Arizona State University: ASU scholars save priceless manuscripts from obscurity

Arizona State University: ASU scholars save priceless manuscripts from obscurity. “‘You never think you’re going to discover an unknown library ever in your career,’ said Corine Schleif, Arizona State Univeristy professor of art history. She and Volker Schier, a musicologist and visiting faculty at the Institute for Humanities Research, were leading the fortuitous scholars on a tour of European women’s monasteries. The Altomuenster monastery, just northwest of Munich, was their last stop. Left undisturbed for 500 years, the library contained over a thousand previously unknown manuscripts, as well as works of art and devotional objects. If it had belonged to another order, such as the Benedictines or Franciscans, about whom a great deal is already known, it probably wouldn’t have been as monumental a find.”

CBN News: Strange Bedfellows? Why Facebook Is Teaming Up with Churches to Build Community

CBN News: Strange Bedfellows? Why Facebook Is Teaming Up with Churches to Build Community. “On a recent April Sunday morning, crowds streamed into the grand lobby of Mt. Zion Baptist Church as they faithfully do every weekend. What was unusual about this particular service was who was there to greet them. Smiling faces offered bright, warm ‘hellos,’ inviting them to visit laptop stations designed to teach people how to better engage with other members through the church’s social media. But the friendly greeters weren’t church staff or volunteers. They were a professional team sent by Facebook.”

America Magazine: Can the Catholic Church help young people figure out how to use social media?

America Magazine: Can the Catholic Church help young people figure out how to use social media?. “Rebecca Bratten Weiss knows the power of social media. It has allowed the writer and independent scholar to reach beyond her rural Ohio community and connect with other Catholic thinkers who help her develop ideas and form new relationships. She even has a new chapbook on poetry coming out, co-authored with another writer she met online. But she has fallen victim to the darker sides of digital culture as well.”

Houston Chronicle: Rice University creating archive to preserve history of city’s Jewish community

Houston Chronicle: Rice University creating archive to preserve history of city’s Jewish community. “A few months ago, the banner was wrapped in plastic and tucked away in a garage, stowed for decades after being plucked from a storage closet in the long-since demolished Beth Jacob congregation. It might have been forgotten, its significance lost forever if not for Rice University’s newly created Houston Jewish History Archive. Now, the World War II-era service flag is part of a growing collection being assembled by Furman, the Stanford and Joan Alexander Postdoctoral Fellow in Jewish Studies at Rice, and Kean, the university’s centennial historian.”

MIT Technology Review: AI tackles the Vatican’s secrets

MIT Technology Review: AI tackles the Vatican’s secrets. “Even church archivists don’t know what mysteries lie hidden in the Vatican Secret Archives, since many of its documents have never been transcribed. A machine-vision system for medieval text is about to change that.”

Big Think: An online map of Europe’s 3,318 synagogues

Big Think: An online map of Europe’s 3,318 synagogues. “If you’ve ever wondered how many synagogues there are in Europe, now you have an answer: 3,318. The precision of that answer is down to the Foundation for Jewish Heritage, a UK-based institute that ordered what it says is the first-ever continent-wide study of Jewish houses of worship.”

Business Standard: Online database of religion-based hate crimes launched

Business Standard: Online database of religion-based hate crimes launched. “An online repository of religious identity-based hate crimes reported in the country [India] was today launched here that seeks to bring ‘greater accountability’ on part of various justice delivery institutions for victims. Christened, Documentation of the Oppressed (DOTO), the website, currently has data pertaining to 489 incidents and 2,670 victims, Vipul Kumar, one of the members of the team that executed the project, said.”