What are Durkheim’s views on religion?
According to Durkheim, religion is the most elementary social phenomenon, because by pointing to the existence of ideals which are the object of its aspirations, it becomes an indispensable element of human thought development leading to the creation of morality, science, law, politics, and art. Thus, it is the initial stage of the civilization of humanity, this process of socialization, during which the individual succumbs to social forces that are the product and expression of collective feelings. The source of religion, one of the most important social forces, is the collective soul of society. Durkheim proposed a distinction between moral and theological religiosity, claiming that the idea of God is not a necessary element in religion. In his book, he wrote that in the deity he sees only society, transformed and symbolically represented, which means that society in its essence has all the qualities sufficient to cause the feeling of divinity in its members, just like God in those who believe in him. Religious phenomena Durkheim divides into two categories: beliefs and rites.