Durkheim’s The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life offers the dazzling surmise that religion and the gods are but a covert representation of the moral force of society. The core of Durkheim’s theory consists of two elements: group assembly and “collective effervescence.” In the accompanying psychological state, members of the group feel elevated to a plane “above themselves,” where they attain an understanding or conviction that is otherwise unavailable. It leads, in Durkheim’s test case about the totemic religion of Australian Aborigines, to the Aborigines’ belief that they are in the grip of an exterior force of a transcendental nature-a sacred entity or god-and the experience confirms for group members the reality and existence of that entity. In Durkheim’s view, rites and ceremonies are means to evoke and re-evoke such convictions. Of paramount sociological importance, participation in these rites leads to bonding and solidarity. Critically too for Durkheim’s social actors the experience leaves them personally in a constructive state, energized and confident, all the better for having engaged in the rite.