Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on ReligionInstitute for Studies of Relgion
IJRR :: 2022 Volume 18 :: Article 2
2022 Volume 18, Article 2
Digital Theology: New Perspectives on Interdisciplinary Research Between the Humanities and Theology

Author: Jens Dörpinghaus (University of Pretoria)

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This article analyses the usage of methods from Digital Humanities within Theology and tries to find synergies and limitations. (1) We propose a fourfold characterization schema for methods within DH. Understanding the different perception of methods from DH used in Theology and Religious Studies we propose the term “Digital Humanities in Theology” as best match to describe the research within Theology using methods from DH. (2) Since DH always include a methodological transfer of a scientific domain to computer science which includes the representation of domain data with data points and data records even before applying methods from DH in Theology we have a step of interpretation. We support the idea of a double act of interpretation but see the need to extend this process with feedback towards Theology as a re- interpretation step. This suggests three steps of knowledge representation and data re-interpretation and supports the requirement of basic knowledge within three domains: Theology, a humanity and Computer Science. (3) We discuss some interdisciplinary ideas from the field of Data and Computer Science underlining the need for further research within the field of Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR) data management, open source software and open science approaches within DH and Theology. These research questions on the interdisciplinary field within Theology, Humanities, and Computer Science lead to new perspectives on the interdisciplinary research between Theology and Humanities.

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