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Contemporary web archives ihr

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Peter Webster
IHR Digital History Seminar
Tuesday 9 October 2018

https://ihrdighist.blogs.sas.ac.uk/2018/08/peter-webster-the-contemporary-religious-history-of-the-web-themes-prospects-and-pitfalls/

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Contemporary web archives ihr

  1. 1. The contemporary religious history of the Web: themes, prospects and pitfalls Peter Webster IHR Digital History Seminar, 9 th October 2018 Webster Research and Consulting (UK) @pj_webster / @WebsterRandC peterwebster.me
  2. 2. On the contemporary religious history of the Web • ‘Religion in Web history’ in The Sage Handbook of Web History (December 2018) • ‘Technology, ethics and religious language: early Anglophone Christian reactions to “cyberspace”, Internet Histories 2:3 (2018) • ‘Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury, and the sharia law controversy of 2008’ in The Web as History (2017) • 'Lessons from cross-border religion in the Northern Irish web sphere….’ in The Historical Web and Digital Humanities. The case of national web domains (2019)
  3. 3. • ‘Perhaps Stanley will counter that at the technical end of his period, 2000, the internet was not what it has become eighteen years later…. [but] the internet does not merit an entry in Stanley’s index, yet it has changed everything.’ • Diarmaid MacCulloch, reviewing Brian Stanley, Christianity in the Twentieth Century (TLS, Sept 7 th 2018)
  4. 4. Studying religious history in the Web age (part 1) • the enchanted Web? • religious responses to technological change • online and offline • secularisation; radicalisation; law and public life
  5. 5. Studying religious history in the Web age (part 2) • doctrine & knowledge, texts & symbols • organisation, ministry and authority • practice: prayer, worship and ritual • interactions with the Other
  6. 6. Studying religious history in the Web age (part 1) • the enchanted Web? • religious responses to technological change • online and offline • secularisation; radicalisation; law and public life
  7. 7. Studying religious history in the Web age (part 2) • doctrine & knowledge, texts & symbols • organisation, ministry and authority • practice: prayer, worship and ritual • interactions with the Other
  8. 8. Studying religious organisations • Offline: • flows of people, information and money up and down hierarchies • study of horizontal relations harder • Online: • hierarchies and networks
  9. 9. One island, two states Counties of Ireland, north and south (Wikimedia Commons) CC-BY-SA 3.0
  10. 10. A unique mix of faith and politics? Ian Paisley and Edward Carson, Stormont (1985) (Burns Library, Boston College, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0 via Flickr)
  11. 11. Cross-border religion? • Historic Christian denominations: RC, Presbyterian (PCI), Church of Ireland, Methodist, Baptist • all organised on an all-Ireland basis • … spanning two political jurisdictions • …. and two ccTLDs - .uk and .ie
  12. 12. All-Ireland religion Church of Ireland dioceses (CoI, via Wikimedia Commons) CC-BY-SA 3.0
  13. 13. Research questions • Using link graph data, to ask: • how does web estate of each church interact across the border (& between ccTLDs)? • are there distinct web spheres for each in NI and the RoI?
  14. 14. Baptists in Ireland (2016) • Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland has 117 congregations: 28 in RoI, 89 in NI • 8.5k members, community of 20k • Including independents, 93 in NI and 30 in RoI • 28 congregations with domains in RoI, 77 NI
  15. 15. Counties of Northern Ireland (Map by Maximilian Dörrbecker, CC-BY-SA 2.5)
  16. 16. Where are the congregations? County County Code % of congregations (with domains) Antrim AN 44 Armagh AR 7 Down DO 25 Londonderry LD 10 Tyrone TY 10 Fermanagh FE 4
  17. 17. UK Host Link Graph (1996- 2010) • 2008 | catholic_church.co.uk | catholic_church.ie | 4 • 2001 | belfast_anglican.co.uk | derry_anglican.co.uk | 1 • 2002 | derry_anglican.org.uk | derry_catholic.co.uk | 1 • Data in public domain: data.webarchive.org.uk
  18. 18. Coded link graph (NI-to-NI) • 1999 | AN27 | AR07 | 11 • 2003 | DW13 | LD05 | 17 • 2010 | AN11 | AN21 | 3
  19. 19. Total NI-to-NI edges Inbound Outbound Internal AN 248 299 151 AR 56 98 10 DW 125 64 15 LD 52 20 2
  20. 20. Conclusions • the Baptist web sphere very tightly localised • … but spread across several TLDs • despite being one organisation, little cross- border linkage • link analysis hard in national web archives
  21. 21. Interactions with the Other • Offline: • at a national/diplomatic level • local contact visible only when in conflict • Online: • routine/harmonious contact more visible • remote interaction also more visible
  22. 22. Rowan Williams and sharia law
  23. 23. [https://web.archive.org/web/20080211003812/http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/1002_sharia.shtml]
  24. 24. [ https://web.archive.org/web/20080212010015/http://www.britishblogs.co.uk/categories/sharia-law/ ]
  25. 25. [https://web.archive.org/web/20080214231017/http://community.tigranetworks.co.uk/ ]
  26. 26. [ http://web.archive.org/web/20011229150036/http://www.bnp.org.uk:80/article78.html ]
  27. 27. On contemporary religious history of the Web • ‘Religion in Web history’ in The Sage Handbook of Web History (December 2018) • ‘Technology, ethics and religious language: early Anglophone Christian reactions to “cyberspace”, Internet Histories 2:3 (2018) • ‘Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury, and the sharia law controversy of 2008’ in The Web as History (2017) • 'Lessons from cross-border religion in the Northern Irish web sphere….’ in The Historical Web and Digital Humanities. The case of national web domains (2019)
  28. 28. Questions ? Peter Webster peter@websterresearchconsulting.com @pj_webster peterwebster.me websterresearchconsulting.com

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