"New insights thanks to digital research methods"

Workshop reports from the Digital Humanities provide insights into research projects at the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” – Series of events in the annual theme for 2023/24 on “The Digitalization of Religion” – Lectures by researchers such as Hubert Wolf, Holger Strutwolf, Lutz Doering, Ines Weinrich, and Felicity Jensz – Webquest invites those interested to do their own research

Poster for the workshop reports on the digital humanities
© EXC/Stefan Matlik

Press release 3 November 2023

From 7 November 2023, the series “Workshop reports from the Digital Humanities” at the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” at the University of Münster will show how digital tools can enrich research in the humanities. Egyptologist Prof. Dr. Angelika Lohwasser, who is coordinating the annual theme, announced in Münster on Thursday that Cluster members will provide insights into their research projects that work with methods of the Digital Humanities. The series is part of the annual theme for 2023/24 on “The Digitalization of Religion: Participation and Belonging in a Networked World”. An interactive webquest will accompany the workshop reports, with those interested being invited to do their own research on the internet. Here, there are tasks to be solved using digital tools.

Ranging from antiquity to the present, the Digital Humanities (DH) projects at the Cluster of Excellence are led, among others, by the church historians Prof. Dr. Hubert Wolf and Prof. Dr. Holger Strutwolf, the Protestant theologian Prof. Dr. Lutz Doering, the Arabic scholar Dr. Ines Weinrich, and the historian Dr. Felicity Jensz. According to Lohwasser, who coordinates the DH projects at the Cluster of Excellence and has organized the series of workshop reports with historian Prof. Dr. Jan Keupp and literary scholar and head of the Servicecenter for Digital Humanities Dr. Jan Horstmann: “The digital tools open up new insights into historical sources, religious writings, and cultural objects – these are what our DH projects access, edit, and analyze. When these are linked to geographical, personal, and cultural data, a worldwide network of knowledge emerges”.

Jan Keupp explains: “The DH teams will present in their lectures their specific digital approaches and shed light on the findings and opportunities offered by DH religious research, which works with texts and letters, images and objects, individual events and global contexts”. Initial insights will be provided by the lecture that church historian Prof. Dr. Holger Strutwolf will give in the Cluster of Excellence lecture theatre (Room JO 1, Johannisstraße 4) at 6.15 pm on 7 November 2023. Titled “Digitale Philologie und der Text des Neuen Testaments” (“Digital philology and the text of the New Testament”), this will show how over 5,700 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament are being digitally analyzed in order to make the oldest extant text of this collection of writings available. It will also show how a digital edition of the New Testament is being created today.

Prof. Dr. Angelika Lohwasser
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On 21 November 2023, Prof. Dr. Norbert Köster and Carolin Hemsing from Catholic Theology will deal with the theme “Digital religion? Theorie und Praxis der Inventarisierung von christlichem Kulturerbe“ (“Digital religion? Theory and practice of inventorying the Christian cultural heritage”). On 5 December 2023, church historian Prof. Dr. Hubert Wolf and his team will offer a guided tour of the digital factory of “Asking the Pope for Help” in their lecture titled “In bitterer Not wende ich mich an Eure Heiligkeit” (“In bitter need I turn to Your Holiness”).

On 16 January 2024, Protestant theologians Prof. Dr. Lutz Doering and Florian Neitmann will provide insights in their lecture titled “Apocalypse goes digital” into the digital edition and intertextual analysis of the Fourth Book of Ezra. The series will conclude on 23 January 2024 with a lecture by Arabic scholar Dr. Ines Weinrich and historian Dr. Felicity Jensz on “SprachRäume. Religiöse Texte als Ressource im kolonialen Kontext” (“LanguageSpaces: Religious texts as a resource in the colonial context”).

Prof. Dr. Jan Keupp
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On the annual theme for 2023/24 on “The Digitalization of Religion”

The annual theme for 2023/24 at the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” at the University of Münster is the digitalization of religion. In the winter term, a variety of formats will highlight how digital tools can add innovative approaches to the study of religion. In the summer term, the focus will be on religion in digital worlds, for example in formats such as digital prayers, online confessionals, religious chat groups, and fatwas on the internet. In workshop reports and webquests, lectures, film and discussion evenings, the annual theme will present current research from the Cluster of Excellence, give researchers from many disciplines a chance to have their say, and bring them into discussion with religious groups and the general public. (pie/fbu)