Open Source Online Biblical Studies a proposal
AKMA, has a post that addresses the problems and delays in getting any substantial open source project going in biblical studies
. He claims:
What we need is the time to devote to open-source scholarly productivity (yesterday I diverted hours from my workflow to track down copyright-safe images for Theology Cards) and the financial support that will motivate scholars to offer their research and written instruction outside the current print-publishing-prestige-profit complex.
He's right, as far as he goes, and especially if you notice that he implies that time is money... But...
There are several (other) problems with Open Source online theology. As well as the ones he identifies, I'd add the fact that there are or have been several (in fact if not in theory) competing projects. I remember the Theoweb
initiative, as well as the Disseminary
... And many bibliobloggers are involved in others, like the Bible Dictionary project we're planning currently.
I wonder if we need in our discipline a colloquium on this topic. If we could get 50 scholars (and by scholars I include the amateur scholars) together - ideally physically, but possibly virtually - to talk, I think we might get some traction... Identify a few key projects, try to combine and cross fertilise... Such a group could significantly add weight to what up to now have been mainly the efforts of individuals (or small groups) and begin to develop some critical mass.
So, I propose that:
(a) we begin to discuss such a proposal here in blogsphere
(b) those of us at SBL in Philadelphia try to meet - over coffee or a meal - to strengthen the network and begin identifying issues
(c) we work towards a (CARG sponsored?) day to really work things through before SBL in 2007