Durkheim on Religious

Carrol Cox cbcox at SPAMilstu.edu
Tue Dec 26 08:37:54 MST 2000

Hinrich Kuhls wrote:

> >the problem is what will replace religion in socialist societies?
> man's "perfectly intelligible and reasonable relations with regard to his
> fellowmen and to Nature." (Marx)

The answer is a good one -- but answering the question
tends also to legitimate the question itself, and this is
unfortunate, because there is no need to acknowledge
that the question is legitimate. What will replace the delight
of watching women hobbled by hobble skirts or immobilized
by hoop skirts. What will replace the crippling of feet by
foot binding when that practice is (was) abandoned? What
will replace the joy of hunger pangs when we are all

Why should religion *need* a replacement. The demand
is silly.

What did religion replace? Religion in *any* of the senses
in which the term is used today is only a few thousand years
old. How in the world did homo sapiens get along without
it for 50 to a 100 thousand years?

In fact it seems to me that "religion" as it appears in any
discourse today (eastern, western, wherever) completely
fails to describe the "religion" of classical Greece, which
was totally separated from either personal emotion or
ethics. What arrogance to assume that one particular
historical (ephemeral) practice must be somehow "replaced."


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