007:395). In other terms, supernatural forces have been thought to be maintaining absolute control over the destiny of humans in all respects. Consequently, primitive man had established his belief in these powers in order to escape pains and sufferings of different kinds, and for obtaining all comforts and joys life offered to him, along with attaining pelf, power and possession that could earn dominant place for him over fellow-humans and other creatures. Almost similar views have been articulated by distinguished French sociologist-theorist Emile Durkheim in his Elementary Forms of the Religious Life (1912). Durkheim’s Perspective: While discussing the origin of religion, Durkheim seeks supports from the relics of ancient era clans observing distinctive spiritual norms and practices. “A religion is”, Durkheim asserts, “a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, including set apart and forbidden beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a Church, all those who adhere to them” (J Breaux, 2008:1). The theorist is of the opinion that the nature of bonding among the humans in primitive era was limiteed in the sense that every individual was bound to fulfil the needs attributed to him, his family and clan, without seeking help from the other groups outside the tribe altogether. As a result, everyone had to get involved into the hunting and food-gathering activities. Hence, the concept of in-group and out-group used to prevail in such a strong manner that the people did not bother to render any assistance to the members of the external groups (J Macionis, 2008:481). It was partially because of the fear of assault and attack from the external tribes, which created rivalry among the ancient time clans against one another. Such a state of absolute isolation not only kept the primitive era humans away from the fellow-beings, but also developed his strong relationship with their specific clans on the one side, and the supernatural powers on the other.