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Toward a Durkheimian theory of ritual action

Grant number: 21/10138-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2022
Effective date (End): December 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology - Fundamentals of Sociology
Principal Investigator:Paula Montero
Grantee:Romulo Lelis Lima
Host Institution: Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento (CEBRAP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):22/07416-7 - Durkheimian sociology of religion and its rational reconstructions: reassessing its legacy for contemporary social theory, BE.EP.PD


Despite the enormous amount and variety of analyses on the Durkheimian sociology of religion, the specialized literature has never successfully determined Durkheim's contribution to the study of rituals. Recognizing such a gap in prior research, this study aims to elaborate a systematic and critical reconstruction of Durkheim, Hubert, and Mauss' approach to investigating rituals within the sociologie religieuse research programme of the Année sociologique. In this regard, Durkheim, Hubert, and Mauss' works that deal specifically with magical-religious practices and the ethnographies on the Arunta peoples that served for such reflections will be examined. The hypothesis is that Hubert and Mauss have formulated a theory of ritual action, later assimilated by Durkheim, highlighting assemblies' creative power in generating new ideas and practices through dramatic performances. According to this view, ritual action extrapolates the religious phenomena domain and is conceived as the elemental form of social action. (AU)

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