© Wilfried Gerharz

Digital Humanities

There is an increasingly strong demand for digital working methods in the humanities and social sciences at the University of Münster. University management, with the significant participation of the Cluster, set up in 2017 a Center for Digital Humanities (CDH), which is an interest group embedded in the institution that researchers from various disciplines who are interested in digital humanities can join. As a forum for cross-disciplinary knowledge transfer, the CDH unites the existing DH projects and interests at the University of Münster; it oversees and coordinates the different existing DH knowledge and resources within the University and it provides targeted support for the development of further fields of application for digital technologies.

The CDH is supported by the Service Centre Digital Humanities (SCDH), which is anchored in the eScience Support Centre of Münster’s University and State Library. The SCDH supports the development and use of digital techniques in the humanities and social sciences, it makes available its expertise in the planning and implementation of computer-aided project components. and ensures that DH structures and services are tailored to needs.

Digital Humanities at the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”

Several Cluster of Excellence research projects use methods of the Digital Humanities in order on the one hand to tap into digitized data sources enriched with metadata and to evaluate them via queries, while on the other making these data available for later research from a different perspective. The projects range from antiquity to the present.

One project, for example, is concerned with the compilation of variants of the New Testament that have interpretative relevance, and with the reception of these variants in Reformation and modern translations (Prof. Dr. Holger Strutwolf). A project on Jewish apocalypticism deals with digital editions, for example of the fourth Book of Ezra (Prof. Dr. Lutz Doering). A project “Asking the Pope for Help”, also funded by the Federal Foreign Office, the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility, Future”, and other partners, and involving the Cluster of Excellence, aims to provide a digital record of and to evaluate letters of petition written by persecuted Jews to Pope Pius XII (Prof. Dr. Hubert Wolf). A project on current politics is exploring religion as a resource in European and international climate policy by means of text mining from publicly accessible documents (Prof. Dr. Doris Fuchs). Finally, a project associated with the Cluster of Excellence on founding myths of Hindu, Muslim and Jewish communities on the southwest coast of India is creating a multilingual digital edition of selected narratives and an interactive map of imagined religious landscapes (“HiMuJe-Malabar 1400s-1800”) (Dr. Ines Weinrich).