Abstract

Expansion of Buddhism in modern societies tends to take forms the researchers
often define as global transnational networks. It opens the way to studying
Buddhism from the standpoint of network analytics. The novelty of the network
paradigm is shifting the focus from studying objects to analyzing their connections and relationships using the ‘graph theory’ as the mode of description. The network approach successfully develops in many modern fields of science (mathematics, physics, biology, sociology, psychology) and even pretends to be a new inter disciplinary paradigm. Many parallels between the network theory and Buddhist ideas call for the investigation of the respective fields. Buddhism regards the phenomenal world in terms of coherence and interdependence. In the Buddhist texts and exegetical literature, the network narrative is found pervading the whole teaching by concepts of dependent origination, karma patterns, logical methods and constructions along with enumerating manner of presentation, the concepts of illusory character of the so-called reality, mandala, personalized way of transmission, and nonlinear dynamics. Contemporary research of social networks allows to study
the topology of religious organizations, to identify their structure, interconnection,
and scope, to conduct comparative studies of various communities, to ascertain the density of connections and the level of clustering, to estimate the life cycle of a network, its dynamics and specifics that induces its quality changes. Such an
approach that may alter many established ideas opens up new perspectives for
religious studies and beyond.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-319
JournalReligiski-Filozofiski Raksti
Issue numberXXV
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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