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Shenoute, Besa and the Bible

Digital Text Reuse Analysis of Selected Monastic Writings from Egypt

dc.contributor.advisorBehlmer, Heike Prof. Dr.
dc.contributor.authorMiyagawa, So
dc.titleShenoute, Besa and the Biblede
dc.title.alternativeDigital Text Reuse Analysis of Selected Monastic Writings from Egyptde
dc.contributor.refereeFeder, Frank Dr.
dc.description.abstractengThis study sees itself as part of the larger field of intertextuality studies and examines, using the latest digital text reuse technology, the reuse of biblical texts in the writings of two Late Antique Christian authors from Egypt, the abbots Shenoute and Besa. It explores, on the basis of selected writings by these authors, the advantages and limitations of using digital methods to study the form and function of biblical intertexts in monastic literature written in Coptic. In particular, it seeks answers to a number of specific research questions, e.g., the extent to which quotations are faithful to the original biblical sources, the influence of quotation-introducing formulae or the question how digital technologies can be used to facilitate intertextuality studies. To pursue these topics, after an introduction to the life and works of both authors (Chapter 1), it describes the state of research for intertextuality studies with a focus on biblical and Early Christian and Coptic studies, and Shenoute in particular (Chapter 2). Text reuse detection technology, which was developed in the field of computer science, is introduced, and its practical applications are described. Specific focus is placed on the history of text reuse detection and the subtle differences between intertextuality and text reuses. In addition, the current progress in studies on intertextuality in Shenoute’s works is explored. Digital text reuse technology is described in detail (Chapter 3), in particular the technology that underpins the processing mechanisms employed by the latest text reuse detection software, TRACER, and pre-processing features such as optical character recognition, Unicode conversion, tokenization, lemmatization, and part-of-speech tagging. The case study for examining the application of digital text reuse technology has to focus on a limited selection of biblical texts, and specifically, on the best attested and most well-known book of the Old Testament, the Book of Psalms. Chapter 4 presents the philological and codicological information on the corpora used, the Sahidic translation of the Psalms, and the selected works by Shenoute and Besa, while Chapter 5 is dedicated to the case study and its results. It analyzes text reuses newly identified by TRACER, discusses instances of idiomatic text reuse and the question of quotation-introducing signals. In summary, this study confirms observations by previous research that the monastic authors built on the audience’s collective memory of the Bible by blending biblical phrases and concepts with their own monastic ideals. For the purpose of recontextualizing the source texts and fitting them to the current situation, unmarked changes may be applied, mostly of a grammatical nature. An interesting difference between the two monastic authors may be noted in their use of quotation-introducing signals, which merits further exploration, as does the question of the relation between the introduction of a quotation and its faithfulness. Finally, it needs to be stressed that ongoing and future digitization of the corpus of monastic authors and Coptic literature in general will very much widen the scope of digital text reuse methods and lead to new research questions and
dc.contributor.coRefereeSternberg-el Hotabi, Heike Prof. Dr.
dc.subject.engComputational Linguisticsde
dc.subject.engComputer Sciencede
dc.subject.engCorpus Linguisticsde
dc.subject.engEarly Christianityde
dc.subject.engLate Antiquityde
dc.subject.engText Reusede
dc.subject.engDigital Humanitiesde
dc.subject.engManuscript Studiesde
dc.subject.engBiblical Studiesde
dc.affiliation.institutePhilosophische Fakultätde
dc.subject.gokfullPhilologien (PPN621711713)de

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