Yeshiva University: Data-Driven Torah

Yeshiva University: Data-Driven Torah. “Since the introduction of the Bar Ilan Responsa database a generation ago, much discussion has focused on how accessibility and searchability change the landscape of Torah study and halachic [Jewish legal] decision-making, for better or worse. More recently, a new model has emerged, according to which texts are data, vast sets of individual pieces of information linked in different ways. Two projects can help illustrate where this is headed.”

The Daily Beast: Inside the Secret Facebook War For Mormon Hearts and Minds

The Daily Beast: Inside the Secret Facebook War For Mormon Hearts and Minds. “The project was called MormonAds, and it was a brief but perhaps unprecedented experiment in targeted religious dissuasion. In four months at the end of 2017, the project targeted more than 5,000 practicing Mormons with messages painstakingly crafted to serve as gentle introductions to the messier elements of LDS history that were glossed over within the church. All the names and email addresses for the campaign came from disillusioned ex-Mormons.”

20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist reforms (Houston Chronicle)

Houston Chronicle: 20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist reforms. “In all, since 1998, roughly 380 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct, the newspapers found. That includes those who were convicted, credibly accused and successfully sued, and those who confessed or resigned. More of them worked in Texas than in any other state.”

Times of India: Gang uses Google Maps to identify, loot 11 temples in Karnataka

Times of India: Gang uses Google Maps to identify, loot 11 temples in Karnataka. “A five-member gang targeted 11 temples in the deserted areas of Mysuru and Chamarajanagar districts and took away valuables worth Rs 2.9 lakh in the past five months. Their biggest accomplice in the heists was Google maps.”

National Catholic Register: New Project Lets the Church Fathers Speak to the World

National Catholic Register: New Project Lets the Church Fathers Speak to the World. “The other day in class, one of my theology students at Bishop McNamara High School (Forestville, Maryland) had a question about how the Catholic Church can help determine the meaning of a particular passage of Scripture. I was able to pull up a new website… and share with the student what some Fathers of the Church had to say about exegesis/scriptural interpretation in light of Sacred Tradition within the Deposit of Faith (comprising Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition).”

Gizmodo: How Ancient Religious Texts Went Digital

Gizmodo: How Ancient Religious Texts Went Digital. “Digitizing sacred texts, while sometimes viewed as a scandalous endeavor, is one that expands information beyond just an inner circle of scholars and the faithful. Justin Parrott, a research fellow at Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research, just finished his masters of research in Islamic studies last year using the search engines to analyze a particular idea across a whole genre of Islamic texts.”

BBC: India man jailed for tweets about erotic temple statues released

BBC: India man jailed for tweets about erotic temple statues released. “An Indian man has been released from prison after more than a month, for posting satirical tweets about erotic sculptures in a temple. In September, Abhijit Iyer-Mitra, posted a video in which he makes disparaging comments about the famous Konark temple in the eastern state of Orissa and the people of the state.”