Criticism of The Theory of The Sacred Community and Profane Society: Relevance of Durkheim’s Sociological Thinking in Discourse Enforcement of Sharia in Indonesia


Durkheim’s Social Theory undertakes a careful analysis of sacred societies. He argues that in each society, there is a general system of belief which legitimatizes the social order and raises the collective, networked, and symbol bounded awareness and therefore keeps the social system run. Religions bring meanings to individual and societal lives, hopes for a more external life in the hereafter. They become values which strengthen the social group’s norms, moral sanctions to individuals, and shared objective foundations of values for the society. However, the recent development of social lives has challenged such view. In the case of Indonesia, the modern, opened, fast changing, group segmented, and religiously pluralized societies illustrate a shifting paradigm from sacred to profane societies. Durkheim’s sociological theory is considered less able to explain the phenomena of suicide bombing and the establishment of Islamic Sharia idea in Indonesia. The researcher’s findings reveal that it is not only the religious factor which drives such phenomena but also the interrelated factors of politics, education, mentality, modernization, and culture.