You should not forget that I am the son of a rabbi. That is a sentence from a letter written by Emile Durkheim, the famous French sociologist, worked around the year 1900. Durkheim, I tried to pronounce his name the French way but maybe I will forget it later and give it more German Sound. Durkheim was very interested in teaching and the functions of education, not just for children or adults but for society at large. Before his academic task was expanded with teaching sociology, Durkheim was a professor of education. And his interest in didactic questions may have something to do with his father, and a few other ancestors, many of whom were rabbis, too. The small sentence about his father may also help us understand why Durkheim had this lifelong fascination with religion. Culminating in his final book that was entirely dedicated to the sociology of religious life. Yes, he was the son of a rabbi. The spiritual leader of a religious minority group in a small village in northeastern France. And these, among other things, must have stimulated his sociological interest in group formation, in group identity, the moral consciousness of a collectivity. It certainly triggered his lifelong interest in group cohesion, and it also made him aware of antisemitism. Of course, Emile Durkheim is important for the sociological theories that he offered us, but we should not forget his role in institutionalizing sociology. Before he was born in 1858, sociology was practiced outside of the university by amateurs and aristocrats, revolutionaries and engineers. But, it was not yet an academic discipline. After his death in 1917, sociology became an academic discipline that students everywhere in the western world could choose to study. Starting with an introductory course and ending of course with the graduation ceremony. Now, Durkheim belongs to a generation of thinkers who brought sociology into the university, who transformed it into an academic endeavor. And that was not at all an easy task because the professors of the other sciences were rather skeptical about this newcomer. In Durkheim's days for example, the scientists were interested in the psychology of mass behavior beliefs that they adequately covered the field of the social phenomena. And that a new science was superfluous. Durkheim didn't agree at all. He saw it as his task to show that sociology has a field all of its own. Durkheim, for example, was interested in the phenomenon of suicide, and one of the reasons was that he believed that suicide figures make clear why we need sociology to understand the problems of modern society. He says, suicide seems to be the most personal act that you can imagine. Often prepared in utter loneliness, an act of desperation and especially of isolation. But when you look at large numbers, then you can see that suicide is a social phenomenon and that the sociologists can predict the number of suicide cases in a certain year, a certain region, a certain age cohort, a certain professional group, even in a certain religious group. So, in choosing his topics, Durkheim never lost sight of his intention to show the value and the relevance of sociology as a new science that can help us to understand and to solve social problems that are typical of modernity. And when I present Durkheim here I will look at his work from the vantage point of this self imposed task to fight for the introduction of sociology as one of the university disciplines. A new science with its own brand of theories and methodologies and therefore also the science with its own faculty members and its own professors and teachers. Its own handbooks its own journals. And let us not forget that he was very successful in this regard. Durkheim was the first European professor of sociology in 1913. He created the first sociological journal, L'Année Sociologique, in 1898. He wrote a kind of sociological handbook, The Rules of Sociological Method, 1895. In short, he was very, very instrumental in the process of Institutionalizing and professionalizing sociology. But in order to achieve that goal, one must present a sound theoretical argument to show that people in modern Western societies, really need such a new science. Durkheim developed the argument that we still today use when we speak about the science of sociology.