Thursday, 30 April 2015

David Michelson: Quid ergo Silicon Valley et Hierosolymis? Potential and Perils of the Digital Humanities for Patristic Studies

Over the last half century, scholars studying the history of Christianity have enjoyed an ever increasing number of electronic research tools, such as text corpora and manuscript catalogues (e.g. Thesaurus Lingua Graeca, CETEDOC, OLIVER). Many of these resources now serve an essential role for research on Christianity in late antiquity. In contrast to this proliferation of databases, there has been surprisingly less methodological reflection among scholars in the field about how digital research has both opened new possibilities and created new blind spots. Fortunately, these are questions of wide interest now being addressed beyond Patristic studies by a number of disciplines under the rubric of the “digital humanities”.  This paper brings Patristic studies into this emerging conversation by surveying the current state of digital work in Patristic studies and offering methodological proposals for its future direction. This paper identifies a new wave of digital databases created by individual scholars for very specific purposes. It also demonstrates how such particularized projects can benefit from adopting standards of scholarly best practice from other fields active in digital humanities. Because digital humanities and Patristic studies are both interdisciplinary umbrellas where scholars from multiple fields collaborate there are many fruitful prospects for overlap between the two fields.

No comments:

Post a Comment