UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Testing and Disrupting Ontologies : Using the Database of Religious History as a Pedagogical Tool Danielson, Andrew J.; Arbuckle MacLeod, Caroline; Hamm, Matthew; Canlas, Gino; Randall, Ian E.; Moreiras Reynaga, Diana; Weideman, Julian; Monroe, M. Willis


In an age of “Big Data” the study of the history and archaeology of religion faces an exponentially increasing quantity and range of data and scholarly interpretation. For the student and scholar alike, new tools that allow for efficient and accurate inquiry are a necessity. Here, the open-access and digital Database of Religious History (DRH) is presented as one such tool that addresses this need and is well suited for use in the classroom. In this article, we present the basic structure of the database along with a demonstration of its potential use. Following a thematic inquiry into questions concerning “high gods”, individual disciplinary-specific case studies examine applications to particular contexts across time and space. These case studies demonstrate the ways in which the DRH can test and disrupt ontologies through its ability to efficiently cross traditional disciplinary boundaries.

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