Dries Bosschaert, a theologian of KU Leuven, hopes that the first link his students will click on in the online learning module is RESILIENCE. In his blog he stresses the importance of digital access, and the added value RESILIENCE will have.
Right after uploading my latest online teaching module for the course KU Leuven History of Church and Theology: Contemporary Period, I realize that Jeffrey Schnapp and Todd Presner were right in their Digital Humanities Manifesto 2.0.: The switch from the printed to the digital word and the application of digital research methods is used and has become more tangible than ever. As a young researcher, however, it is not easy to keep an eye on this whole field of Digital Humanities and to find and learn the methods that allow me to deepen my research into the history of contemporary European Christianity. The fact that this search comes on top of classical literature studies and the deciphering of sources in archives makes it a struggle on all fronts.
It is in this context that RESILIENCE comes in as a catalyst. RESILIENCE offers me the hope, as a researcher, to easily find the source material I need and to let others complement and challenge my expertise. The fact that all this is happening within a European community where, despite the different source material, research themes and methods, researchers come together to strive for that next step in religious historical research, allows the RESILIENCE project to go far beyond the isolated work behind your desk and, above all, to look to the future.
Where, as a young researcher, I do not find all these things obvious, I notice that it is often even more difficult to convince my students that they can be creative in their research for essays and theses. That they should not cling to the idea of the religion historians who, with their dusty manuscripts, live shielded from the world. That my students can and should above all take the leap to innovative research.
As I sometimes fear that I have become too dusty myself, there is fortunately RESILIENCE to show that this is really possible. The fact that the vibrant RESILIENCE community with its training offers support to further disseminate the knowledge and tools contained in the consortium makes this consortium an excellent case study for me to show how academic work is a joint effort to move each other and society forward.
It is for good reason that I hope that the first link my students will click on in their online learning module is RESILIENCE.
– Dries Bosschaert, KU Leuven, Faculty of Theology
Schnapp, Jeffrey and Todd Presner. Digital Humanities Manifesto 2.0. Los Angeles, 2009.
Image: Dries Bosschaert during his online course Digital Humanities and History of Church and Theology