The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







See also ConTeXt, a macro package for the TeX typesetting system.

Context includes the circumstances and conditions which "surround" an event. Within specific academic disciplines, it has the following meanings:

  • In archaeology, the context (physical location) of a discovery can be of major significance. See Stratification. More precisely, an archaeological context is an event in time which has been preserved in the archaeological record. The cutting of a pit or ditch in the past is a context, whilst the material filling it will be another. Multiple fills, seen as layers in archaeological section would mean multiple contexts. Structural features, natural deposits and inhumations are also contexts. By separating a site into these basic, discrete units, archaeologists are able to create a chronology for activity on a site and describe and interpret it.
  • In communications and linguistics, context is the meaning of a message (such as a sentence), its relationship to other parts of the message (such as a book), the environment in which the communication occurred, and any perceptions which may be associated with the communication.
  • In computer science, context is the circumstances under which a device is being used, e.g. the current occupation of the user. (see also context awareness)
  • In Biblical Studies , context indicates the harmonious relationship of the scripture verse(s) or potion of text under study following after the rule of the “text within the context”. It should abide by a scriptural sense of bearing a close relationship with the immediate passage when trying to determine the meaning of the scriptures. The context of scriptures also should follows the aim and purpose as observed by the original writer with a view toward imparting scriptural truth to the actual audience.
Last updated: 08-17-2005 15:33:21