I just received the latest edition of the Religious Studies Review (Volume 32, number 4, October 2006), which is a special issue on Religion and the Internet edited by Christopher Helland. The volume highlights and evaluates a number of different religious studies resources online. The reviews are by no means exhaustive, typically only reviewing a handful of sites and totally ignoring the blogging community. Be that as it may, here is a summary of three areas related to my own personal interests.
Biblical Studies on the Internet (Matthew Mitchell)
The review of biblical studies on the web is pretty basic, highlighting only four resources, one relating to NT, one to OT/HB, one to the DSS, and the ancient world.
- The New Testament Gateway
- iTanakh: Resources for Academic Study
- K.C. Hanson’s Homepage
- The Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature
These are all great resources, though there are so many other excellent resources available on the Internet for biblical studies that I can’t help be a bit disappointed with the brevity of the list. Noteably, the sites of bloggers Mark Goodacre and Chris Heard are both mentioned.
Resources for Christianity on the Web (Heidi Campbell)
The focus of this section is on scholarly websites on the Christian tradition, not confessional sites of a particular brand of Christianity. As such only two sites are reviewed in any depth:
A number of other confessional sites were also mentioned.
Researching Judaism Online (Jay Michaelson)
Three types of sites are highlighted, primary source sites (first five), a couple indexes, and non-academic sites (last five).
- Halacha Brura and Birur Halacha Institute
- E Sefer
- Seforim Online
- Come and Hear
- Rambi: The Index of Articles on Jewish Studies
- Index of Jewish Periodicals
- My Jewish Learning
- Jewish Virtual Library
- E-Jewish Info
Other categories that are also covered in the volume are Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, New Religious Movements, and Wicca, Witchcraft and Modern Paganism.
On the whole a number of very good sites are noted. With the Internet the challenge will always be sifting the valuable from the trash, so such reviews, while not exhaustive, at least give people a place to begin in their online research.