Beyond individual ascetics: collective ritual as exercise in Durkheim

FBK Aula Piccola

Fondazione Bruno Kessler - Polo delle Scienze Umane e sociali
Aula Piccola

FBK Aula Piccola

Fondazione Bruno Kessler - Polo delle Scienze Umane e sociali
Aula Piccola

Is it possible to read the work of Émile Durkheim from the perspective of asceticism and exercise? Is it legitimate to see in the work of the founder of French sociology an astute reworking of ancient wisdom in a way that is not only modern but also collective?

Inspired by the books in the Filosofia dell’esercizio series, Matteo Bortolini (University of Pdua) tries to give a tentative answer to these two questions. Following the structure of the volumes in the aforementioned series, the seminar is divided into three main moments: it starts with passions and their diagnosis, addressing the Durkheimian concept of homo duplex and the theme of the “passion of the infinite”; it goes on to analyze the ways in which passions can be cured and/or kept at bay, quickly rereading The Moral Education and Suicide; it ends focusing on the exercise of therapy, addressing not only on the disciplining and cyclical understanding of collective rituals advanced in The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, but showing how the infamous God = society equation is a crucial piece of this (and any) interpretation of Durkheim’s work.

Durkheim scholar Raquel Weiss (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul) will discuss it.




The event, organized by FBK’s Center for Religious Studies, will be held in English.

The event will be held in person in FBK’s Small Hall while seats last and online.

Registration is required by June 19, 2024 at 12:00 p.m. in order to make arrangements for connection.


  • Matteo Bortolini - Guest Speaker
    Università di Padova
  • Raquel Weiss - Guest Speaker
    Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul


Registration to this event is mandatory.

Registration closed on 19/06/2024.

Deadline: June 19, 2024

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