A new digital database has just been launched on an Oxford platform that connects two areas of study within the Faculty of Theology and Religion: New Testament and Patristics. Created by Professor Jenn Strawbridge with the help of Oxford’s IT Research Support Team, it’s an exciting resource, supported by the John Fell Fund and a Small Research Grant.
This searchable database derives from research in early Christian use of the New Testament letters attributed to Paul. A portion of the research was first published in The Pauline Effect: Early Christian Use of the Pauline Epistles (de Gruyter, 2015). However, the new online resource is an expanded version of this initial research with more than 27,000 entries from over 200 extant works in the first four centuries (CE). Work on this database enabled collaboration with an excellent project on the writings of Paul at the University of Birmingham (COMPAUL).
The hope is that this new resource, already picked up by a number of social media sites and two journals, will serve as a tool for those interested in reception historical studies, with particular focus on the large number of references to Pauline letters within early Christian writings.
And, for those who prefer visualisations and charts to analyse large sets of data, the database includes a section of interactive graphs. These graphs include plots of the use of each Pauline epistle by century, by early Christian author, and by region. It also includes visualisations for each author, showing the use of Paul’s letters across their writings.