Throughout the western world, increasingly uprooted populations unthinkingly accept centralized controls in exchange for a variety of entitlements. In their frightening passivity, Gottfried locates the quandary for traditionalist and populist adversaries of the welfare state. How can opponents of administrative elites show the public that those who provide, however ineptly, for their material needs are the enemies of democratic self-rule and of independent decision making in family life? If we do not wake up, Gottfried warns, the political debate may soon be over, despite sporadic and ideologically confused populist rumblings in both Europe and the United States.
Ricci's goal is to demonstrate the reciprocity of history and philosophy. He challenges the epistemological construction of the subject-object relationship and the facile dualism originating from Descartes. Arguing that consciousness must be defined in time and space, he shows how Vico's philosophy of humanity, with its historical epistemology, resurrects the practical implications of ancient philosophy's demand that knowledge and truth derive from a productive process. Ricci analyzes Heidegger's philosophy as the modern embodiment of the temporality of consciousness, and he demonstrates the origins of his particular interpretation of human existence in Rickert's and Windelband's delineation of the historical and natural sciences.
Ricci links their influence to Heidegger's dissent over Ranke's objectivist methodology, which ended with Heiddegger's emphasis of the historical character of human existence. Finally, the author argues for the compatibility of Heidegger's early existential analytic and his later investigation of poetry and his critique of the technological idiom which had colonized philosophy. In doing so, Ricci highlights the metaphoric and figurative predisposition of mind as synthetic functions of historical consciousness.
In offering a thoroughly temporal interpretation of mind, Ricci illuminates the relationship between philosophy and history, poetry, the cognitive sciences, and the natural sciences. This work will be of interest to philosophers, literary scholars, and cultural historians.
Gabriel Ricci is associate professor of philosophy at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, and editor (with Paul Gottfried) of the annual serial publication Religion and Public Life.
The collected works in this new volume of the Transaction series Religion and Public Life heeds Petrarch's advice that literature not only orients us to life's developmental stages, it can provide us with a more complete understanding of the human character while artfully advancing morals. To this end, Michelle Darnell's opening chapter entitled "A New Age of Reason" explains how existentialism is an argument for how literature can take on philosophical form, not as formal argument, but as persuasive narrative. Over the objections of even those who study Sartre, Darnell uses Sartre's The Age of Reason as a model and shows how his literary output was a legitimate philosophical inquiry.
In addition to the Darnell piece, the volume boasts a series of outstanding and innovative works by scholars in the field. Taken together as a whole, these authors not only illustrate the moral consequences of an original choice, but oblige the reader to explore the ramifications of such a choice in one's own life.
Gabriel R. Ricci is professor of humanities and the chair of the Department of History at Elizabethtown College. He is the author of Time Consciousness: The Philosophical Uses of History and the editor of Transaction's much-admired Religion and Public Life series.
Following the editor's introductory essay, the lead article by Jame Schaeffer, "Quest for the Common Good: A Collaborative Public Theology for a Life-Sustaining Climate," assesses the lightning rod issue of global warming in the context of a public and ecumenical theology and sets the tone for this normative assessment of our relationship with nature. Likewise, David Kenley's essay, "Three Gorges be Dammed: The Philosophical Roots of Environmentalism in China," reveals the traditional philosophical and cultural values that can sustain a vital environmentalism in the East. David Brown's historical insights into the use of the American landscape to define historical writing complement Patricia Likos-Ricci's historical treatment of nineteenth-century landscape painting and the first call to preserve wilderness in the United States. Matt Willen, "An Feochn," and David Martinez, "What Worlds are Made of: The Lakota Sense of Place," both demonstrate how space is transformed into place through song and mythic tales. On a metaphysical note, Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopolos' essay "On the Line of the Horizon, Anxiety in de Chirico's Metaphysical Spaces," provides the reader with psychological and existential insights into the disorienting paintings of de Chirico, and Gabriel Ricci's concluding essay tours the landscape that underpins Heidegger's ontological speculations.
The contributions to this volume are posited on the belief that culture, society, and human history are ultimately rooted in the natural world. This integration may explain why humanity has always looked to nature for moral and ethical guidelines.
Gabriel R. Ricci is associate professor of humanities and the chair of the Department of History at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Time Consciousness: The Philosophical Uses of History, published by Transaction.
A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower, the now-classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack. Based on more than two hundred personal interviews with current and former Scientologists—both famous and less well known—and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative ability to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology.
At the book’s center, two men whom Wright brings vividly to life, showing how they have made Scientology what it is today: The darkly brilliant science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, whose restless, expansive mind invented a new religion. And his successor, David Miscavige—tough and driven, with the unenviable task of preserving the church after the death of Hubbard.
We learn about Scientology’s complicated cosmology and special language. We see the ways in which the church pursues celebrities, such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, and how such stars are used to advance the church’s goals. And we meet the young idealists who have joined the Sea Org, the church’s clergy, signing up with a billion-year contract.
In Going Clear, Wright examines what fundamentally makes a religion a religion, and whether Scientology is, in fact, deserving of this constitutional protection. Employing all his exceptional journalistic skills of observation, understanding, and shaping a story into a compelling narrative, Lawrence Wright has given us an evenhanded yet keenly incisive book that reveals the very essence of what makes Scientology the institution it is.
From the Hardcover edition.
Sam Harris’s first book, The End of Faith, ignited a worldwide debate about the validity of religion. In the aftermath, Harris discovered that most people—from religious fundamentalists to nonbelieving scientists—agree on one point: science has nothing to say on the subject of human values. Indeed, our failure to address questions of meaning and morality through science has now become the most common justification for religious faith. It is also the primary reason why so many secularists and religious moderates feel obligated to "respect" the hardened superstitions of their more devout neighbors.
In this explosive new book, Sam Harris tears down the wall between scientific facts and human values, arguing that most people are simply mistaken about the relationship between morality and the rest of human knowledge. Harris urges us to think about morality in terms of human and animal well-being, viewing the experiences of conscious creatures as peaks and valleys on a "moral landscape." Because there are definite facts to be known about where we fall on this landscape, Harris foresees a time when science will no longer limit itself to merely describing what people do in the name of "morality"; in principle, science should be able to tell us what we ought to do to live the best lives possible.
Bringing a fresh perspective to age-old questions of right and wrong and good and evil, Harris demonstrates that we already know enough about the human brain and its relationship to events in the world to say that there are right and wrong answers to the most pressing questions of human life. Because such answers exist, moral relativism is simply false—and comes at increasing cost to humanity. And the intrusions of religion into the sphere of human values can be finally repelled: for just as there is no such thing as Christian physics or Muslim algebra, there can be no Christian or Muslim morality.
Using his expertise in philosophy and neuroscience, along with his experience on the front lines of our "culture wars," Harris delivers a game-changing book about the future of science and about the real basis of human cooperation.
This one-stop, how-to-defend-your-faith manual will equip Christians to advance faith conversations deliberately, applying straightforward, cool-headed arguments. They will discover not just what they believe, but why they believe—and how being on guard with the truth has the power to change lives forever.
From Sam Harris, neuroscientist and author of numerous New York Times bestselling books, Waking Up is for the twenty percent of Americans who follow no religion but who suspect that important truths can be found in the experiences of such figures as Jesus, the Buddha, Lao Tzu, Rumi, and the other saints and sages of history. Throughout this book, Harris argues that there is more to understanding reality than science and secular culture generally allow, and that how we pay attention to the present moment largely determines the quality of our lives.
Waking Up is part memoir and part exploration of the scientific underpinnings of spirituality. No other book marries contemplative wisdom and modern science in this way, and no author other than Sam Harris—a scientist, philosopher, and famous skeptic—could write it.
With rigor and wit, Dawkins examines God in all his forms, from the sex-obsessed tyrant of the Old Testament to the more benign (but still illogical) Celestial Watchmaker favored by some Enlightenment thinkers. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry, and abuses children, buttressing his points with historical and contemporary evidence. The God Delusion makes a compelling case that belief in God is not just wrong but potentially deadly. It also offers exhilarating insight into the advantages of atheism to the individual and society, not the least of which is a clearer, truer appreciation of the universe's wonders than any faith could ever muster.
In this enlightening book, Sam Harris argues that this truth about the human mind does not undermine morality or diminish the importance of social and political freedom, but it can and should change the way we think about some of the most important questions in life.
The Inner Temple of Witchcraft is a thorough course of education, introspection, meditation, and the development of the magickal and psychic abilities that are the birthright of the witch. Four introductory chapters present the history, traditions, and principles of witchcraft, followed by thirteen lessons that start with basic meditation techniques and culminate in a self-initiation ceremony equivalent to the first-degree level of traditional coven-based witchcraft.
As you progress through this year-and-a-day course of study, you will explore a wide range of topics that support and inform the dedicated witch:Ancient and modern magickal philosophy Modern scientific theories supporting a new definition of reality "Instant" magick techniques for protection, healing, and serenity Energy work and anatomy, including chakras and auras Astral travel, dreams, and spirit guides Healing techniques for body, mind, and spirit
This book's non-dogmatic presentation encourages an eclectic, personal approach while providing a strong foundation for the practice of witchcraft and magick. Develop your psychic abilities and practice potent magickal techniques as you explore the source of every witch's power—the temple within.
Winner of the 2003 Coalition of Visionary Resources (COVR) Award for Best Magic Book
Providing an intimate window into a loving Muslim home, Qureshi shares how he developed a passion for Islam before discovering, almost against his will, evidence that Jesus rose from the dead and claimed to be God. Unable to deny the arguments but not wanting to deny his family, Qureshi struggled with an inner turmoil that will challenge Christians, Muslims, and all those who are interested in the world’s greatest religions.
Engaging and thought-provoking, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus tells a powerful story of the clash between Islam and Christianity in one man’s heart?and of the peace he eventually found in Jesus.
"I have seldom seen such genuine intellect combined with passion to match ... truly a 'must-read' book."—Ravi Zacharias
From as early as three years old, Juliana, Celeste and Kristina were treated as sexual beings by their 'guardians' in the infamous religious cult known as the Children of God. They were made to watch and mimic orgies, received love letters and sexual advances from men old enough to be their grandfather, and were forced into abusive relationships. They were denied access to formal schooling, had to wander the streets begging for money, and were mercilessly beaten for 'crimes' as unpredictable as reading an encyclopaedia.
Finally, unable to live with the guilt of what had happened to her children, their mother escaped with Kristina, cutting herself off from her remaining children in a bid to save at least one child. Desperate to save her sisters, Kristina eventually returned to the place of her torture to free Celeste. Years later, Juliana found the courage to escape, knowing that the child she was carrying would be subjected to the same fate if she did not.
Now the three sisters have finally come together to reveal in full and horrific detail their existence within the Children of God cult. Their stories reveal a community spread throughout the world and its legacy of anorexia, depression, drug abuse, suicide and even murder. Lives are ripped apart and painstakingly mended with a shared strength that finally enabled the sisters to free themselves from the shadows of their past.
Scriptures, he saw that Catholicism couldn't save. This is the emotional story
of a Jesuit priest who left the Catholic Church and found salvation through
faith in Jesus Christ alone. He became a hunted man, because he knew the
carefully guarded secrets of the Vatican.
Living Wicca takes a philosophical look at the questions, practices, and differences within Witchcraft. You'll learn how to create your own rituals and symbols, develop a book of shadows, and even become a high priest or priestess. Also covered in this Scott Cunningham classic are tools, magical names, initiation, the Mysteries, 120 Wiccan symbols, and the importance of secrecy in your practice.New edit New interior design
Within the pages of this book you will find the secrets and techniques to become a Witch. These can be divided into three categories: philosophical disciplines, spiritual beliefs, and practical techniques. Each part gets a focus in this book.
In the first section, you will:
- Learn meditation and how it can be used for ritual
- Discover the secrets of visualization, telepathy, and personal power
- Use the self-analysis techniques to discover who you are and never walk in anyone's shadow
In the second section you can:
- Uncover the essence of the God and Goddess
- Discover the festivals of Witchcraft
- Learn how to make and use the tools of Witchcraft
- Understand how to do rituals, including the rite of self-initiation
And in the final section, you'll:
- Practice psychic protection, shapeshifting, and banishing
- Master astral projection
- Learn to interpret omens
This really just barely covers some of the information you will find revealed in these pages. Written in a style that is clear and concise, this book will add to your knowledge of Witchcraft. Whether you are new to the Craft or have been practicing for some time, Witchcraft: Theory and Practice will impart wisdom that will fascinate and entice. You will be using this book for many years to come.
Humanity has had a long fascination with blood sacrifice. In fact, it has been by no means uncommon for a child to be born into this world only to be patiently and lovingly reared by religious maniacs, who believe that the best way to keep the sun on its course or to ensure a rich harvest is to lead him by tender hand into a field or to a mountaintop and bury, butcher, or burn him alive as offering to an invisible God. The notion that Jesus Christ died for our sins and that his death constitutes a successful propitiation of a “loving” God is a direct and undisguised inheritance of the superstitious bloodletting that has plagued bewildered people throughout history. . .
Grimoire for the Green Witch offers a treasury of magical information- rituals for Esbats and Sabbats, correspondences, circle-casting techniques, sigils, symbols, recitations, spells, teas, oils, baths, and divinations. Every aspect of Craft practice is addressed, from the purely magical to the personally spiritual. It is a distillation of Green practice, with room for growth and new inspiration.
2004 COVR AWARD 1ST RUNNER-UP
At the core of Krakauer’s book are brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a commandment from God to kill a blameless woman and her baby girl. Beginning with a meticulously researched account of this appalling double murder, Krakauer constructs a multi-layered, bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, polygamy, savage violence, and unyielding faith. Along the way he uncovers a shadowy offshoot of America’s fastest growing religion, and raises provocative questions about the nature of religious belief.
Have you ever wondered what Jesus would say to Mohammed? Or Buddha? Or Oscar Wilde? Maybe you have a friend who practices another religion or admires a more contemporary figure. Drop in on a conversation between Jesus and some well-known individuals whose search for the meaning of life took them in many directions--and influenced millions. Through dialogue between Christ and Gautama Buddha, Zacharias reveals Jesus' warm, impassioned concern for all people and explores God's true nature.
From the Hardcover edition.
Who are we? Why so we so often fall short of our goals for ourselves and others? By seeking to understand our limitations and accept the inevitably of failure and pain, we being to ease the hurt and move toward a greater sense of serenity and self-awareness. The Spirituality Of Imperfection brings together stories from many spiritual and philosophical paths, weaving past traditions into a spirituality and a new way of thinking and living that works today. It speaks so anyone who yearns to find meaning within suffering. Beyond theory and technique, inside this remarkable book you will find a new way of thinking, a way of living that enables a truly human existence.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
In this important book, fifty-three distinguished men and women respond to Wiesenthal's questions. They are theologians, political leaders, writers, jurists, psychiatrists, human rights activists, Holocaust survivors, and victims of attempted genocides in Bosnia, Cambodia, China and Tibet. Their responses, as varied as their experiences of the world, remind us that Wiesenthal's questions are not limited to events of the past. Often surprising and always thought provoking, The Sunflower will challenge you to define your beliefs about justice, compassion, and human responsibility.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Father Gary Thomas was working as a parish priest in California when he was asked by his bishop to travel to Rome for training in the rite of exorcism. Though initially surprised, and slightly reluctant, he accepted this call, and enrolled in a new exorcism course at a Vatican-affiliated university, which taught him, among other things, how to distinguish between a genuine possession and mental illness. Eventually he would go on to participate in more than eighty exorcisms as an apprentice to a veteran Italian exorcist. His experiences profoundly changed the way he viewed the spiritual world, and as he moved from rational skeptic to practicing exorcist he came to understand the battle between good and evil in a whole new light. Journalist Matt Baglio had full access to Father Gary over the course of his training, and much of what he learned defies explanation.
The Rite provides fascinating vignettes from the lives of exorcists and people possessed by demons, including firsthand accounts of exorcists at work casting out demons, culminating in Father Gary's own confrontations with the Devil. Baglio also traces the history of exorcism, revealing its rites and rituals, explaining what the Catholic Church really teaches about demonic possession, and delving into such related topics as the hierarchy of angels and demons, satanic cults, black masses, curses, and the various theories used by modern scientists and anthropologists who seek to quantify such phenomena.
Written with an investigative eye that will captivate both skeptics and believers alike, The Rite shows that the truth about demonic possession is not only stranger than fiction, but also far more chilling.
Karen Armstrong believes that while compassion is intrinsic in all human beings, each of us needs to work diligently to cultivate and expand our capacity for compassion. Here, in this straightforward, thoughtful, and thought-provoking book, she sets out a program that can lead us toward a more compassionate life.
The twelve steps Armstrong suggests begin with “Learn About Compassion” and close with “Love Your Enemies.” In between, she takes up “compassion for yourself,” mindfulness, suffering, sympathetic joy, the limits of our knowledge of others, and “concern for everybody.” She suggests concrete ways of enhancing our compassion and putting it into action in our everyday lives, and provides, as well, a reading list to encourage us to “hear one another’s narratives.” Throughout, Armstrong makes clear that a compassionate life is not a matter of only heart or mind but a deliberate and often life-altering commingling of the two.
From the Hardcover edition.
These interviews, lectures, and essays cover topics such as the goal of human life, seeking a true spiritual teacher, reincarnation, super-consciousness, Krishna and Christ, and spiritual solutions to today's social and economic problems.
In a difficult, uncertain time, it takes a person of great courage, such as the Dalai Lama, to give us hope. Regardless of the violence and cynicism we see on television and read about in the news, there is an argument to be made for basic human goodness. The number of people who spend their lives engaged in violence and dishonesty is tiny compared to the vast majority who would wish others only well. According to the Dalai Lama, our survival has depended and will continue to depend on our basic goodness. Ethics for the New Millennium presents a moral system based on universal rather than religious principles. Its ultimate goal is happiness for every individual, irrespective of religious beliefs. Though he himself a practicing Buddhist, the Dalai Lama's teachings and the moral compass that guides him can lead each and every one of us—Muslim, Christian, Jew, Buddhist, or atheist—to a happier, more fulfilling life.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Collins's faith in God has been confirmed and enhanced by the revolutionary discoveries in biology that he has helped to oversee. He has absorbed the arguments for atheism of many scientists and pundits, and he can refute them. Darwinian evolution occurs, yet, as he explains, it cannot fully explain human nature -- evolution can and must be directed by God. He offers an inspiring tour of the human genome to show the miraculous nature of God's instruction book. Sure to be compared with C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity, this is a stunning document, whether you are a believer, a seeker, or an atheist.
"The Teacha" also discusses the origination of Hip Hop Kulture and relays specific instances in history wherein one can discover the same spirit and ideas that are at the core of Hip Hop’s current manifestation. He explains Hip Hop down to the actual meaning and linguistic history of the words “hip” and “hop,” and describes the ways in which "Hiphoppas" can change their current circumstances to create a future that incorporates Health, Love, Awareness, and Wealth (H-LAW).
Committed to fervently promoting self-reliance, dedicated study, peace, unity, and truth, The "Teacha" has drawn both criticism and worship from within and from outside of Hip Hop Kulture. In this beautifully written, inspiring book, KRS ONE shines the light of truth, from his own empirical research over a 14-year period, into the fascinating world of Hip Hop.
We have now reached a tipping point—the spread of Islam is rapidly altering the way we live. These changes are cause for alarm, for they endanger our freedoms of speech and religion.
At the same time, this opens an incredible door of ministry for Christians, for Muslims normally do not have access to the gospel in their own lands.
In The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent, readers will discover helpful answers to these questions and more:How does Islam’s growing influence affect me personally?In what ways are our freedoms of speech and religion in danger?How can I extend Christ’s love to Muslims around me?
A sensitive, responsible, and highly informative must-read!
If you want to study Paganism in more detail, this book is the place to start. Based on a course in Paganism that the authors have taught for more than a decade, it is full of exercises, meditations, and discussion questions for group or individual study.
This book presents the basic fundamentals of Paganism. It explores what Pagans are like; how the Pagan sacred year is arranged; what Pagans do in ritual; what magick is; and what Pagans believe about God, worship, human nature, and ethics.For those who are exploring their own spirituality, or who want a good book to give to non-Pagan family and friends A hands-on learning tool with magickal workings, meditations, discussion questions, and journal exercises Offers in-depth discussion of ethics and magick
Features include:Insights from members of each religious community Glossary of important terms
Nominated by Martin Luther King, Jr. for a Nobel Peace Prize, Thich Nhat Hanh is one of today’s leading sources of wisdom, peace, compassion and comfort.
The 20th anniversary edition of the classic text, updated, revised, and featuring a Mindful Living Journal.
Buddha and Christ, perhaps the two most pivotal figures in the history of humankind, each left behind a legacy of teachings and practices that have shaped the lives of billions of people over two millennia. If they were to meet on the road today, what would each think of the other's spiritual views and practices?
Thich Nhat Hanh has been part of a decades-long dialogue between two great contemplatice traditions, and brings to Christianity an appreciation of its beauty that could be conveyed only by an outsider. IN lucid, meditative prose, he explores the crossroads of compassion and holiness at which the two traditions meet, and he reawakens our understanding of both. "On the altar in my hermitage," he says, "are images of Buddha and Jesus, and I touch both of them as my spiritual ancestors."
From the Trade Paperback edition.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
This revised and updated edition provides sympathetic descriptions of the various traditions, explaining how they work “from the inside,” which is a big reason why this cherished classic has sold more than two million copies since it first appeared in 1958.
He began writing about all three faiths in the 1970s, long before it was fashionable to treat Islam in the context of Judaism and Christianity, or to align all three for a family portrait. In this updated edition, he lays out the similarities and differences of the three religious siblings with great clarity and succinctness and with that same remarkable objectivity that is the hallmark of all the author's work.
Peters traces the three faiths from the sixth century B.C., when the Jews returned to Palestine from exile in Babylonia, to the time in the Middle Ages when they approached their present form. He points out that all three faith groups, whom the Muslims themselves refer to as "People of the Book," share much common ground. Most notably, each embraces the practice of worshipping a God who intervenes in history on behalf of His people.
The book's text is direct and accessible with thorough and nuanced discussions of each of the three religions. Updated footnotes provide the reader with expert guidance into the highly complex issues that lie between every line of this stunning and timely new edition of The Children of Abraham.
Far from being eyewitness accounts, as is traditionally held, the Gospels are actually Jewish adaptations of ancient Pagan myths of the dying and resurrecting godman Osiris-Dionysus. The supernatural story of Jesus is not the history of a miraculous Messiah, but a carefully crafted spiritual allegory designed to guide initiates on a journey of mystical discovery.
A little more than a century ago most people believed that the strange story of Adam and Eve was history; today it is understood to be a myth. Within a few decades, Freke and Gandy argue, we will likewise be amazed that the fabulous story of God incarnate -- who was born of a virgin, who turned water into wine, and who rose from the dead -- could have been interpreted as anything but a profound parable.
Ranging broadly across Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Vedantic and Bhaktic Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism, Hart explores how these great intellectual traditions treat humanity’s knowledge of the divine mysteries. Constructing his argument around three principal metaphysical “moments”—being, consciousness, and bliss—the author demonstrates an essential continuity between our fundamental experience of reality and the ultimate reality to which that experience inevitably points.
Thoroughly dismissing such blatant misconceptions as the deists' concept of God, as well as the fundamentalist view of the Bible as an objective historical record, Hart provides a welcome antidote to simplistic manifestoes. In doing so, he plumbs the depths of humanity’s experience of the world as powerful evidence for the reality of God and captures the beauty and poetry of traditional reflection upon the divine.
Durkheim edited L'Année Sociologique, the first journal of sociology, and was instrumental in establishing the field as a social science. With The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, he explores totemism among Australia's Aborigines, offering the opportunity "to yield an understanding of the religious nature of man, by showing us an essential and permanent aspect of humanity." Durkheim's study focuses on the need and capacity of humans to relate to one another socially, with religion as the core of the moral universe. An excellent introduction to the influential sociologist's ideas, this book continues to speak to new generations about the intriguing origin and nature of religion and society.