Resources for the use of social network analysis in the study of Chinese Buddhist history

Here are some resources for the use of historical social network analysis in the study of Chinese Buddhism. The source data stem from various projects, especially the Gaoseng zhuan projects at Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts (DILA) (formerly Dharma Drum Buddhist College). These collect relational (and other) data from 高僧傳-type biographies, but also have digitized secondary sources such as Hasebe Yūkei's tables of Ming-Qing monastic lineages (Hasebe Yūkei 長谷部幽蹊. 2008. “Min Shin bukkyō kenkyū shiryō 明清佛教研究資料 (僧傳之部) 1-3.” Tokyo: Manpakuji).

The evolving data offered here is prepared in formats that allow immediate use in open source SNA tools (such as Gephi) and is the basis for an ongoing series of presentations, workshops and papers. There are also samples and use-cases. If you find any errors in the data, or would like to contribute other material towards the use of social networks for the study of Buddhist history, please get in touch.

Marcus Bingenheimer

July 2016 - now



  • A first Dynamic Network Example (gexf) (beta) of the Dao'an, Huiyuan and Kumārajīva triangle. Illustrates the timestamp technique that Gephi 0.9.1 seems to mandate. Screencast of how this could look like.
  • For those interested in the structure of the Gaoseng zhuan data:
    Marcus BINGENHEIMER, Jen-Jou HUNG, Simon WILES: "Social Network Visualization from TEI Data." Literary and Linguistic Computing 26(3), 2011, pp. 271-278. Doi: 10.1093/llc/fqr020. (SSCI)

  • Workshop Material for the workshop at NUS, Singapore August 2018.



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