Faultline 1700 conference in Utrecht seen through Voyant Tools

Faultline1700From 21-23 January I will be participating in a conference on the theme of “Enlightened Religion — From Confessional Churches to Polite Piety”. It will take place in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and it is part of the Faultline 1700 research project. Together with Jonathan Israel I will provide some closing thoughts at the end of the conference. In preparation for this privilege, I will provide a few ways of summarizing the conference proceedings — even before it begins.

1. The first is quite conventionally textual. You can find a fuller program at www.faultline1700.com. Here is a list of conference participants (including both young and established scholars) in the order of their appearance in the program:

  • Wiep van Bunge (Rotterdam),”The Early Enlightenment Revisited”
  • Henk van Nierop (Amsterdam),”Toward a Biography of Romeyn de Hooghe (1645-1708)” (keynote address)
  • Trudelien van ‘t Hof (Utrecht), “Between Sacred History and the History of Religion: The Ambivalent Concept of True Religion in Romeyn de Hooghe’s Hieroglyphica
  • Daniel Stolzenberg (Davis, CA), “Roman Censors and Dutch Cartographers: Confessional Conflict and Collaboration before the Enlightenment”
  • Thijs Weststeijn (Amsterdam), “Asian Philosophy and the Netherlands”
  • Joan Pau Rubies (Barcelona), “Sacred History and Human Diversity in the Early Enlightenment: From Universality to Globality”
  • Jo Spaans (Utrecht), “Reforming the Laity — Lay Reformation”
  • Martin Gierl (Göttingen), “From Piety to Ideas about Piety: The Communicative Constitution of Pietist Theology”
  • Fred van Lieburg (Amsterdam), “What Novelty Did ‘Reasonable Religion’ Bring in 1700? Guiding Reformed Believers between Confessionalism and Pietism”
  • Henri Krop (Rotterdam), “From Singular to Plural: The Changing Notion of Religion”
  • Frank Daudeij (Rotterdam), “‘Let No Citizen Be Treated as a Minor, because of His Confession’: De Hooghe’s Case for a Civil Religion”
  • Mark Goldie (Cambridge), “John Locke and Priestcraft”
  • Arthur Weststeijn (Rome), “Planting Diversity: Settlement and Religion in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Colonial Thought”
  • Jaap Nieuwstraten (Haarlem), “True Religion, Religious Toleration and the Confessional State in the Works of Marcus Zuerius Boxhorn (1612-1653): An Investigation into the Origins of the Transformation of Religion around 1700”
  • Dmitri Levitin (Cambridge), “Comparative Religion and the Non-Existence of the ‘Early Enlightenment’: Some Anglo-Dutch Perspectives”
  • Jetze Touber (Utrecht), “Written not with Ink: Alphabets, Inscriptions and Historia Sacra around 1700″

Other participants (session chairs) will include Wijnand Mijnhardt (Utrecht), Peter van Rooden (Amsterdam), and Piet Steenbakkers (Utrecht).

For the second and third formats for a pre-summary of the conference themes I will use Voyant Tools.

2. The expandable window below is a word cloud of the most frequent concepts found in the abstracts. The purpose is to highlight the must frequent terms in the 14 abstracts. This gives a sense of some of the possible overall concentrations during the sessions — and might also spark some questions. For example, it seems clear to me from this image, as well as some of the contributors’ arguments, that the meaning of the concept “religion” will be a matter of some discussion.

To find out how frequent an individual term is, move your cursor over it. You can expand the window by clicking one of the buttons on the top right side of the word cloud frame.

3. Finally, here is another version of the same abstracted data, this time visualized using the Links option in Voyant Tools. This graphic gives some idea of the interconnections of the concepts in the word cloud above.

Once you expand the frame using the button in the top right side, try double-clicking on concepts that look significant to you. This will increase the complexity of the links. Right-clicking (or control-click on a Mac) will open up more options related to an individual concept.

If you would like to learn more about the interactive possibilities of Voyant Tools, please see the posts below!