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Religion, Media, and the Digital Turn

posted by Wei Zhu

This new report by Christopher D. Cantwell and Hussein Rashid begins to document some of the impact that digital modes of research and publication have had on the study of religion. The report, supported by funding from the Henry Luce Foundation, is a snapshot of an ever-evolving digital landscape that points towards potential challenges and opportunities for digital scholarship in the future, while highlighting the wealth of resources currently available.

The last decade has witnessed nothing short of a transformation in the study of religion. Where the printed word was once the field’s stock in trade, scholars and journalists now produce and circulate knowledge through a variety of digital media as well. These new genres have, in large part, been made possible by the rise of “digital humanities” within the academy—a methodological turn that, despite its name, has altered disciplines across both the humanities and social sciences—as well as the widespread use of social participatory media.

We intend for this report to serve as what might be called a form of documentary advocacy. While our primary goal is to chronicle emerging forms of intellectual production shaping the study of religion, we hope that a greater awareness of this new work will generate more recognition of the high quality and innovative work that already exists.

Read the full report on the Social Science Research Council’s website.

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