- Social exsistence is only possible through the belief in shared ideas
- Functionalist definition of religion - 'beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a church'
- Religion is therefore an essential part of the 'collective consicence' or the shared ideas that make social life possible
- This collective consicence constituted the fundamental notions of time, space, causation and relationships that allow humankind to think logically
- he distinguished between the profane and the sacred. The profane being everday life and the sacred being constituting things set apart and forbidden