Centrality in the Book of Ruth

in Vetus Testamentum
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The mathematics of social network analysis may be employed to determine the central character in a narrative. In this article, a number of centrality measures are utilised in order to illuminate the issue of the central character in the Book of Ruth. The mathematical analysis surprisingly points to Boaz as being the most central character of the book, but highlights the fact that “centrality” is an elusive concept.

Centrality in the Book of Ruth

in Vetus Testamentum



  • View in gallery
    Social network for the book of Ruth. The area of the nodes indicates the consensus centrality measure in Table 1, with Boaz the most central, followed by Ruth. The ‘men’ and ‘women’ nodes refer to employees of Boaz. Each of the links represents an interaction or relationship in the text.
  • View in gallery
    Consensus centrality scores compared to occurrences in the text.


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