Émile Durkheim’s classic study of the social core of religious belief and practice: The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life

The classic and unabridged work on the sociology of religion by one of the founders of the modern social science of sociology–now presented in a quality centennial edition. Émile Durkheim examines religion as a social phenomenon, across time and geographic boundaries. Some of the most basic forms of social organization are analyzed, along with their religious beliefs and practices, to determine what is fundamental and shared by societies about religion and faith.

Part of the Classics of the Social Sciences Series from Quid Pro: in addition to a contemporary paperback edition, quality digital formatting of new eBooks features fully-linked footnotes, active table of contents, and the original Index. The 100th Anniversary edition includes embedded page numbers from the standard print editions, for continuity of citations and syllabi across digital and print platforms: a very useful feature for research, classwork, and group assignments. Most of all, it’s proofread with care and attention to detail, to promote accuracy, faithful to the original Joseph Swain translation. These features are unlike any digital version available before–ebook or online–at any price. Without linked notes, other versions are unnavigable, sporting hundreds of footnote “1.” And we sincerely doubt that Durkheim originally wrote (as the others quote him) that “all religions can be compared to each other, and since all are specie s of the same ^ass.” The author and this important classic of sociology deserve better.

By examining some of the most basic forms of religion, particularly in aboriginal Australia and native America, and using a creative sociological and anthropological approach, Durkheim discovered the core of what separates religion from ritual, mysticism, science, and mere magic–of what makes the soul more than a spirit. He lay bare the notion that the “primitive” rite, or any religion really, is mainly about fear. This work is simply part of the canon of its field, finally in a readable digital format. It includes notes of the series editor, to explain the use of its functional footnotes and links, as well as photographs of Durkheim and the original title page.

Also in the Classics of the Social Science Series are modern republications, including quality eBook editions, of Neil Smelser’s THEORY OF COLLECTIVE BEHAVIOR and SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY, and Philip Selznick’s TVA AND THE GRASS ROOTS and LEADERSHIP IN ADMINISTRATION. They are introduced and explained by leading contemporary scholars in the field. And see Talcott Parsons, The Social System.


The book is affordably available at such online retail sites as Amazon.com, the QP eStore (fulfilled securely by Amazon), BooksAMillion, and Barnes & Noble. It may also be ordered from YBP Library Services and the Ingram catalog. And contact us about bulk orders and class adoptions.

… and now in library-quality hardcover presentation (2015 edition):

Find it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble online, BooksAMillion, YBP, Ingram, and other booksellers.

Also available in leading eBook formats:

Amazon for Kindle.

Barnes & Noble for Nook.

And at Apple bookstore @ iTunes and iBooks. (Previewed online here.)

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ISBN 978-1-61027-828-7 (hardcover, 2015), US $32.99
ISBN 978-1-61027-926-0 (paperback, 2012), US $ 14.99
ISBN 978-1-61027-939-0 (ePub, 2012), US $3.99
ASIN B0086512H6 (Kindle edition, 2012), US $3.99

About the Author:

Émile Durkheim  (1858-1917) was a French social scientist who organized the emerging branch of sociology and used its analytical methods to explore suicide, societies under strain, religion, and economic life.