The essentials of religion
DOI link for The essentials of religion
The essentials of religion book
In the classic, minimalist definition we see the still common emphasis on religion as a private, intellectual activity rather than an emphasis on, for example, the behavioral or the social components, as in Émile Durkheim’s emphasis on public ritual and social institution in his still influential sociological study, The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. Unlike Durkheim’s sense of religion as something eminently social that we do with our body, for Edward Burnett Tylor, religion is an eminently individual thing that we do with our mind. In Tylor’s onetime popular definition we therefore find the remnants of a philosophically idealist era in European history, when one’s membership within certain groups was thought to be primarily dependent upon whether one believed in something, rather than membership being the result of collective behaviors, such as a group of soldiers saluting a flag or people standing in unison to sing a national anthem.