Emile Durkheim was born in the eastern French province of Lorraine on April 15, 1858. He was the s on of a rabbi and descending from a long line of rabbis, he decided early that he would follow the family tradition and become a rabbi himself. He studied Hebrew, the Old Testament, and the Talmud, while following the regular course of in secular schools. He soon turned away from all religious involvement, though purposely not from interest in religious phenomena, and became a freethinker, or non-believer. At about the time of his graduation he decided that he would dedicate himself to the scientific study of society. Since sociology was not a subject either at the secondary schools or at the university, Durkheim launched a career as a teacher in philosophy. Emile Durkheim made many contributions to the study of society, suicide, the division of labor, solidarity and religion. Raised in a time of troubles in France, Durkheim spent much of hi...