1st Edition

Saints, Heroes, Myths, and Rites Classical Durkheimian Studies of Religion and Society

By Marcel Mauss, Henri Hubert, Robert Hertz Copyright 2009

    Classical Durkheimian Studies of Myth and the Sacred presents English translations of several important essays, some never before translated, by members of the famous Annee sociologique group around Emile Durkheim. These works by Marcel Mauss, Henri Hubert, and Robert Hertz are key contributions to today's growing interest in and reinterpretation of Durkheimian thought on culture, religion, and symbolism. The central thrust in this new interpretive effort uses the Durkheimian theory of the sacred to understand the symbolism and meanings of cultural structures and narratives more generally. This book is vital to any contemporary collection emphasizing social theory.

    Introduction Editors’ Introduction, Alexander Riley, Sarah Daynes, Cyril Isnart; Chapter 1 Myths, Marcel Mauss, Henri Hubert; Chapter 2 Art and Myth according to Wilhelm Wundt, Marcel Mauss; Chapter 3 Preface to Saint Patrick and the Cult of the Hero, Henri Hubert; Chapter 4 The Preeminence of the Right Hand: A Study of Religious Polarity, Robert Hertz; Chapter 5 A Contribution to a Study of the Collective Representation of Death, Robert Hertz; Chapter 6 Saint Besse: Study of an Alpine Cult, Robert Hertz;


    Alexander Riley received his PhD in sociology from the University of California at San Diego. With the late Philippe Besnard, he edited Un ethnologue dans les tranchées: Lettres de Robert Hertz à sa femme Alice (août 1914-avril 1915), and he is the author of Godless Intellectuals? How Durkheimian Sociology and Poststructuralism Reinvented the Intellectual Pursuit of the Sacred. He currently teaches cultural sociology at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Sarah Daynes received her PhD in sociology from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in 2001 and is currently an assistant professor in the department of sociology at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She is the co-author (with Orville Lee) of Desire for Race and author of The Politics of Hope: Time and Memory in Reggae Music. Her areas of specialization are social theory and the sociology of culture. Cyril Isnart received his PhD in social and cultural anthropology from the University of Provence. He is currently a teaching assistant in the Department of Anthropology at that institution and chercheur associé at the Institut d’Ethnologie Mediterranéenne, Européenne et Comparative (CNRS-University of Provence). He is the author of Saints légionnaires des Alpes du Sud: Ethnologie d’une sainteté locale. His areas of specialization include the anthropology of religion, ethnomusicology, and the history of French sociology and anthropology of the twentieth century.

    “This volume brings to English readers meticulous translations of gems in cultural sociology written by some of the ablest students of Durkheim.”
    —Edward A. Tiryakian, Duke University

    “A well-judged selection of important essays from the Durkheim school showing
    how sociology and anthropology can be successfully and imaginatively unified.”
    —Mike Gane, Loughborough University