A Database of Religious History

The University of British Columbia, since 2016, has been working on the creation of the Database of Religious History, a crowd-sourced, interactive, dynamic, and searchable encyclopedia. The digital humanities project is premised on the Big Data approach—a comparative methodology popular among historians, linguists, and anthropologists, but as of yet, less prevalent with scholars of religion.

In an e-mail exchange, DRH director Edward Slingerland talked to RSN about the project’s theoretical groundings, obstacles to success, and the promise of data collection and the comparative approach to discovering some of the biggest questions in the development of religious practice across history and geography.

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