Rituals and Data Analytics: A Mixed-Methods Model to Process Personal Beliefs

The goal of this research is to delve into ritual, religious, and secular phenomenology. It concentrates specifically on the relationship between pagan, cultural, celebratory, and traditional rituals and any other form of representation of a social sentiment focused on identifying, enjoying, or replacing a feeling (e.g. transcendence) as well as how these rituals overlap, replace, nourish, or make use of religious rituals bi-directionally. To achieve this goal, the research develops a semi-automatic process that leans on a mixed-methods approach, to explore the degree of ritual identity. This approach combines qualitative and quantitative research, applying a number of tools, such as systematic literature review, semi-structured interviews, data-analytics generic framework, and case studies. After a thorough systematic review of 251 publications, a semi-structured interview is designed and applied to 51 subjects. 10 significant aspects that define rituals are extracted. Subsequently, this list is completed with the 17 common elements of ritual identity from the systematic literature review. These combined indicators constitute the basis for building a data-analytics generic framework of ritual affinity through weighing each element’s relevance and presence to obtain a degree of total affinity. That framework is then applied to 34 representative case studies. The core findings reinforce the initial hypothesis, determining that rituals follow a similar pattern of structure and preparation according to a predetermined set of common elements, whether linked to religious or secular settings.

Full open access at https://www.ijimai.org/journal/bibcite/reference/2970