Sacred and Profane
For Durkheim, religion is about the separation of the sacred from the profane. The sacred refers to those collective representations that are set apart from society, or that which transcends the humdrum of everyday life. The profane, on the other hand, is everything else, all those mundane things like our jobs, our bills, and our rush hour commute. Religion is the practice of marking off and maintaining distance between these two realms. Rituals, for example, reaffirm the meaning of the sacred by acknowledging its separateness, such as when religious devotees pray to a particular statue or symbol.