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Open Theology

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Embedded, not Plugged-In: Digital Humanities and Fair Participation in Systematic Theological Research

Matthew Ryan Robinson
Published Online: 2019-07-04 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2019-0005


The article examines the disparity in use of digital humanities tools and resources among the theological disciplines, highlighting the question of why systematic theology has struggled to follow the digital turn. The author argues that issues of fairness in access and use of digital resources in knowledge production constitute an important set of concerns for systematic theologians in considering appropriate uses of the digital in their research. The article suggests that there are indeed reasons for methodological innovation in systematic theology in reaction to the digital revolution in humanities research – not, however, toward more plugged-in methods but toward methods embedded in life with the poor, underrepresented, and excluded. Three principles for a methodological “reboot” in systematic theology are given, which offer directions for further research as well as material for debate.

Keywords: Digital theology; Systematic theology; Colonizing knowledge; Theological method


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About the article

Received: 2019-01-06

Accepted: 2019-03-25

Published Online: 2019-07-04

Citation Information: Open Theology, Volume 5, Issue 1, Pages 66–79, ISSN (Online) 2300-6579, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2019-0005.

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© 2019 Matthew Ryan Robinson, published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Public License. BY 4.0

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