Pastoral Discourse After a Mass Shooting

Collecting and analyzing Christian and Jewish religious discourse following the Uvalde school shooting

Project team

As part of a larger project on the intersections between religion and firearms, Jenny Wiley Legath is building a database of pastoral discourse by Christian ministers and priests and Jewish rabbis at religious services immediately following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24, 2022. From YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook, Legath has downloaded transcriptions from almost two hundred Christian and Jewish religious services from the weekend of May 27-29, 2022. As a Data Fellow, Legath will supplement traditional close-reading of these texts with digital tools of text mining, natural language processing and data visualization. Legath is specifically interested in the role of specific religious traditions in influencing pastoral discourse in the wake of gun violence. She hopes that the digital tools will help illuminate the religious resources pastors, priests and rabbis discursively offer their congregants to address gun violence. Under the auspices of the Data Fellowship, Legath intends to publish the corpus of worship service texts to serve as a resource for further scholarly investigation.  

CDH Grant History

  • 2023–2024 Data Fellowship