From Content and Structure to Structure of Content: Text Network Analysis in the Study of Religions
Frederik Elwert (KHK postdoc & CERES)
Research in the study of religions moves between the poles of social structure (e.g., religious institutions, social settings) and religious content (e.g., scriptures, teachings). The sociology of religion often has to defend against the claim that she favours the study of social structures over the analysis of religious content or, as Weber put it, interests over ideas. Philological approaches in contrast have been accused of overemphasising scriptures at the expense of social context and lived religion. Recent approaches in text-based network analysis promise to bridge this divide, at least partially. They allow to visualise and study structures internal and external to texts, in conjunction with their content. On the methodological level, they can be discussed with regard to their implications and limitations. The paper will present findings from the completed project SeNeReKo as well as an outlook for future directions in this field of study.
This paper will be presented in panel Challenging Traditional Sociology of Religions (panel 27-135 | 223)