The Polonsky Foundation Digitization Project

2013-1204 Stamp.Ross.283 Biblia. Tedesco.   c. 1478You’ve probably noticed that the “printed” word is more and more available digitally. This digital explosion of information is simultaneously good news and bad news.

Sadly, with the 24/7 “news cycle” more and more information is available every time a person logs on to see what’s happening. Not all the information is accurate and we haven’t yet developed, as a society, a good sense for weeding out the spurious and the superfluous. Such detection is still a work in progress. Erroneous reporting can quickly go ‘viral’ and then seems to hang on forever.

Happily, digital technology has also made available to both scholars and ‘amateurs’ printed texts that have helped form our society (artistically, linguistically, and morally). For this Sunday Morning Forum biblical texts from codices and papyri dating back thousands of years are now viewable (even if we are not proficient in ancient Hebrew or Greek). Today’s English translations of the Bible allow scholars (who are proficient in ancient languages) to make wide use of texts and have helped improve modern translations of this ancient treasure (which we put to good use in our Forum).

Two such efforts at digitization are the Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center of the Claremont School of Theology and The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls Project. 

Now the Polonsky Foundation has brought together the resources of the Bodleian Library in Oxford and the Vatican Library for digitization:

Through the generous support of the Polonsky Foundation, this project will make 1.5 million digitized pages freely available over the next three years. Portions of the Bodleian and Vatican Libraries’ collections of Hebrew manuscripts, Greek manuscripts, and incunabula have been selected for digitization by a team of scholars and curators from around the world. The selection process has been informed by a balance of scholarly and practical concerns; conservation staff at the Bodleian and Vatican Libraries have worked with curators to assess not only the significance of the content, but the physical condition of the items, prioritizing items that are robust enough to withstand being transported to the imaging studio and handled by the photographers. In order to preserve the integrity and completeness of the manuscript collections, the libraries have also agreed to digitize whole collections where appropriate. The complete list of works to be digitized can be accessed here for Greek manuscripts, here for Hebrew manuscripts, and here for incunabula.

Go to the Polonsky Foundation Digitization Project

You are encouraged to go and see for yourself what is now available online.

Image: Genesis illustration in the Cologne Bible (1478-1479) from the Vatican Library part of the Digitization Project

Advent Calendar Day 22: Claremont School of Theology

Claremont School of Theology (CST) and more

In 1984, as part of my preparation to be received as an Episcopal priest, I attended Bloy House on the campus of Claremont School of Theology. In 2008, before my illness, I had begun the Doctor of Ministry program at Claremont School of Theology. Cherry Remboldt, our deacon, studied for ordination at Bloy House and received her Master of Arts degree in Theology from Claremont School of Theology. John Tincher, an ordained United Methodist minister and a regular worshiper at St. Margaret’s, serves on the Board of Claremont School of Theology.  Claremont School of Theology is a leader in theological education and it’s just down the road from us, a wonderful resource for us all. ~dan rondeau

Mission Statement

Claremont School of Theology is United Methodist in origin and affiliation and ecumenical in spirit. As a founding school of Claremont Lincoln University, it seeks to instill students with ethical integrity, religious intelligence, and intercultural understanding. Nurtured by Christian Scripture, tradition, experience, and reason, it prepares individuals for ordination and effective leadership in service to God, the academy, and the world, and equips them to pursue peaceful coexistence and collaboration with other religions.

Adopted February 2010

Learn more about CST and its Affiliated Institutions:

Claremont School of Theology

Claremont Lincoln University

Bloy House, The Episcopal Theological School at Claremont

Other Affiliated Institutions – in addition to Bloy House and Claremont Lincoln University, CST is home to Disciples Seminary Foundation, Center for Lutheran StudiesBayan College (educating Muslim leaders) and is affiliated with Claremont Graduate University, especially the School of Religion

Advent Calendar in one place
About the Online Advent Calendar

For further reflection

About Claremont

Claremont School of Theology isn’t like most theological schools. Yes, we educate ministers and other leaders in service of Church and society. Yes, we’re rooted in a particular tradition — The United Methodist Church — but we are broad in denominational composition and outlook. And yes, we offer opportunities for spiritual formation, intellectual exploration, and practical preparation.

But that’s where the similarities end.

Claremont School of Theology is a transdenominational theological school and a founding member of a new multireligious consortium that’s embarking on a bold 21st century experiment. Located in Southern California — the most diverse region in the United States — Claremont School of Theology is looking forward to the needs of the future church, one that’s ready to preach and practice the Gospel message of love and compassion in a radically diverse world.

To do that, we’re building on a relatively simple educational philosophy: we are desegregating religious education so our students can better learn about others as they learn about ourselves. Research is showing that students gain a deeper understanding of their own faith when educated in the presence of religious diversity. It’s a ground-breaking — and controversial — approach to ministerial education and Christian formation. –from the CST website, accessed 14 Dec 2011

Watch “Multifaith Theological Education” an Introduction to Claremont Lincoln University (a 7 minute video article from Religion & Ethics on PBS)