Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Lederer, D
2013
January
Social History
Sociology's "One Law": Moral Statistics, Modernity, Religion, and German Nationalism in the Suicide Studies of Adolf Wagner and Alexander von Oettingen
Published
11 ()
Optional Fields
46
684
699
From the onset, moral statistics were influenced by religious discourse. During the nineteenth century, Adolf Wagner discovered the "One Law" of sociology: Protestants always kill themselves more often than Catholics. Deployed by his colleague, the Baltic nationalist theologian Alexander von Oettingen, it became a moral-statistical plank in the modernity thesis and supported a Prussian master narrative of history. Accordingly, it justified the unification of Germany according to the small German model of a Kulturnation excluding Catholic Austria. This interpretation, in turn, influenced subsequent generations of German sociologists, who described modernity in idealist and spiritual terms. In this, they differed from the more mechanistic and materialist theories of French sociologists, in particular Emile Durkheim.
CARY
0022-4529
10.1093/jsh/shs128
Grant Details