Figures of human initiation. Humanity and Holiness in Auguste Comte's Positivism
This paper investigates the relevance and the function of religion in the conception of sociology by A. Comte, within the general context of the positivist program. The identification of his beloved Clotilde de Vaux with the Virgin Mary Mother of Mankind, and the relevant role of “positivist” saints in the construction of the collective imagery, are two main features in Comte’s Religion de l’Humanité. Through the analysis of the plastic and figurative structural levels of those representation in the artistic production and the architecture of the positivist Church, it is possible to demonstrate how they work in continuity with the Catholich imagery.