Christian Canu Højgaard

Published On


Page Range

pp. 273–360


  • English

Print Length

88 pages

7. Participants in Social Networks

Social network analysis has only occasionally been applied to the analysis of texts. This chapter offers a novel attempt to map the social network of an ancient law text, Leviticus 17–26. Using the participants and their interactions as nodes and edges, respectively, graph-based and feature-based approaches to role discovery are applied to detect clusters of participants. Three clusters emerge, and crucial representatives of each cluster are analysed in depth to suggest the roles obtained by the participants in the network. Finally, the ethos expressed by the network is discussed and related to the major theme of holiness in Leviticus 17–26.
The chapter advances existing methods of social network analysis of texts by conceptualizing the network edges as the agency invested by the participants in concrete interactions. Moreover, it is argued that texts exhibit another dimension apart from participants and interactions, namely that of textual structure. Participants and interactions are embedded in a discourse or narrative, and their embeddedness adds important information about their role in the social network as implied by the text.


Christian Canu Højgaard

Assistant professor of Old Testament at Fjellhaug Internasjonale Høgskole

Christian Canu Højgaard (PhD, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 2021, awarded cum laude) is Assistant Professor of Old Testament at Fjellhaug International University College Copenhagen. His main interests include Biblical Hebrew language (in particular verbal syntax and semantics), social readings of Biblical law, and digitalization of ancient texts. He is the general editor of Hiphil Novum, a journal for Biblical linguistics. He is currently involved in Creating Annotated Corpora of Classical Hebrew Text, a cross-institutional research project for the digitalization and annotation of ancient texts, and A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew led by Professor Geoffrey Khan.