Elementary Forms of Religious Life: A Dialogue between the Disciplines Oxford, July 9th-10th 2011

School of Anthropology and Museum Studies (SAME), University of Oxford with The British Centre for Durkheimian Studies, Maison Française d’Oxford, and All Souls College.

Setting the Scene

Chair: Wendy James

  • Willie Watts Miller (Bristol), Durkheim’s Re-imagination of “Australia”: A Case Study of the Relation between Theory and Ethnography
  • Karen E. Fields (Vanderbilt),  Acquiring A Soul: Religious Life and Scientific Discovery

Cognition and Evolution

Chair: Nick J. Allen

  • Harvey Whitehouse (Oxford), Durkheimian Anthropology and the Cognitive Science of Religion
  • Emma Cohen (Max Planck, Leipzig), Collective Effervescence and Human Cooperation: Modes, Mechanisms, and Measurements
  • Nick J. Allen (Oxford), Durkheim’s Sacred-Profane Opposition: What Should We Make of it?
  • Clive Gamble (Royal Holloway), Durkheim and the Primitive Mind: An Archaeological Retrospective


Chair: David Gellner

  • Sondra Hausner (Oxford), Is Individual to Collective as Freud is to Durkheim?
  • Louise Child (Cardiff), Elementary Forms vs Psychology in Contemporary Cinema

Sociology and Anthropology

Chair: Nick J. Allen, Wendy James

  • Adam Chau (Cambridge), Rites of Convergence, Sociothermic Affect, and Collective Effervescence
  • Zhe Ji (INALCO, Paris), On Civil Religion
  • Paul Richards, (UCL/Yale), African Armed Groups and Social Solidarity

Concluding thoughts: Harvey Whitehouse, Clive Gamble, David Gellner, Wendy James, Bill Pickering

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