• On the Use of Historical Social Network Analysis in the Study of Chinese Buddhism: The Case of Dao’an, Huiyuan, and Kumārajīva

    Author(s):
    Marcus Bingenheimer (see profile)
    Date:
    2020
    Group(s):
    Buddhist Studies, Digital Humanities East Asia
    Subject(s):
    Social networks, Buddhism, China
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Chinese Buddhism
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/k2mh-d358
    Abstract:
    This paper is part of a larger research project that attempts to apply historical social network analysis to the study of Chinese Buddhist history. The underlying research questions are whether social network analysis (SNA) metrics can be gainfully applied to Buddhist history, and whether network visualizations can enable us to better understand historical constellations and discover new patterns. Fundamental to this effort is a dataset of Buddhist biographies and lineage data that has been growing steadily over the past thirteen years: the Historical Social Network of Chinese Buddhism. The current dataset records interactions between more than 17,500 actors in Chinese Buddhist history. It is openly available and, in principle, all visualizations and metrics below are reproducible. This paper focuses on a characteristic formation at the beginning of the main network component, a “triangle” formed by the communities of Dao’an 道安 (314–385 CE), Huiyuan 慧遠 (334–416), and Kumārajīva (ca. 344–413). The first section interprets this joint formation as a factor in the establishment of Mahāyāna Buddhism in China. The second section explores how social network analysis can be used to identify hitherto neglected, but still important, actors in Buddhist history.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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