In this chapter, the team of authors with roots in the GEHIR project demonstrates the potential of formal network analysis for the study of religious transformations in past societies. The chapter proposes that the study of these phenomena can especially profit from employing methods associated with studying three types of network structures: spatial networks, social networks, and textual networks. The chapter discusses the applicability of these network structures with respect to three levels of analysis for studying religion and religious transformations in human societies: a micro level, analyzing religion with respect to individual religious groups or communities; a meso level, approaching religion on the level of religious traditions; and a macro level, dealing with religion from a long-term, macrohistorical perspective of human evolution. Finally, the chapter proposes that network approaches can help to bridge the gap between the rather traditional historical study of religion and recent naturalistic approaches to religion.
Link for the chapter here.