Friday, March 24, 2006

I was excited to learn that my paper has been accepted for the next Society for Biblical Literature annual meeting, in Washington DC this November. The title probably won't surprise regular Blogos readers: "Weaving the New Testament into the Semantic Web". Here's the abstract:

The World Wide Web, as a network of documents, has become a staple of everyday life, including Biblical scholarship. Recent activity by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) envisions moving beyond a web of HTML documents to a web of concepts and meaningful data called the Semantic Web. Foundational concepts include the use of Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) to describe resources, the Resource Description Framework (RDF) for describing properties of resources, and the Web Ontology Language (OWL), now a W3C recommended standard for representing ontological relationships in a web-friendly way. This paper will briefly overview what the Semantic Web is, and why it is relevant to Biblical scholars. It will also describe several Semantic Web projects underway at For example, the NT Names project ( is producing a freely-sharable semantic catalog of people, locations, and other named objects in the New Testament, as well as various kinship, interpersonal, and locational relationships between them. Other projects address the creation of semantically-organized lexical resources, and semantic relationships within and between the Gospels. The paper will close with additional suggestions for how Semantic Web technologies can enable better integration, access, and search for Biblical data.

Perceptive readers will easily spot recent Blogos topics like lexical resources and the Composite Gospel Index. I'm hoping to make some real progress on the Imperatives and some other classification efforts as well.

It's been fortunate that the last two congresses (Philadelphia last year, DC this year) have been close enough that i could easily attend: as a self-funded amateur, i'd have a harder time justifying the expenses if i had to cough up a plane ticket too. But i found last year's meeting (my first) stimulating, and enjoyed giving my presentation on Visualizing the Gospels, so i'm definitely looking forward to another one. Hopefully this time i'll be better able to set my introversion aside and take more time to interact with others, especially those i know from cyberland.

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