Blog 2:Durkheim on Ritual

In Durkheim’s Introduction to The Elementary Forms of Religious Life he defines a ritual as a highly routinized act such as taking a communion in a catholic church.As to say, a ritual is a performance, ceremony, it involves interaction and practices in daily life. Moreover a ritual can be best define as a constant cycle that repeats itself again and again. Attending an Ash Wednesday church ceremony would be a perfect example of a ritual. You might not be a member of that church to be precise, but showing your presence and self-involvement is crucial to your role in this human practice. A Christian ritual of communion according to Durkheim explains a historical event in the life of Jesus, and it also represents participation in the unity of individuals who are believers to this specific religion. By in large, because they are practices(not beliefs nor values), rituals can withhold a social group together profoundly putting aside individual differences in beliefs and pass mistakes made.Most importantly, individuals share a common experience and focus that bonds the participants engaging into this practice together. Some statements that individuals use in daily life that reflect a ritual would be, “let us pray” at a church service or “let us stand for the national anthem”.Both of these ritual roles unite the individual to a society that is meaningful. Individulas come to an understanding that they are segregated from society but they seem not to comprehend the real attributes behind their emotions.Religious ritual moments are ones in which the moral empowerment of the group is well established as a spiritual enhancer.

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One response to “Blog 2:Durkheim on Ritual

  1. Nice work, J. The communal aspect of ritual is what makes it significant for religion. The collective expression/enactment of common moral beliefs and practices is what makes a “church” (a religious community). This, not some official, bureaucratic act like “registration” is what makes one a “member” of a church.

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