Posted by: aboutalbion | June 20, 2012

Temple of Albion (11)

An anthropologist’s eleventh criterion for identifying a religion closely links a religion with a moral community.

I think this criterion arises from the theoretical work of Emile Durkheim and his stress on religious phenomena as communal rather than individual.  For him, it is the beliefs and practices of a religion which unite adherents into one single moral community.  Others have pointed out that the existence of a single moral community can co-exist with small moral sub-communities.

I would travel with the line of thought that there is a moral basis to the British understanding of a ‘rule of law’ country, and that this morality is associated with many of the British contributions to international meetings.  The observation that UK commentators have spoken of a disintegration of morality in British society over the last decade or so is some evidence that a British morality does (or did until fairly recently) exist.

I would direct an anthropologist’s attention to the implied morality in the British interpretation of a ‘rule of law’ country as evidence for this criterion.



  1. It’s a good post.

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