Essays on Religion

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Yale University Press, 1997 - Social Science - 223 pages
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The noted German sociologist and philosopher Georg Simmel wrote a number of essays that deal directly with religion as a fundamental process in human life. These essays set forth Simmel's mature reflections on religion and its relation to modernity, personality, art, sociology, psychology, philosophy, and science. They also include his views on methods in the study of religion and his thoughts on achieving a broader perspective on religion. Originally published between 1898 and 1918, the last twenty years of Simmel's life, the essays are collected here in English for the first time.
The essays provide an excellent picture of the development of the characteristic doctrines of Simmel's thought as applied to religion, based on phenomenological analysis of human experience that emphasizes the subjective dimensions of life.
 

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Contents

Inquiry 1909
3
The Conflict of Modern Culture 1918
20
On the Salvation of the Soul 1903
29
s Religion and the Contradictions of Life 1904
36
The Personality of God 1911
45
Christianity and Art 1907
65
Rembrandts Religious Art 1914
78
A Contribution to the Sociology
101
Contributions to the Epistemology
121
RELIGION
137
References
215
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About the author (1997)

Georg Simmel, a German sociologist, was a brilliant scholar who wrote about many aspects of human existence but never developed a systematic theory. He lectured at Berlin University for many years but was never given a permanent position because of his Jewish origins, his nonprofessorial brilliance, and what some took to be his destructive intellectual attitude. He is remembered in the United States for a number of insightful essays on such topics as the social role of the stranger and the nature of group affiliation. His book on conflict formed the basis of Lewis A. Coser's The Functions of Social Conflict, one of the classics of American sociology.

Horst J. Helle is a native and resident of Germany. He has an MBA from the University of Kansas. Before and after his graduate work there, he studied at the university in his hometown of Hamburg. There he received another business degree, a doctorate of philosophy in sociology, and the license to teach sociology as "Privatdozent". Then he held tenured professorships at the Aachen Institute of Technology, the University of Vienna, and the University of Munich. Throughout his career he has worked in other countries, including spending a year as a research fellow at The University of Chicago and, since 1996, teaching in mainland China. For additional information and a list of his publications, see http: //www.horst-helle.de.

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