Digital humanities and the study and teaching of North American religions
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The digital humanities are a collection of methodologies with a long history in the disciplines of literature, linguistics, media studies, and pedagogy. These methodologies and the scholars who employ them have recently gained widespread attention among academics and observers of higher education. While the digital humanities have deep roots in the field of religious studies, most scholars of religion have been relatively slow to embrace digital methods for research and pedagogy. This essay provides an introduction to the cluster of research and teaching methods generally grouped under the term “digital humanities.” Digital humanists create digital archives, research collections, and exhibits; map and visualize information using online tools; and develop and apply computational methods of textual and visual analysis. This essay offers examples of scholarship and pedagogy on North American religions that use each of these methodologies, and concludes with a brief discussion of resources for learning about and becoming involved with digital humanities work.