In Search of the Elementary Forms of Social Life - Law, Culture, and Religion in a Durkheimian Perspective

Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann [will be published soon]

The book offers an original interpretation of Emile Durkheim's theory and demonstrates its potential for the analysis of various lifeworld phenomena. In the first part, Durkheim's role in the context of an original unity of sociology of law, sociology of religion and social theory is illuminated and his original approach to the analysis of elementary forms of social life is reconstructed. The second part traces these elementary forms through examples such as commemorative rituals, the social construction of icons of beauty and the sacralisation of nature, among others. It thereby shows how stimulating reading this author can be for grasping social realities – and for understanding how his works have changed the cultural sociology of social life.

About the Author:

Prof. Dr. jur. Dr. h.c. Werner Gephart is a legal scholar, sociologist and artist. He is Senior Professor for sociology at the University of Bonn and Founding Director of the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study in the Humanities "Law as Culture".