Essay question: – Compare and contrast Marx and Durkheim's r Paper
Compare and contrast Marx and Durkheim's role of religion in
The purpose of this essay is to critically exam the thoughts on religion of two of the founding father's of modern sociology.Karl Marx (1818–1883) and Emile Durkheim (1858-1917), their work maybe over a century old but it is still essential to the understanding of modern society. Although Marx did not directly write on religion in his works he does make reference to it in his writings. However for Durkheim, religion was the centrepiece of one his most famous works The Elementary Forms of the Religious life published in 1912. It was the last major work to be published by Durkheim until his death five years later, in 1917. Durkheim was interested in studying religion as a social entity, what religion done for the community. It must be noted that both men were born after the industrial revolution, when society began to reject a religious basis for understanding the world in favour for a more scientific understanding of the world.
It must be observed for the purpose of this essay that religion can be defined as a set of beliefs, symbols, practices and rituals adhered and spiritually believed in by members of a given socio-religious society. However belief in monotheism, or even polytheism is not essential because the Buddhists do not believe in either of these spiritual beliefs. Buddhism as a faith, accepts, that all individuals must follow their own path. Monotheism is an essential spiritual belief of the three major religions of the world today, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
When Durkheim states in The Division of Labour, originally published in 1893,"The totality of beliefs and sentiments common to the average member's of society forms a determinate system with a life of its own.It can be determined the collective or common consciousness." (Cited in Calhoun, C., Gerteis, J., Moody, J., Pfaff, S., Schmidt, K., & Indermohan, V…