Simmel modernitenin sosyologu olarak bilinir. Metropol yaşamı düşüncelerini derinden etkilemiştir. Modernitenin birey üzerindeki sarsıcı etkilerini tartışması açısından psikoloji ve sosyal psikolojinin de öncüleri arasında sayılır. Modern toplumu, inanç ve kültürel oluşum dinamikleriyle analiz etme başarısı göstermiştir. Ona göre modernite çoğu tespitlerinde hep bireyin ruhsal yapısının önemi üzerinde durmuştur. Din, ona göre bireyin içsel yaşamında etkin yeri olan ve toplumu oluşturan temel yapı taşlarından biridir. Bugüne kadar kimsenin, örtük söylemler ileri sürmeden, anlaşılmayan genellemelere gitmeksizin “din nedir” sorusuna tam açıklayıcı cevap bulamadığını ileri sürer. Simmel’e göre din ve dindarlık arasındaki ayırım esastır. Din dindarlığı değil, dindarlık dini oluşturur. Bununla birlikte, Simmel’in din ve dindarlık kavramlarını anlamada iki zorlukla karşılaşırız. Birincisi, Simmel’in din anlayışında başlangıçta önemli yer tutan sosyolojik kavramlar zamanla felsefi kavramlarla karıştırılmıştır. İkincisi ise, Simmel “Din” kavramını bazen dar anlamda bazen de geniş anlamda kullanmıştır. Dar anlamda, günlük dilde anlaşıldığı şekliyle kurumsal, tarihi din ya da aşkın inançların bir muhtevası olarak ve bu haliyle dindarlığın da karşıtı biçiminde kullanılmıştır. Geniş anlamda ise, tarihi bir kurumla aynı anlama gelmeyen bir fenomen olarak düşünülmüş, bireyler arası etkileşime dayalı ilişkilerin atfedildiği bir anlam sistemi olarak görülmüştür. Bu çalışma, Simmel’in eserleri başta olmak üzere, ilgili literatüre dayalı deskriptif bir çalışmadır.
Although Georg Simmel is considered one of the classical sociologists of the period, no one can deny that he is at the forefront of the founders of modern sociology. Simmel states that modernity is a different way of experiencing the world and it is not only an internal reaction to the world, also it is an experience of the world we live in, reduced to our spirit world. When considering the processes that make up society, he takes into consideration different sections from his contemporaries. Instead of directly defining and explaining the concepts of 'society' and 'individual'; he has made serious studies that reveal the types of interactions and social types that make up the processes that affect the society without ignoring all the sections and even the smallest particles that make up daily life. The focus of his work is on socialization (Vergesellschaftung) instead of society. Simmel's basic sociological view is the effort to evaluate social dynamics through different cross-sections has spread to a wide range from interaction types to controversy of conflict, from modernity and religion debates to philosophy of money. Instead of a philosophical analysis, he has brought a sociological perspective. Thus, he has clearly succeeded in analyzing modern society with the dynamics of belief and cultural formation. In his sincere determinations, he has always emphasized the importance of the individual's spiritual structure. Religion, according to him, is one of the fundamental particles that have an effective place in the inner life of the individual and constitutes the society. Simmel argues that no one has ever been able to find a complete explanatory answer to the question of what is religion without implicit rhetoric or without going to incomprehensible generalizations. Simmel states that religion cannot free itself from superstition and the uncertainty remains. According to Simmel, the ambiguity which surrounds the origin and nature of religion will never be removed so long as we insist upon approaching the problem as on for which a single word will be the “open sesame”.
He was born in a Judeo-Christian milieu that his father was a Jew who converted to Catholism, while his mother was evangelical. Simmel was Jewish in culture, appearance and mannerisms, but subjectively he was more of a secular Kulturprotestant who considered Judaism inferior to Cristianity. In Simmel’s thoughts, there’s a strong tendency towards ‘negative theology’.
A transcendent being has always been a reference for him, which will transform the relationship between the part and the whole, chaos and the cosmos, and the individual and society into a meaningful integrity relationship, although he does not express his opinion about God's belief clearly. However, God's existence differs in relation to his sociological (religion) and psychological (religiousness) forms. For example, while God is invisible in religion as a cultural form, it carries central importance for the individual (spirit). For him, the soul is nothing without God.
According to Simmel, distinction between religiosity and religion is fundamental. In his view, religion does not prepare the process of religiosity, just as causality reveals knowledge, but rather religiosity creates religion. The moods that people live in themselves, when relationships, meanings, emotions, different attitudes and behaviors that we cannot yet call "religion" intersect with religiosity in his spiritual world over time, it activates religious formation and creates a target area for itself. In this target area, "religion", that is the object of the world of faith, emerges.
In this context, religiousness in terms of individual is related to attachment / belonging and meaning. After the mystical orientation seen as the source of religiousness is settled between after the image and essence, the part and the whole, the empirical and metaphysical, the possibility and necessity, chaos turns into a regular cosmos. In this case, a true devout conceives and interprets reality in a symbolic language; he perceives everything in a meaning, associates them with the cosmos, and reads the realm in this world as a sign of divine existence. For example, Black people envision the world as a grain of sand and heaven in wildflowers. This is reflected to him as a functionally loyalty to God and a trust against unexpected random events.
Simmel has put forward some original views about the position of religion in modern society. First of all, religion can be a solution for specialization in the complex division of labor, which is seen as a big problem in modern societies. If modern societies have a major fault, religion can generate a solution. This solution takes place in the fact that many different people from different social classes and statuses, ethnic backgrounds and with different abilities and qualities believe in the same religion. Secondly, in the modern world, religion corresponds to a special form: a great number of people meet their religious needs through mysticism. Although the religious motives of these people are not ultimately eliminated, supernatural objects of religious faith are largely cleared of their traditional forms.
Consequently, the concept of religiosity of Simmel, which has recently been considered as "intercultural sociologist" and "sociologist of religiosity", draws attention as a concept with deep reflections in late modernity. Mysticism, which is seen both as "religiosity that liberalizes from religion" or "religiosity against religion", can be summarized as a kind of individual religious feeling that excludes traditional religious institutions. Although this trend points to new age movements and cult-type formations as alternative ways, which today include practices for the satisfaction of mystical and spiritual tendencies, their connections and effects still gain meaning within the framework of their relationship with institutional religions and transcendence. This work, eventually, is a descriptive study based on Simmel's own works and other literature.