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Durkheim'S Political Sociology. Civil Religion, Nationalism And Globalisation

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Chapter Summary

In the French sociological tradition, the idea of a universal secular religion can be traced back to Henri de Saint-Simon and Auguste Comte, but its full crystallization is found in the mature work of Émile Durkheim (Featherstone 1990, 4). This chapter begins with a brief definition of the concept of civil religion, tracing its roots to the works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile Durkheim and Robert Bellah. It presents a discussion of Durkheim's ideas on patriotism, which he perceives as the civil religion of modern times. The chapter examines his ideas concerning the morality that ought to regulate modern international relations, and his hope for the formation of a supra-national community and universal morality. It addresses two issues that, in the authors' opinion, have not received adequate attention in the literature, namely the use of civil religion as a political resource and the relationship between civil religion and nationalism.

Keywords: Émile Durkheim; civil religion; nationalism; Patriotism; supra-national community; universal morality



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