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Digital readings of the Bible

Jean-Philippe Cointet

In a study of sermons made by English preachers in the 17th and 18th centuries, medialab researcher Jean-Philippe Cointet and four sociologists and historians from American and German universities mapped biblical references used by priests from Anglican and dissident churches*. This work, presented in a Poetics journal article entitled “The (Protestant) Bible, the (printed) sermon, and the word(s): The semantic structure of the Conformist and Dissenting Bible, 1660–1780”, sheds lights on a whole swath of the history of faiths, and is notable for deploying new methods of textual analysis based on the quantitative and qualitative processing of empirical data. Awarded a prize from the American Sociological Association, this study is representative of a recent research trend in the humanities and social sciences: computational hermeneutics, which analyze and interpret cultural phenomena by drawing on quantitative methods and empirical data. (First paragraph)