Durkheim, a son of rabbi

Jean-Claude Filloux. “We must not forget that I am the son of a rabbi “, French Review of sociology, 1976, n° 2, pp. 259-266.

“Our purpose is to examine the impact of the religious training of Durkheim (training in relationship with the father a rabbi) on the representation of the company developed, once the decision is made to build sociology; and, for this, to formulate hypotheses, which should allow in particular to link it with a certain vision and emotional of the group, as a space of communion and place of submission to a Law, with the vocation.

If, in deciding to be a sociologist, Durkheim was doing the last step of a process of rupture with the rabbinate, that is to say, with a religion and a priesthood, the question remains of what it meant to this break. Was it a refusal to occupy the place of the father, the father to be the bearer of discourse, the rabbinic ? It was rather be doing this instead, still be the father, but the bearer of a discourse at once the same and different ? How Durkheim negotiates the rupture with the religious training ?

The evidence on the personality of Durkheim agree in recognising in him something of an identification with a figure of a prophet. This identification would be a Moses announcing a truth, a Law : the truth of the group, the act group; raising a belief in this truth and in this act. But we still had it, to do this, the basis for such belief. The new Moses, Durkheim supersede the religious revelation the revelation “scientific” basis for what he is the prophet, this will be for Durkheim to discover the law from the group, for the group, establishing scientifically the object to which it is necessary to believe, – this will be the job of the sociologist. The identification with Moses is thus in a displacement of the object prophesied, and the report of the revealing the revealed.

Just so, we believe, to the support of our hypothesis, the journey itself, that makes the rupture a process in which Emile Durkheim is seen, first, a schoolmaster (” priest secular “) and sociologist (revealing the Law of the group) , breaking – specifically consumed at the Ecole Normale and the concomitant, in that she has final decision to be a sociologist. Durkheim, at this time, as we have said, is meant to be the founding father of sociology, the worker of a revelation; this is the time, we will add, where the identification is made heroic, creative. We do not want to say, then, that the “priest secular” has given way to the new Moses. Durkheim, in our hypothesis, will remain attached to the father figure returns to the priest and prophet both. He will be the father who shows up and founds a new religion, – but also the one who teaches the group and who commented in his Law; and finally, in a moment, when he founded The année sociologique, head of school, surrounded by disciples. The desire to found sociology to be a sociology revealing a representation is determined of the Group and of its reports to the Human is rooted in the investment in deep where there is the desire to be the father, a rabbi, and not to be the father, or rather the desire to be otherwise the father. ”

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