Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on ReligionInstitute for Studies of Relgion
IJRR :: 2016 Volume 12 :: Article 5
2016 Volume 12, Article 5
Introducing Jesusís Social Network: Support, Conflict, and Compassion

Author: Jennifer M. McClure (Samford University)

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ABSTRACT

This study combines the growing field of social network analysis with religious history and biblical studies in order to examine Jesusí social network. Using social network analysis allows this study to understand and depict patterns of interactions, the social structure, and the social dynamics surrounding Jesusí life and ministry. This study focuses on Jesusí interactions with three categories of people - his family and followers, the civil and religious authorities, and stigmatized people. Data were coded from the interactions recorded in the Gospels of the New Testament, and social network analyses describe Jesusí network, examine patterns of positive and negative ties, and identify central figures. Based on the results, this study argues that: (1) Jesusí interactions with his family and fol- lowers were characterized by support; (2) his interactions with the civil and religious authorities were characterized by conflict; (3) his interactions with stigmatized people were characterized by compassion.

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