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This article begins with a remark by Jean-Pierre Vernant in his inaugural lecture at the Collège de France about the inadequacy of Max Weber's historical sociology for the study of ancient religions. Despite posing shared research questions and often reaching similar conclusions, Vernant, one of the most influential twentieth-century ancient historians, neither engaged nor acknowledged Weber and thereby secured his absence in the field of ancient religions generally. Vernant's narrative of the historical emergence of Greek rationality is at direct odds with Weber's views on the matter in Sociology of Religion and elsewhere, and I argue that, beyond methodological concerns, Vernant's fundamentally Durkheimian position inherits early twentieth-century polemics between French and German sociologists. Vernant's relationships with Marcel Mauss, Ignace Meyerson, and Claude Lévi-Strauss, and his participation in the French Resistance, moreover, reaffirmed his Durkheimian views about society and committed him to a long tradition of anti-German scholarship. I conclude with a brief coda on the historiographical implications of these observations for the study of religion and its relation to social life.

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This article has profited from the comments of Wendy Doniger, Jaś Elsner, Christopher Faraone, Andreas Glaeser, Hans Joas, Bruce Lincoln, Françoise Meltzer, and James Redfield. I am grateful to them for their suggestions on earlier versions of this paper and for many delightful conversations. For their encouragement and helpful critiques, special thanks must go to the editors of Modern Intellectual History, especially Sophie Rosenfeld, and to the four anonymous referees, one of whom was subsequently revealed as Peter Gordon. I bear full responsibility for all errors in style or content.


1 Vernant, Jean-Pierre, “Greek Religion, Ancient Religions,” in Vernant, Mortals and Immortals: Collected Essays, ed. Zeitlin, Froma (Princeton, 1991), 269–89, at 274Google Scholar.

2 On Vernant's relation to Marx and the French Communist Party see Humphreys, S. C., “The Historical Anthropology of Thought: Jean-Pierre Vernant and Intellectual Innovation in Ancient Greece,” Focaal: European Journal of Anthropology, 55 (2009), 101–12Google Scholar. For Weber's views on Marx see Roth, Günther, “The Historical Relationship to Marxism,” in Bendix, R. and Roth, G., eds., Scholarship and Partisanship: Essays on Max Weber (Berkeley, 1971), 227–52Google Scholar.

3 Not to mention Weber's numerous references to ancient Greek and Roman religions throughout his corpus, including his 1891 The Agrarian History of Rome in Its Significance for Public and Private Law. Weber's absence in Vernant's scholarship has, to my knowledge, been noticed only once: Laks, André, “Les origines de Jean-Pierre Vernant,” Critique, 54 (1998), 268–82Google Scholar. Humphreys, “Historical Anthropology,” 103, draws a parallel between Vernant's project on rationality and Weberian rationalization but goes no further.

4 Miriam Leonard's characterization of Vernant's influence in the discipline of Classics is not overstated: “Vernant should undoubtedly be credited as the scholar who made French theory acceptable to classicists in the Anglo-Saxon world.” Leonard, Miriam, Athens in Paris: Ancient Greece and the Political in Post-war French Thought (Oxford, 2005), 15 CrossRefGoogle Scholar. See also Redfield, James, “J.-P. Vernant: Structure and History,” History of Religions, 31/1 (1991), 6974 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

5 Finley, Moses, “Max Weber and the Greek City-State,” in Finley, Ancient History: Evidence and Models (New York, 1986), 88103, at 88Google Scholar. Finley's relationship with Weber is equivocal. While appreciating much of Weber's methods, he maintained critical views, especially concerning the notion of legitimate domination for antiquity: “The Weberian scheme is fatally defective” (ibid., 103). Graf similarly discredits Weber for the study of ancient religions, noting his Christianizing tendencies. Graf, Fritz, “What Is Ancient Mediterranean Religion?”, in Johnston, Sarah Iles, ed., Ancient Religions (Cambridge, MA, 2007), 316, at 15 Google Scholar. Keith Hopkins and Jeremy Tanner, however, have (independently) engaged Weberian themes, not to mention Momigliano, for which see Nafissi, Mohammad, Ancient Athens and Modern Ideology: Value, Theory and Evidence in Historical Sciences; Max Weber, Karl Polanyi and Moses Finley (London, 2005), esp. 6772 Google Scholar. For attempts to read the ancient data through Weber see Bremmer, Jan, “Rationalization and Disenchantment in Ancient Greece: Max Weber among the Pythagoreans and Orphics,” in Buxton, Richard, ed., From Myth to Reason? Studies in the Development of Greek Thought (Oxford, 1999), 7186 Google Scholar; and Bryant, Joseph M., “Intellectuals and Religion in Ancient Greece: Notes on a Weberian Theme,” British Journal of Sociology, 37/2 (1986), 269–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

6 On the relationship of French and German sociology in this period see Reinhard Bendix, “Two Sociological Traditions,” in Bendix and Roth, eds., Scholarship and Partisanship, 282–98; and Hirschorn, Monique, Max Weber et la sociologie française (Paris, 1988)Google Scholar.

7 On the British side, S. C. Humphreys—influenced by Gernet as well as by Polanyi—aligned with the French insofar as she purported to extract emic models to illumine ancient Greek culture; Lloyd, G. E. R., Polarity and Analogy: Two Types of Argumentation in Early Greek Thought (Bristol, 1966)Google Scholar; Lloyd, Demystifying Mentalities (Cambridge, 1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Buxton, Richard, “Imaginary Greek mountains,” Journal of Hellenic Studies, 112 (1992), 115 CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and Gordon, Richard, ed., Myth, Religion, and Society: Structuralist Essays by M. Detienne, L. Gernet, J.-P. Vernant, and P. Vidal-Naquet (Cambridge, 1981), viiixvii Google Scholar. Stateside see Segal, Charles, “Afterword: Jean-Pierre Vernant and the Study of Ancient Greece,” Arethusa, 15 (1982), 221–34Google Scholar; and Froma Zeitlin's indispensable introduction in Vernant, Mortals and Immortals. Kindt, Julia, “Religion,” in Boys-Stones, G., Graziosi, B., and Vasunia, P., eds., The Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies (Oxford, 2009), 364–77, esp. 368–71Google Scholar, assesses Vernant's influence. Redfield, James, “Classics and Anthropology,” Arion, 1/2 (1991), 523 Google Scholar, by contrast, argues that this group attracted classicists who embraced similar intellectual ambitions but encountered resistance from those with more orthodox philological tendencies. Humphreys, S. C., Anthropology and the Greeks (London, 1978)Google Scholar, remains the most decisive treatment to date on anthropology and the Classics.

8 On Gernet see Humphreys, S. C., “The Work of Louis Gernet,” History and Theory, 10/2 (1971), 172–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Di Donato, Riccardo, “L’anthropologique historique de Louis Gernet,” Annales: Histoire, sciences sociales, 5/6 (1982), 984–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and Sitta von Reden, “Re-evaluating Gernet: Value and Greek Myth,” in Buxton, From Myth to Reason?, 51–70.

9 Representative publications include Vidal-Naquet, Pierre, Black Hunter: Forms of Thought and Forms of Society in the Greek World, trans. Andrew Szegedy-Maszak (Baltimore, 1986; first published 1981)Google Scholar; Detienne, Marcel, The Gardens of Adonis: Spices in Greek Mythology, trans. Janet Lloyd (Princeton, 1977; first published 1972)Google Scholar; Vernant, J.-P., Myth and Society in Ancient Greece, trans. Janet Lloyd (Cambridge, MA, 1990; first published 1974)Google Scholar; Detienne, M. and Vernant, J.-P., The Cuisine of Sacrifice among the Greeks, trans. Paula Wissing (Chicago, 1989; first published 1979)Google Scholar; Loraux, Nicole, The Invention of Athens: The Funeral Oration in the Classical City, trans. Alan Sheridan (Cambridge, MA, 1986; first published 1981)Google Scholar; and Sissa, Giulia and Detienne, M., The Daily Life of the Greek Gods, trans. Janet Lloyd (Stanford, 2000; first published 1989)Google Scholar.

10 Detienne, Yet Marcel, “Back to the Village: A Tropism of Hellenists?”, History of Religions, 41/2 (2001), 99113, at 110CrossRefGoogle Scholar, reminds us that Lévi-Strauss understood his own structural anthropology to be inspired by Mauss.

11 J.-P. Vernant, “Hestia–Hermes: The Religious Expression of Space and Movement in Ancient Greece,” in Vernant, Myth and Thought, 157–96.

12 Vernant, “Greek Religions, Ancient Religions,” 280.

13 Ibid.


14 See the discussion of sacrifice in the chapters on le culte positif in The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (Book 3), which is doubtless indebted to Marcel Mauss and Henri Hubert's magisterial “Essai sur la nature et la fonction du sacrifice,” L'année sociologique, 2 (1899), 29–138.

15 Vernant, “Greek Religions, Ancient Religions,” 283. Durkheim, Cf., Sociology and Philosophy, trans. D. F. Pocock (London, 1953), 9091 Google Scholar: “Society was presented as a system of organs and functions, maintaining itself against outside forces of destruction just like a physical organism . . . Society is, however, more than this, for it is the centre of a moral life [le foyer d’une vie morale] . . . Sentiments born and developed in the group have a greater energy than purely individual sentiments. A man who experiences such sentiments feels himself dominated by outside forces that lead him and pervade his milieu.”

16 Vernant, J.-P., “Forms of Belief and Rationality in Greece,” in Arnason, Johann P. and Murphy, Peter, eds., Agon, Logos, Polis: The Greek Achievement and Its Aftermath (Stuttgart, 2001), 118–26, at 122Google Scholar.

17 Loraux, Nicole, The Divided City: On Memory and Forgetting in Ancient Athens (New York, 2002), 4562 Google Scholar. Humphreys, Anthropology and the Greeks, 9–10, has noted that the structural-functionalist approach suffers on two accounts when applied to Greece: it downplays historical change, and at times improperly compares the Greeks—whose method of organizing society was ordinarily through multistranded kinship systems—to communities based on single kinship groups.

18 See Strenski, Ivan, Contesting Sacrifice: Religion, Nationalism, and Social Thought in France (Chicago, 2002), 95131 Google Scholar; Passmore, Kevin, The Right in France from the Third Republic to Vichy (Oxford, 2013)Google Scholar; and Marrus, Michael R., The Politics of Assimilation: The French Jewish Community at the Time of the Dreyfus Affair (Oxford, 1971)Google Scholar. LaCapra, Dominick, Emile Durkheim: Sociologist and Philosopher (Ithaca, NY, 1972), 178 Google Scholar, discusses Durkheim's work as an apology for the republican ideals of organic social unity and moral solidarism.

19 Dreyfus's status as an Alsatian Jew is paramount, for Durkheim could identify with him on two points. Note that this dual identity was shared by Lucien Febvre and the eminent Bloch family, among others. See Caron, Vicki, Between France and Germany: The Jews of Alsace-Lorraine, 1871—1918 (Stanford, 1988), 128 Google Scholar. For Durkheim's views on Dreyfus see his “Individualism and the Intellectuals,” in Durkheim on Religion, ed. W. S. F. Pickering (London, 1975), esp. 62; and Durkheim, , “L’élite et la démocratie,” Revue bleue, 5/1 (1904), 705–6Google Scholar.

20 See Karady, Victor, “The Durkheimians in Academe,” in Besnard, P., ed., The Sociological Domain: The Durkheimians and the Founding of French Sociology (Cambridge, 1983), 7189 Google Scholar; Strenski, Contesting Sacrifice, 156–79; Richman, Michèle, Sacred Revolutions: Durkheim and the Collège de Sociologie (Minneapolis, 2002), esp. 165 Google Scholar; and Keylor, William R., Academy and Community: The Foundation of the French Historical Profession (Cambridge, MA, 1975), esp. 168–70 et passim CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

21 J.-P. Vernant, “The Formation of Positivist Thought in Archaic Greece,” in Vernant, Myth and Thought among the Greeks, 317–98. His other relevant publications include Les origines de la pensée grecque (Paris, 1962); Vernant, “Forms of Belief and Rationality in Greece”; and Vernant, “The Reason of Myth,” in Vernant, Myth and Society, 203–60. Momigliano considered this topic the raison d’être of the Paris school. Momigliano, Arnaldo, Terzo contributo alla storia degli studi classici e del mondo antico (Rome, 1966), 291 Google Scholar.

22 Cornford, Francis M., From Religion to Philosophy: A Study in the Origins of Western Speculation (New York, 1912)Google Scholar. See Fowler, Robert L., “ Mythos and Logos ,” Journal of Hellenic Studies, 131 (2011), 4566 CrossRefGoogle Scholar, for a history of the scholarship on rationality in ancient Greece.

23 An idea already advanced in Vernant, J. P., The Origins of Greek Thought, trans. Janet Lloyd (Ithaca, NY, 1982), 51 Google Scholar: “This insistence on openness led to the progressive appropriation by the group of the conduct, knowledge, and procedures that originally were the exclusive prerogatives of the basileus . . . Greek culture took form by opening to an ever-widening circle—and finally to the entire demos, “community”—access to the spiritual world reserved initially for an aristocracy of priests and warriors.”

24 I find this point incomprehensible. Vernant, “The Formation of Positivist Thought,” 379, that the dual ontology (the independence of soul from body) posited by Western Greek philosophers (e.g. Pythagoreans) was a step toward positivist thinking, a kind of “clarification and elaboration.” Even if we wish to call this positivism, it is undeniably of a different sort than that which obtains in Asia Minor among the naturalists.

25 “Thus the philosopher takes over from the old king-magician, the master of time. He constructs a theory to explain the very phenomena that in times past the king had brought about.” Vernant, “The Formation of Positivist Thought,” 376.

26 Vernant, “The Formation of Positivist Thought,” 389. Standard accounts of these reforms are Andrewes, Antony, “Kleisthenes’ Reform Bill,” Classical Quarterly, 27/2 (1977), 241–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Lewis, David M., “Cleisthenes and Attica,” Historiai, 12/1 (1963), 2240 Google Scholar; and, in the French structuralist tradition, Lévêque, Pierre and Vidal-Naquet, Pierre, Clisthène l’Athénien (Paris, 1964)Google Scholar.

27 Vernant, J.-P., Entre mythe et politique, vol. 1 (Paris, 1996), 108 Google Scholar: “Disons qu’il n’y à pas vraiment séparation, mais c’est le religieux qui devient politique, au lieu que le politique soit purement intégré dans le religieux.” See also his interview with M. Mounier-Kuhn, now printed in Duclert, Vincent, “Le modèle Vernant: Engagements résistants, philosophe combattant,” in Olender, M. and Vitrani, F., eds., Jean-Pierre Vernant: Dedans dehors (Paris, 2013), 65–97, at 79 Google Scholar; and Vernant, The Origins of Greek Thought, 131: “In fact, it was at the political level that Reason was first expressed, established, and shaped in Greece.” Vernant in this same book attributes the original Greek impulse toward egalitarianism to Sparta but quickly emphasizes the more important contributions of the Athenians.

28 On the consequences of rationalization in art, for example, see J. P. Vernant, “From the ‘Presentification’ of the Invisible to the Imitation of Appearance,” in Vernant, Myth and Thought, 333–52. Neer, Richard, “Jean-Pierre Vernant and the History of the Image,” Arethusa, 43/2 (2010), 181–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar, offers a critical treatment of Vernant's thoughts on Greek representations of the divine.

29 Vernant, “The Formation of Positivist Thought,” 394.

30 Vernant, “The Formation of Positivist Thought,” 388–90.

31 On the narrative quality of this text see Joas, Hans, “The Axial Age Debate as Religious Discourse,” in Bellah, R. and Joas, Hans, eds., The Axial Age and Its Consequences (Cambridge, MA, 2012), 929, esp. 17–21Google Scholar.

32 For Sociology of Religion, I cite from the 1995 Beacon Press edition, trans. Fischoff, E.; for “Religious Rejections I consulted From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, ed. and trans. Gerth, H. H. and Mills, C. W. (New York, 1946), 323–59Google Scholar.

33 Weber, “Religious Rejections,” 333.

34 See Weber, “Religious Rejections,” 341–43 and Weber, Sociology of Religion, 1 and 13 et passim.

35 Weber, “Religious Rejections,” 328, original emphasis.

36 Ibid., 342


37 Weber, Sociology of Religion, 235.

38 Weber, “Religious Rejections,” 344.

39 Max Weber, “Science as a Vocation,” in From Max Weber, 129–56, at 151.

40 Parsons, Talcott, “Christianity and Modern Society,” in Parsons, , Sociological Theory and Modern Industrial Society (New York, 1967)Google Scholar, 385–421; and Schluchter, Wolfgang, Rationalism, Religion, and Domination: A Weberian Perspective (Berkeley, 1989), at 371–7Google Scholar. Writing in the American context of the 1960s, Parsons, of course, tamed Weber's pessimism and ambivalence regarding capitalism and modernity; see Axtmann, Roland, “State Formation and the Disciplined Individual in Weber's Historical Sociology,” in Schroeder, Ralph, ed., Max Weber: Democracy and Modernization (New York, 1998), 3246, esp. 40–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

41 See Turner, Bryan S., Max Weber: From History to Modernity (London, 1992), esp. 111 CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Sam Whimster, “The Nation-State, the Protestant Ethic and Modernization,” in Schroeder, Max Weber, 61–78; and Schluchter, Rationalism, Religion, and Domination.

42 Kalberg, Stephen, “The Origin and Expansion of Kulturpessimismus: The Relationship between Public and Private Spheres in Early Twentieth Century Germany,” Sociological Theory, 5 (1987), 150–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar. The notion of Zersplitterung is sometimes used to describe the fracturing of political homogeneity during these years.

43 For the work of Meyerson see Vernant, J.-P., Passé et present: Contributions à une psychologie historique (Rome, 1995), 347 Google Scholar; Di Donato, Riccardo, “Invito alla lettura dell’opera di Ignace Meyerson: Psicologia storica e studio del mondo antico,” Annali della Scuola Normale superiore di Pisa, 12/2 (1982), 603–64Google Scholar; and Parot, Françoise, “Psychology in the Human Sciences in France, 1920–1940: Ignace Meyerson's Historical Psychology,” History of Psychology, 3/2 (2000), 104121, esp. 114 et passim CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed.

44 See Mauss's formulation in “Questions Put to Psychology,” in Mauss, Sociology and Psychology: Essays, trans. Ben Brewster (London, 1979; first published 1924), 26–31, at 26: “complete, non-compartmentalized man . . . this indivisible, measurable but not dissectible being.”

45 Meyerson, Ignace, “Problèmes d’histoire psychologique des oeuvres: Spécificité, variation, expérience,” in Braudel, F., ed., Eventail de l’histoire vivante: Hommage à Lucien Febvre (Paris, 1953), 207–18Google Scholar, at 207–8 and 216: “C’est ce monde des oeuvres qui est la matière véritable d’une exploration objective de la ‘nature’ des hommes, il doit être pour la psychologie humaine ce que le monde des phénomènes de la nature est pour la physique . . . Solidairement, tout effort humain est un faire, une poiesis, construction tendue vers l’effet: le construit, l’objet . . . Il y a constamment action réciproque de l’expérience et de la raison, de l’opération et de la pensée; à quelque niveau qu’on les prenne, l’expérience contient déjà la raison et l’esprit, la raison et l’esprit apparaissent déjà transformés par l’expérience.” Translation mine.

46 Vernant, “Greek Religion, Ancient Religions,” 273.

47 Ibid., 284, emphasis added. Not to mention other essays written in admiration of Mauss, e.g. Vernant, J.-P.Mauss, Meyerson, Granet et Gernet,” Sociologie et societies, 36/2 (2004), 2731 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.


48 For Fustel on the concept see Momigliano, Arnaldo, “The Ancient City of Fustel de Coulanges,” in Bowersock, G. W. and Cornell, T. J., eds., Studies on Modern Scholarship (Berkeley, 1994), 162–78, at 164Google Scholar.

49 Parsons, Talcott, The Structure of Social Action (New York, 1949), 41–2Google Scholar. For Durkheim on the concept see Gilbert, Margaret, “Durkheim and Social Facts,” in Pickering, W. S. F. and Martins, H., eds., Debating Durkheim (London, 1994), 86109 Google Scholar.

50 Mauss, Marcel, The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies (New York, 1954), 1 Google Scholar.

51 E.g. “We are concerned with ‘wholes’, with systems in their entirety . . . It is only by considering them as wholes that we have been able to see their essence, their operation and their living aspect.” Ibid., 77–8.

52 Ibid., 79.


53 E.g. Weber, Max, “Die Objektivitaet sozialwissenschaftlicher und sozialpolitischer Erkenntnis,” in Weber, , Gesammelte Aufsaetze zur Wissenschaftslehre (Tübingen, 1968 Google Scholar; first published 1904), 146–214, at 190: “Er ist nicht eine Darstellung des Wirklichen, aber er will der Darstellung eindeutige Ausdrucksmittel verleihen.” The exact nature of the ideal type is debated since Weber himself never systematically defined the term; see Runciman, Walter G., A Critique of Max Weber's Philosophy of Social Science (Cambridge, 1972), 33–7Google Scholar.

54 Mauss, The Gift, 68.

55 Leonard, Athens in Paris, at 45, rightly notes that Vernant was not interested in historicity in the linear sense but in “the moment at which two incompatible world orders, two irreconcilable structures of being, clash.”

56 The problem of transferring bias in the original source to the historian's own narrative has been explored splendidly in LaCapra, Dominick, History and Criticism (Ithaca, NY, 1985), 11 Google Scholar.

57 By contrast see Detienne's textured reading of Orphic sacrifice and how its practitioners maintained stances contrarian to the mainstream sacrificial paradigm, in Marcel Detienne, “Culinary Practices and the Spirit of Sacrifice,” in Detienne and Vernant, The Cuisine of Sacrifice, 1–20.

58 Humphreys, S. C., The Strangeness of Gods: Historical Perspectives on the Interpretation of Athenian Religion (Oxford, 2004), 5175, at 74CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

59 Meyerson, “Problèmes d’histoire psychologique des œuvres,” 208.

60 For Vernant's war efforts see Duclert, “Le modèle Vernant.”

61 Vernant, J.-P., “Autoritratto,” Studi Storici, 41/1 (2000), 2830 Google Scholar: “Si tratta del bisogno di non chiudersi in se stessi, di non mettersi in un angolo ma, al contrario, di communicare con gli altri. Nulla diventa importante—nella buona come nella cattiva sorte—se non è condiviso con gli altri. E questa maniera di sentire gli altri e di sentirsi con gli altri, per ingenua che sia, va al passo con il rifiuto di tutti gli atteggiamenti che sembrano opporsi a questa fiducia negli uomini e tendere invece a gerarchizzarli o a umiliare e respingere alcuni di loro . . . I militanti che ho conosciuto—operai o intellettuali—condividevano, mi sembra, questa maniera d’essere e questo si vedeva anche nel loro comportamento quotidiano, nella loro maniera d’essere e quasi nel loro fisico . . . Avevamo come il sentimento di un accordo intimo tra il nostro temperamento personale, questo sentimento di fraternità con gli operai, l’aspirazione a un mondo di giustizia e di pace e una comprensione d’ordine quasi intellettuale del mondo in cui vivevamo e delle forze in campo, delle strutture di ordine economico e sociale che ne orientavano senso e direzione.” Translation mine.

62 Vernant, Origins of Greek Thought, 60–61.

63 J.-P. Vernant, “Speech and Mute Signs,” in Vernant, Mortals and Immortals, 303–17.

64 J.-P. Vernant, “The Individual within the City-State,” in ibid., 318–34.

65 A theme repeated throughout Sociology of Religion, but especially perceptible here: “The religion of Shakti is a worship of goddesses, always very close to the orgiastic type of religion and not infrequently involving a cult of erotic orgies, which of course makes it utterly remote from a religion of pure faith, such as Christianity, with its continuous and unshakeable trust in God's providence. The erotic element in the personal relationship to the savior in Hindu salvation religion may be regarded as largely the technical result of the practices of devotion; whereas, in marked contrast, the Christian belief in providence is a charisma that must be maintained by the exercise of the will of the believer.” Weber, Sociology of Religion, 201.

66 See Keylor, Academy and Community, esp. 40–46, 114–16, 139–40; Boer, Pim den, History as a Profession: The Study of History in France, 1818–1914 (Princeton, 1998)Google Scholar; Clark, Terry N., “The Structure and Functions of a Research Institute: The Année Sociologique ,” European Journal of Sociology, 9 (1968), 7291 CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Karady, Victor, “The Durkheimians in Academe: A Reconsideration,” in Pickering, W. S. F., ed., Emile Durkheim: Critical Assessments of Leading Sociologists, vol. 1 (London, 2001), 4461, esp. 47–55Google Scholar; and for a likely overstated view of Durkheim's nationalism see Mitchell, M. Marion, “Emile Durkheim and the Philosophy of Nationalism,” Political Science Quarterly, 46/1 (1931), 87106 CrossRefGoogle Scholar. For a correction to Mitchell see Josep R. Llobera, “Durkheim and the National Question,” in Pickering and Martins, Debating Durkheim, 134–58.

67 Tiryakian, “Durkheim and Weber,” esp. 313–19; Dumont, Louis, Essays on Individualism: Modern Ideology in Anthropological Perspective (Chicago, 1992), esp. chap. 4Google Scholar; and J. E. Craig, “Sociology and Related Disciplines between the Wars,” in Besnard, The Sociological Domain, 263–89, at 280.

68 Tiryakian, Edward, “A Problem for the Sociology of Knowledge: The Mutual Unawareness of Emile Durkheim and Max Weber,” European Journal of Sociology, 7 (1966), 330–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Giddens, Anthony, “Weber and Durkheim: Coincidence and Divergence,” in Mommsen, Wolfgang J. and Osterhammel, Jürgen, eds., Max Weber and His Contemporaries (London, 1987), 182–90, highlights the academic differences between these two scholars. It is useful to recall, following Giddens, Capitalism and Modern Social Theory (Cambridge, 1971), 68 n. 15Google Scholar, that although Wagner and Schmoller were founders of the Verein für Sozialpolitik, with which Weber was affiliated, Weber disagreed with these German economists precisely on those aspects that Durkheim found appealing, namely the attempt to create a science of ethics. See also Strenski, Ivan, Durkheim and the Jews of France (Chicago, 1997), 1652 CrossRefGoogle Scholar. I concur with Strenski (contra Vogt, Jones, and others) (ibid., 27–8) that Durkheim's societism was influenced less by his brief encounter with German scholars than by French neo-Hegelian socialism.

69 From the review of Deploige as reported in Giddens, A., Capitalism and Social Theory (Cambridge, 1971), 71, and 119–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar, esp. n. 3, for bibliography and an argument against the consensus about Durkheim's unfamiliarity with Weber. Also worth consulting is Jones, Robert A., The Development of Durkheim's Social Realism (Cambridge, 1999), chap. 4CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and Edward A. Tiryakian, “Emile Durkheim's Matrix,” in Tiryakian, For Durkheim: Essays in Historical and Cultural Sociology (Farnham, 2009), 11–58, at 42.

70 Jones, Robert A., Emile Durkheim: An Introduction to Four Major Works (Beverly Hills, 1986), 1213 Google Scholar; and Caron, Between France and Germany, 19: “Alsace and Lorraine also remained the bastion of religious traditionalism in the nineteenth century. The persistence of ritual observance among rural Jewry is, of course, legendary.” Hyman, Paula E., The Emancipation of the Jews of Alsace (New Haven, 1991), 5 Google Scholar, estimates that more than half of all Jewish French at one point lived in Alsace.

71 Caron, Between France and Germany, 27–44 and 96–117.

72 See Durkheim's, remarks on German aggression during the war in L’Allemagne au-dessus de tout: La mentalité allemande et la guerre (Paris, 1915)Google Scholar.

73 Runciman, A Critique of Max Weber's Philosophy of Social Science, 10; and Bendix, Reinhard and Lipset, Seymour M., Class, Status and Power (London, 1966), 283 Google Scholar.

74 For Fustel's anti-German ideology and defense of French patriotism after the fall of the Second Republic see Momigliano, “The Ancient City of Fustel,” 165–7. For the impact of La cité antique on French sociology see Jones, Robert Alun, “Durkheim and La cité antique: An essay on the origins of Durkheim's sociology of religion,” in Turner, Stephen P., ed., Emile Durkheim: Sociologist and Moralist (London and New York, 1993), 2551 Google Scholar; and Prendergast, Christopher, “The Impact of Fustel de Coulanges’ La Cité Antique on Durkheim's Theories of Social Morphology and Social Solidarity,” Humboldt Journal of Social Relations, 11/1 (1983–4), 5373 Google Scholar.

75 See Roth, Günther, “Duration and Rationalization: Fernand Braudel and Max Weber,” in Roth, Günther and Wolfgang Schluchter, Max Weber's Vision of History (Berkeley, 1979), 166–93, at 168Google Scholar. One should note the exception of Karl Lamprecht, whose sympathetic views toward Kulturgeschichte sparked the infamous Methodenstreit that resulted in his isolation by many German academics.

76 For a discussion of Hubert's veiled critique of German nationalism in his work on European prehistory, for instance, see Lincoln, Bruce, Theorizing Myth (Chicago, 1999), 127 Google Scholar, also 136–7 and 267 n. 84 for select bibliography on Franco-Germanic academic relations in the 1930s.

77 Burkert, Walter, Homo Necans: The Anthropology of Ancient Greek Sacrificial Ritual and Myth, trans. Peter Bing (Berkeley, 1983)CrossRefGoogle Scholar. See Graf, Fritz, “One Generation after Burkert and Girard: Where Are the Great Theories?”, in Faraone, Christopher and Naiden, Fred, eds., Greek and Roman Animal Sacrifice (Cambridge, 2012), 3251, esp. 32–3CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and Bruce Lincoln, “From Bergaigne to Meuli,” in ibid., 13–31, at 30.

78 W. S. F. Pickering, “The Enigma of Durkheim's Jewishness,” in Pickering and Martins, Debating Durkheim, esp. 10–39.

79 Strenski, Durkheim and the Jews of France, 19: “This early Jewish social experience perhaps resulted in Durkheim's sociological interest in the family as a category of inquiry. Yet even when we give weight to Durkheim's origins in the Jewry of Alsace or Lorraine, it is hard to tell how much of his devotion to family was, for example, ‘Jewish’ and how much ‘Alsatian’ or provincial. Indeed, the French at large are likewise notoriously familial.”

80 For representations and tropes associated with Jewishness in postwar France see Hammerschlag, Sarah, The Figural Jew: Politics and Identity in Postwar French Thought (Chicago, 2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

81 Di Donato, Riccardo, “Un percorco intellettuale,” Studi Storici, 41/1 (2000), 715, at 9Google Scholar.

82 For example, Vernant, J.-P., La mort dans les yeux (Paris, 1985)Google Scholar; Vernant, , Figures, idoles, masques (Paris, 1990)Google Scholar; and Vernant, J.-P. and Vidal-Naquet, Pierre, Myth and Tragedy in Ancient Greece, trans. Janet Lloyd (New York, 1988; first published 1972)Google Scholar.

83 On this point see Dosse, François, History of Structuralism, vol. 2, trans. Deborah Glassman (Minneapolis, 1997), 224 Google Scholar.

84 On the international impact of the Paris school see Loraux, Nicole, Nagy, Gregory, and Slatkin, Laura, eds., Antiquities: Postwar French Thought, vol. 3 (New York, 2001)Google Scholar. For the polis–religion model, which conceives of religion as embedded in a city-state free of stasis, see Sourvinou-Inwood, Christiane, “What Is Polis Religion?” in Buxton, Richard, ed., Oxford Readings in Greek Religion (Oxford, 2000), 1337 Google Scholar. An important reappraisal of the model is Kindt, Julia, “Beyond the Polis: Rethinking Greek Religion,” in Kindt, , Rethinking Greek Religion (Cambridge, 2012), 1235 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

85 Important studies that trace the genealogy of the dynamics of secularism in various historical guises are Asad, Talal, Formations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam, Modernity (Stanford, 2003), esp. 181201 Google Scholar; Casanova, Jóse, Public Religions in the Modern World (Chicago, 1994), esp. 166 Google Scholar; and Lynch, Gordon, The Sacred in the Modern World: A Cultural Sociological Approach (Oxford, 2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

86 I recognize that Weber is not wholly representative of a German approach, for from Dilthey to Troeltsch there are alternatives within Germany. But I take Weber and Durkheim to be antipodal in the strict sense that the academic study of sociology has, in the last century, developed along these lines.

87 For the long-term reception of Durkheim and Weber (and their coexistence as distinct sociological traditions) see Joas, Hans, Pragmatism and Social Theory (Chicago and London, 1993), esp. 214–61Google Scholar; Münch, Richard, Understanding Modernity: Toward a New Perspective Going beyond Durkheim and Weber (London, 1988)Google Scholar; and Jensen, Henrik, Weber and Durkheim: A Methodological Comparison (New York, 2012)Google Scholar. For a synoptic account of the development in the sociology of religion particularly see Davie, Grace, “The Evolution of the Sociology of Religion,” in Dillon, Michele, ed., Handbook for the Sociology of Religion (Cambridge, 2003), 6175 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

88 Among others, Rüpke, Jörg, ed., The Individual in the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean (Oxford, 2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Rüpke, , Religion in Republican Rome: Rationalization and Ritual Change (Philadelphia, 2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Rüpke, Jörg and Spickermann, Wolfgang, eds., Reflections on Religious Individuality: Greco-Roman and Judaeo-Christian Texts and Practices (Berlin and Boston, 2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and Rosenberger, Veit, ed., Divination in the Ancient World: Religious Options and the Individual (Stuttgart, 2013)Google Scholar. The work at Erfurt is felt in American classical scholarship, evidenced by panels on personal and individual experience in ancient religions at, for example, the 2015 American Philological Association and the 2015 International Association for the History of Religions in conjunction with the Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions.

89 Vidal-Naquet, Pierre, “Recollections of a Witness: Protestants and Jews during the Second World War in France,” in Curtis, David Ames, trans. and ed., The Jews: History, Memory and the Present (New York, 1996), 237–54, at 239Google Scholar. Emphasis added.

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