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New Resources Offered to Scholars of Information and Religion

Posted Jan. 28, 2013

The Center for the Study of Information and Religion at Kent State University announces the release of two new resources for researchers in the area of information and religion: the Sermon Texts Posting Sites Index and the Sermon Content Review. Both resources were developed by CSIR primary researcher Dan Roland, Ph.D., assistant professor in Kent State’s School of Library and Information Science.

The Sermon Texts Posting Sites Index (STPSI) is a directory of blogs and congregational websites used by religious leaders for posting the text of their weekly sermons. In addition to site links, the directory includes the denominational affiliation and geographical location of each religious leader and the name of the congregation he or she serves.

STPSI currently links to more than 100 blogs and congregational websites, with new links added on a continuing basis. To be included in STPSI, a blog or congregational website must add full-text sermons on a weekly or near-weekly basis, and the sermons must be written by a religious leader serving the community of worship at which the sermon was originally delivered. Blogs and websites that feature only audio and/or video recordings of sermons will be included in the near future. Recommendations for links that meet the criteria can be sent to csir@kent.edu. STPSI enables researchers to quickly and easily subscribe to the blog or link to the congregational websites and thus access a weekly sampling of sermon texts from around the country, by various denominational affiliations, geographic locations or particular dates.

“The goal of the directory is to provide a snapshot of themes, topics, references, illustrations and interpretations included in a small, convenience sampling of sermon texts for any given week,” Roland says. “This allows researchers from a variety of academic disciplines to discover potential patterns and clues regarding the use of information in the broader social conversation and construction of knowledge that occurs in communities of worship.”

For more information about the STPSI, visit http://csir.slis.kent.edu/content/sermon-texts-posting-sites-index-stpsi.

The second new resource, the Sermon Content Review (SCR), expands on the value of the STPSI by offering a broad overview of sermon message contents. The monthly report will cover frequency distributions of scripture texts; references to current issues, events and phenomena; trending words, phrases and concepts used in the sermon texts; citations of information resources and more. For more information about the SCR, visit http://csir.slis.kent.edu/scr.

For more information about the Center for the Study of Information and Religion, visit www.kent.edu/slis/research/csir/index.cfm.