Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 18 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The category of the sacred was central to classical sociology, and remains key to understanding the contribution of social theory to the study of religion and society. Durkheim highlights the ‘socio-religious’ sacred, operating within otherworldly cosmologies and practices. Durkheim also enables us to conceptualize a ‘bio-economic’ modality in highly differentiated capitalist economies. The ‘transcendent sacred’ central to Weber’s account of the Protestant ethic highlights how forces experienced as extraordinary and otherworldly can coexist with a social sphere differentiated as secular. Weber highlighted the power of forces of rationalization and bureaucratization in modernity. Extending this today suggests a ‘bio-political’ modality of the sacred expressive of the extraordinary power that modern law and governance have over life. These modalities of the sacred can be used to provide new insights into phenomena such as resurgent forms of Islam and Christian Pentecostalism, fetishization of commodities, and bio-political governance of bodies.

Keywords: commodities, Émile Durkheim, fetishism, Islam, otherworldly orientations, Pentecostalism, sacred, secular, social order, Max Weber

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.