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Full-Text Articles in Religion

The Relationship Between Community Religious Beliefs And Community Level Of Public Library Development In The United States: An Empirical Analysis, Robert V. Williams, Jennifer Arns, Karen Miller, Patrick Roughen May 2011

The Relationship Between Community Religious Beliefs And Community Level Of Public Library Development In The United States: An Empirical Analysis, Robert V. Williams, Jennifer Arns, Karen Miller, Patrick Roughen

Annual Conference on Information and Religion

This paper examines the relationship between the characteristics of the religious community in an area served by a public library in the United States and the level of development of that public library. Specifically, it tests the hypothesis that as the degree of religious orthodoxy increases in a community the level of public library development in that community decreases. To test this hypothesis, two indexes are constructed: (1) the index of “religious orthodoxy,” and (2) the public library development index. Data for the index of religious orthodoxy comes from a 2000 study by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious ...


The Energy Of Information: A Theory Of Forbearance, Jonathan Doner May 2011

The Energy Of Information: A Theory Of Forbearance, Jonathan Doner

Annual Conference on Information and Religion

Forbearance is the endurance of negativity from others or the world without responding in kind. Unfortunately, the transmission of negativity is ubiquitous among people at every level of social organization. Consequently, religion and the humanistic sciences view forbearance as critical to the well-being of persons and society. This paper introduces a scientific approach to the analysis of forbearance. First, it provides an understanding of the dynamic, yet information-based, context within which forbearance is relevant. Second, it presents a model of forbearance as one aspect of a spectrum of responses to negativity and, ultimately, as an ensemble of energy-modulating, information-based operators.


Comparing Research Methods Currently Taught At Elca Lutheran Seminaries, Jim Kapoun May 2011

Comparing Research Methods Currently Taught At Elca Lutheran Seminaries, Jim Kapoun

Annual Conference on Information and Religion

Research components have been an integral part of ELCA Lutheran seminary classes for sermon preparation, congregational bible study to more formal academic training. Traditional commentaries, theological works, and exegetical research have been mainstays in biblical and theological studies. For many years print resources were the mainstay of use, even as technology advanced well into the late 1990’s. Today that model of research continues to erode with more advanced information delivery systems and methodologies being developed.


Exploring The Mental Health Information Needs Of Clergy, Beth Layton, Rienne Johnson, Derrick Kranke, Vicki L. Montesano May 2011

Exploring The Mental Health Information Needs Of Clergy, Beth Layton, Rienne Johnson, Derrick Kranke, Vicki L. Montesano

Annual Conference on Information and Religion

Findings from the National Comorbidity Survey indicated that clergy were the first treatment contact for individuals seeking mental health care. However, recent research indicated that 71% of clergy felt inadequately trained to recognize mental illness symptoms. There is a gap in the literature regarding the mental health information needs of clergy. This study investigated the information gap(s), resources commonly utilized, the barriers to finding information, the clergy’s use of technology, and the format of information and education that would be most useful. The study results will be used to develop an outreach strategy to inform local clergy about ...


Using Semantic Technologies To Analyze The Semantic Orientation Of Religious Sermons – A Validation Of The Early Work Of Mclaughlin, Denise A.D. Bedford May 2011

Using Semantic Technologies To Analyze The Semantic Orientation Of Religious Sermons – A Validation Of The Early Work Of Mclaughlin, Denise A.D. Bedford

Annual Conference on Information and Religion

This research derives from a growing awareness in the knowledge management community of three factors: the value of language to knowledge management, the value of knowledge in all economic sectors and all aspects of human endeavour, and the “knowledge-richness” of belief systems and religion. Three research questions are addressed: What is the nature of language found in sermons? Is the use of semantic analysis technologies a feasible method for increasing our understanding of language patterns and characteristics? And, finally, Are there different approaches to the use of language in sermons across Christian religious communities? The research leverages semantic criteria defined ...


The Word And Words In The Abrahamic Faiths, Linda Poston, Larry Poston May 2011

The Word And Words In The Abrahamic Faiths, Linda Poston, Larry Poston

Annual Conference on Information and Religion

Conventional wisdom holds that primal cultures transmitted their religious beliefs and practices orally rather than by writing. While this was true of some cultures, it has not been the case with all. The Abrahamic faiths—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—are all “word-based” faiths, having always emphasized written language. Indeed, both Christianity and Islam share the idea of “The Word” as a concept transcending mere linguistics.

Both the Scriptures and the attendant writings of these faiths (i.e., the Talmud, creeds, catechisms, theological treatises and other such works) are all word-based documents which in many cases took centuries to forge. This ...


The Digital Remains: Social Media And Practices Of Online Grief, Jessica Lingel May 2011

The Digital Remains: Social Media And Practices Of Online Grief, Jessica Lingel

Annual Conference on Information and Religion

With an increasing number of social activities taking place online, an emotionally fraught and culturally complex question has surfaced regarding what happens to someone’s online content and identity after death. Social media sites are increasingly sophisticated in the development of tools and applications available for users to interact with each other online, but when it comes to virtual versions of bereavement, both the technical and cultural protocols for processing grief are still very much in the process of developing. This paper examines Facebook’s policy on the pages of site members who have died as a means of addressing ...


The Denial Of Relevance: Avoidance, Awakening, & Guidance, Van Vanbebber May 2011

The Denial Of Relevance: Avoidance, Awakening, & Guidance, Van Vanbebber

Annual Conference on Information and Religion

The 19th Century shines brightly upon the 21st Century’s call for research of information and religion to gain spiritual knowledge. American author Henry David Thoreau (1854/1992) observed that “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation” (7), and he sought to “awaken” his neighbors. Across the Atlantic, English Cardinal John Henry Newman (1868) asserted, “Many… refuse to be awakened, and think their happiness consists in continuing as they are” (58). T.S. Eliot heralded the perennial questions we find persistent each day: “Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have ...


The Conversing God: Exploring Trinitarian Information Transfer Through The Perspective Of Gordon Pask’S Conversation Theory, Todd E. Marshall May 2011

The Conversing God: Exploring Trinitarian Information Transfer Through The Perspective Of Gordon Pask’S Conversation Theory, Todd E. Marshall

Annual Conference on Information and Religion

The traditional Christian belief in the Trinity states that God exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Spirit, and that people were created in “the image of God.” This is understood to mean that humans reflect the nature of God and His ability to communicate. This ancient Christian concept has implications not only for theology, but also for communication within Christian communities. The goal of this paper is to explore the ability of a modern information theory to shed light on this doctrine and improve communication within the Church. This paper seeks to bridge the gap between ancient theology and ...


The Christian Icon As Information Object, John A. Walsh May 2011

The Christian Icon As Information Object, John A. Walsh

Annual Conference on Information and Religion

Information studies, from the discipline’s origins in the field of documentation, has long been concerned with the question, What Is a Document? (See, for instance, the work of Paul Otlet, Suzanne Briet,Michael K. Buckland, Ronald E. Day, and Bernd Frohmann). The purpose of this paper is to examine Christian icons—typically paintings, usually in tempera, on wooden panels—as information objects, as documents: documents that obtain meaning through a formula of tradition and standardization, documents around which a sophisticated scaffolding of classification and categorization has developed, documents that highlight their own materiality. Theological arguments that associate the icon ...


Shamanic Knowledge: The Challenge To Information Science, Jay H. Bernstein May 2011

Shamanic Knowledge: The Challenge To Information Science, Jay H. Bernstein

Annual Conference on Information and Religion

No abstract provided.


Scholarly Sustainability And Lifelong Learning, Melody Layton Mcmahon May 2011

Scholarly Sustainability And Lifelong Learning, Melody Layton Mcmahon

Annual Conference on Information and Religion

Scholarly sustainability is a useful term for the vital issues faced by theological educators today who are responsible for creating and providing resources for discovery and study. Developing lifelong learners among our students is an important aim; however, we still need to ask how we can aid these lifelong learners once they leave our institutions for an environment of constant change. The values of sustainable scholarship, what sustainability means, funding issues for sustainable projects particularly as they apply to those in religious education, theories of lifelong learning drawn from education, neuroscience, and theology, and intersection of the concepts of scholarly ...


Ram’S Search For Sita In The Ramayaṇa: Information Seeking In An Ancient Indian Epic, Naresh Kuman Agarwal May 2011

Ram’S Search For Sita In The Ramayaṇa: Information Seeking In An Ancient Indian Epic, Naresh Kuman Agarwal

Annual Conference on Information and Religion

In understanding a person’s information seeking behavior and choice of information sources, it becomes very important to understand the context surrounding the search. This context gives rise to the information need and leads a person to look for information. Research in information seeking behavior, while concentrating on system and person centric research, has, so far, left out studying how information seeking behavior was documented in historical and mythological records, in religious and spiritual texts and in major epics of the world. In this theoretical study, frameworks of context and source choice when looking for information will be applied to ...


Perception As Information: An East-West Dialogue, Randall Studstill May 2011

Perception As Information: An East-West Dialogue, Randall Studstill

Annual Conference on Information and Religion

With the Enlightenment, philosophers in the West recognized that the immediate given of perception is a mental image or representation, not an extra-mental object. That insight raised a pressing, epistemological question: to what degree, if any, do those mental images represent an extra-mental state of affairs? To phrase the question in slightly different terms: in what manner (if any) and to what degree (if any) does perception convey information about reality? The purpose of this paper is to explore this question and clarify some of the epistemological issues associated with perception. This exploration will be aided by references to the ...


Pentecost In The Postbox: Theology, Ecclesiology, And Community In Early Pentecostal Periodicals, Matthew Shaw May 2011

Pentecost In The Postbox: Theology, Ecclesiology, And Community In Early Pentecostal Periodicals, Matthew Shaw

Annual Conference on Information and Religion

Nascent Pentecostalism was consciously unorganized and eschewed denominational identity, ecclesiastical hierarchy, and even (initially) dogmatic uniformity. As people of the Spirit, the earliest practitioners ostensibly relied upon Paracletic inspiration and spiritual discernment to guide the movement, and treated efforts to organize or even codify “Pentecostalism” with suspicion. In the absence of unified control, the Pentecostal periodical played an important part in the dissemination of the movement’s message and meaning and formed a neural network for the burgeoning movement as many publishers built extensive mailing lists representing a global readership. Without a central church clearinghouse, periodical literature served as the ...


Mutual Dependence And Task Uncertainty In Scholarly Communication Of Theologians, Cindy Shuchin Lu May 2011

Mutual Dependence And Task Uncertainty In Scholarly Communication Of Theologians, Cindy Shuchin Lu

Annual Conference on Information and Religion

This research studies the scholarly communication of theologians, taking Karl Barth as a case study. Based on Hjørland’s method of domain analysis and Whitley’s (1984) theory of “mutual dependence” and “task uncertainty”, this paper analyzes how the degrees of mutual dependence and task uncertainty affect the theologian’s information seeking and knowledge production. I hypothesize that Fish’s concept of “interpretive community” which is evident in Barth’s communication with peer theologians can be analyzed and explained through Whitley’s theory, namely, high degrees of mutual dependence will result in more coordinated information seeking and uses, while high ...


Memorializing Religion: Crowdsourcing, Minorities, And The Quest For Identity In Online Archives, Amalia S. Levi May 2011

Memorializing Religion: Crowdsourcing, Minorities, And The Quest For Identity In Online Archives, Amalia S. Levi

Annual Conference on Information and Religion

Religion is a defining factor in the identity formation process of a minority community. Historically, religion has often been used as a driving force behind the introduction, development and completion of projects that require collective effort. In fact, in many cases, religion has been an extreme denominator that has created new communities of practice, or solidified existing ones. A unifying force, religion and its expressions in liturgical or everyday forms is an overarching element that unites members of these communities beyond the geographic or temporal limitations. Today, new technologies are paramount in online and digital archives of minority communities, especially ...


Louis Taber’S World: Land, Agriculture, And The Schism Of The Ohio Yearly Meeting (Orthodox) Of The Religious Society Of Friends, 1848 – 1861, John Henris May 2011

Louis Taber’S World: Land, Agriculture, And The Schism Of The Ohio Yearly Meeting (Orthodox) Of The Religious Society Of Friends, 1848 – 1861, John Henris

Annual Conference on Information and Religion

This paper examines the participation of members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in an emergent national agricultural reform movement prior to the American Civil War. This paper focuses on the agricultural writings of Louis Taber, a recorded minister and teacher at the Friends Boarding School in Mt. Peasant, Ohio during the 1840s and early 1850s. Between 1848 and 1853 Taber regularly participated in an emergent national public discourse concerning agricultural improvement through the medium of the Ohio Cultivator. Following the Gurneyite-Wilburite schism of the Ohio Yearly Meeting in 1854 Taber only wrote for the agricultural press on a ...


Information Processing In Bible Study Groups, Darin Freeburg May 2011

Information Processing In Bible Study Groups, Darin Freeburg

Annual Conference on Information and Religion

This paper focuses on information processing in Christian Bible study groups through surveys of three Midwestern churches. By considering the significance of the small group as integral to the vitality of religious organizations, this paper will consider how these groups process information from sermons, books, and peers. This processing is considered in three parts: pre-discussion, local discussion, and post-discussion. Pre-discussion information processing includes all of the topic-specific information that members of these groups obtain prior to meeting as a group. This information is either unique to an individual or shared among many individuals in a group, and the nature of ...


Accordance Bible Software In Reading And Teaching: The Difference A Digital Text Makes, John B. Weaver May 2011

Accordance Bible Software In Reading And Teaching: The Difference A Digital Text Makes, John B. Weaver

Annual Conference on Information and Religion

This presentation addresses two interrelated questions. First, what are the similarities and differences between the reading/interpretation and teaching/preaching of 1) printed Bibles, and 2) the digital texts in Accordance Bible software? And, second, what are the implications of these similarities and differences for theological education?


Access Is Power: Financing The Second Crusade In France, Chris Mcfadin May 2011

Access Is Power: Financing The Second Crusade In France, Chris Mcfadin

Annual Conference on Information and Religion

Let me begin by saying that as a medievalist, I am very happy to be in the company of such a diverse group of scholars. I would like to first offer some introductory comments on medieval land ownership. Then I will suggest an explanation for why historians have been slow to use land charters as a primary source for the history of the crusades. After setting the stage for the Second Crusade, I will then discuss some of the disputes that arose between monks and crusaders regarding property lines. And finally, I will conclude by arguing that access to and ...


A Methodology For Studying The Information Seeking Behaviors Of Catholic Clergy, Charles C. Curran, Kayla Burns May 2011

A Methodology For Studying The Information Seeking Behaviors Of Catholic Clergy, Charles C. Curran, Kayla Burns

Annual Conference on Information and Religion

This paper describes the construction of a set of interview questions to be used for discovering the information seeking behavior of Catholic clergy. It acknowledges previous findings, which indicate that clergy very infrequently consult library resources to fulfill their information needs. Instead of asking clergy about their information needs, the study team asks about decisions clergy make and about the resources they consult when making these decisions. The study looks at seven different responsibilities of clergy: Preaching, Teaching, Care Giving, Administering, Conducting Service/Liturgy, Counseling, and Reflecting/Engaging in Personal Development. The study differentiates between time spent executing a responsibility ...