Are social scientific theories and confessional theologies of sacrifice equally well suited as public discourse about religion? The French liberal Protestant theologians of the 5th Section of the École Pratique and the French doyen of sociology, Émile Durkheim and his two main followers, Henri Hubert and Marcel Mauss, engage in a struggle over the proper approach to sacrifice in the public university. The Durkheimians argued that theological language and assumptions were inappropriate for this purpose because of their confessional allegiances. Another approach to sacrifice, free of confessional entanglements, was required. This is what Hubert and Mauss sought to provide in the Sacrifice: Its Nature and Function.
Ivan Strenski, Ph.D. (1969) Religious Studies, Birmingham University (UK) is the Holstein Family and Community Professor or Religious Studies at the University of California, Riverside. He has authored five previous books and over 50 articles on various subjects such as myth, sacrifice, ritual, nationalism, and contemporary theories of religion.
This book is directed at students of 19th and 20th C intellectual and religious history; history of Durkheimian social science, theory of ritual, critical history of modern Christian theology, and radical epistemology