From Neo-Kantianism to Durkheimian Sociology

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anti-Semitism, Émile Durkheim, Henri Hubert, Judaism, Marcel Mauss, neo-Kantianism, sacrifice

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The phenomenon of sacrifice was a major problem in nineteenth-century social thought about religion for a variety of reasons. These surfaced in a spectacular way in a German trial in which the most prominent Jewish philosopher of the century, the neo-Kantian Hermann Cohen, was asked to be an expert witness. The text he produced on the nature of Judaism was widely circulated and influential. It presents what can be taken as the neo-Kantian approach to understanding ritual. But it also reveals the ways in which neo-Kantianism avoided becoming relativistic social science. In this case, it came to the edge and stopped. Cohen's account is compared to the similar, but ‘empirical’, account of the same material in Marcel Mauss and Henri Hubert, which completed the transition.

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Hermann Cohen and the Problem of Sacrifice, v. 25, issue 1, p. 135-153