Durkheim, in his very role as a 'founding father' of a new social science, sociology, has become like a figure in an old religious painting, enshrouded in myth and encrusted in layers of thick, impenetrable varnish. This book undertakes detailed, up-to-date investigations of Durkheim's work in an effort to restore its freshness and reveal it as originally created. These investigations explore his particular ideas, within an overall narrative of his initial problematic search for solidarity, how it became a quest for the sacred and how, at the end of his life, he embarked on a project for a new great work on ethics. A theme running through this is his concern with a modern world in crisis and his hope in social and moral reform. Accordingly, the book concludes with a set of essays on modern times and on a crisis that Durkheim thought would pass but which now seems here to stay.
William Watts Miller is editor of the journal, Durkheimian Studies, author of various books and articles on Durkheim as well as of translations of his writings and is one of the team of international scholars co-operating on the first critical edition of Durkheim's Complete Works.
Acknowledgments Introduction PART I: INVESTIGATIONS OF A PROJECT Chapter 1. The Idea of a Social Science Chapter 2. The Creation of The Division of Labour Chapter 3. In Search of Solidarity: The Division of Labour Chapter 4. An Intellectual Crisis Chapter 5. The Creation of The Elemental Forms Chapter 6. In Quest of the Sacred: The Elemental Forms Chapter 7. Transparence or Transfiguration? Chapter 8. Towards a New Great Work PART II: ESSAYS ON MODERN TIMES Chapter 9. Power Struggles Chapter 10. Hope Chapter 11. Art Chapter 12. Surviving Capitalism Notes References Index