SPIRIN:Introduction/3. Emergence of order

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Introduction to SPIRIN
Inigo Bocken
Jos Huls
Hanno Wupper
Kirstin Zeyer

SPIRIN:Encyclopedia supports four ways of ordering and relating lemmata.

Index, classification, bibliographical data

First, each lemma is classified in a standard way and can be found in the SPIRIN:Index via author, translator, title, kind (source text, translation, article, project etc.), status (published, yet unpublished, workspace etc.), SPIRIN dimension, references to persons and to Bible passages.

The technical infrastructure makes the relation between persons, their writings, translations of these and articles about them and their writings explicit, as for example on the page Beatrice of Nazareth.

Subpage trees

Second, lemmata can be organised hierarchically in subpage structures for two reasons:

  1. For adequate presentation on a computer screen an easy browsing, as for example in A Conversation beyond the Border and in Spirituality (Waaijman 2002).
  2. To make each paragraph of a source text or translation individually accessible for inclusion in other work, as in Ausgetrückte emplössung des falschen glaubens.

The relation "falls under"

The third way is typical for the SPIRIN Encyclopedia and not common in libraries and on the internet.

In the metadata of each lemma the lemma can be made to fall underone ore more other lemmata'. The navigation box of each lemma shows at the top the lemmata under which it falls. At the bottom it shows the articles that fall under it. An example is SPIRIN Encyclopedia. This article falls under Encyclopedic Approach in the Study of Spirituality, Encyclopedia, Die elektronische Werkstatt while the following articles fall under it: Encyclopedia, Introduction, SPIRIN Encyclopedia of Spirituality, SPIRIN Encyclopedia of Spirituality (Waaijman 2006), Soul, The Structure of the Lemma in SPIRIN Encyclopedia, Working in SPIRIN.

This mechanism can be used to fragment a big work into independent lemmata, on which different people can work further, as in Interdisciplinarity, where the former sections on different disciplines have become independent articles but still show their relation to its "umbrella".

The same mechanism can be by an author to group independent articles written earlier and articles still to be written in such a way that it becomes obvious that they all contribute to a bigger concept, which may become a book in course of time, as in Theoria.


The fourth way, hyperlinks, is typical for the internet: From any word in text a link can be laid to any other text anywhere. The importance of this is described in Transversale Vernunft.