Compare and contrast the views of Durkhiem and Karl Marx.

Essay by lenny212University, Bachelor'sB-, March 2009

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This essay will explore Emile Durkheim and Karl Marx's views on religion, it will attemptto compare and contrast some of these views held by each of the thinkers. This essay willalso argue which thinkers point of view is most appropriate in today's modern times andthe reasons for this.

The four main topics for discussions, which are presented in this essay, will firstly startwith Durkheim's famous book "The elementary forms of the religious life" the main ideaswill be discussed and Durkheim's perspectives will be discussed.

Secondly, Marx views about religion will be discussed, looking at his main views and ideasabout religion, science will also be discussed relating to Durkheim's perspectives.

Thirdly, The views of Durkheim and Marx will be compared and contrasted.

And Finally, This essay will argue which theorists perspectives do I think are most relevantto contemporary times and why I believe this to be true.

The Elementary Forms of Religious Life is considered by many to be Durkheim's greatestreligious published work.

This book presents its readers with Durkheim's historical andcomparative arguments for the empirical origins of six basic ideas. These categories aretime, space, classification, force, causality and totality. (Rawls 2005, p.4) Durkheim wentabout studying Totemism the religion of the Australian Aboriginals. He argued that bystudying such a primitive society we are able to be thankful for how religion played such aphysically powerful role in creating a moral link between individuals in a group. It was thisprimitive religious system that fashioned the origin for a pre-modern society. (Rawls,2005)Durkheim argued that religion is of the upmost importance to all societies and their can beno societies which do not feel the need to practise their chosen collective ideas at regulartimes to unite the people together. (Durkheim 1912:1961 p.441)Durkheim believed that religion provided a meaning for life it also provides authorityfigures, and the...