Database of Religious History at #AARSBL19

Database of Religious History at #AARSBL19 November 22, 2019

I have not only been meaning to blog about the Database of Religious History project for some time, but I have long been meaning to contribute to it. The Mandaeans ought to feature in this effort to show the connection between religion and place, between a tradition’s trajectory through time and its spread through geographic space. It is partly because there are such significant disputes and uncertainties about the Mandaeans’ movements in history, and partly because of not finding the time, that I have not pursued this. I still hope to. In the meantime, let me simply share the information about this that reached me via email this week, and some links with still more information.

The Database of Religious History is an exciting open-access project based at the University of British Columbia.

The DRH is designed to serve as a centralized source for scholarly knowledge of the historical record, bringing together a core of quantified, standardized data with qualitative comments, references to crucial resources, and links to online text and image databases.

All entries are authored by academic experts in history, religious studies, and archaeology. Entries are browsable and included up-to-date bibliographical sources and rich media including images. The search interface can pull disparate data from across the entire project into a detailed and rich report.

The project can be used as a research tool for in-depth investigations into religious history in local contexts or world wide, as a pedagogical tool in the classroom, or just as a handy up-to-date reference for aspects of the history of religion.

We are always recruiting new scholars to contribute to the project and reward honoraria for completed entries. All contributions are archived by the UBC library in an open-access repository and have generated DOIs attached to their publication record.

Check the the project out at or come visit us at booth 305 in the exhibition hall.

For more information feel free to contact

See further the AAR Religious Studies News interview with project director Edward Slingerland, and the article in JAAR about it.  AWOL also has a nice summary and links to the major components of the database.






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  • Erp

    Compare and contrast to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy which has its niche and its method. The DRH seem to be trying for a lot more and definitely seems to be an emphasis on quantitative rather than qualitative knowledge but are they trying too much at once?