Two different ways of thinking about “religious” vocabulary.

I hope a picture is worth a thousand words, because I don’t have time for even a hundred words right now. But in re: Benjamin’s remarks about religion below, here are two different ways of looking at the Google ngrams dataset. On the one hand, drastic decline:

On the other hand, not doing so bad:

These images come out of work Loretta Auvil, Jordan Sellers, Boris Capitanu and myself presented at the Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science last fall. In a sense the contrast between those two pictures contains a compressed version of a lot of recent discourse rethinking the meaning of “secularization.” I’ll have to leave the meaning of the contrast elliptical for now, though.


About tedunderwood

Ted Underwood is Professor of Information Sciences and English at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. On Twitter he is @Ted_Underwood.
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