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Teaching Project “The Digitization of Philology – The Corpus Coranicum Christianum”

The Berlin Byzantine Studies’ interdisciplinary teaching project “The Digitization of Philology – The Corpus Coranicum Christianum, under the direction of postdoctoral research fellow Manolis Ulbricht, was offered in the Winter semester of 2017/18 for the first time. The teaching project consists of two course components: A faculty seminar in which the foundations of philological work as well as the classical methods of print publication are taught, and a practical seminar in which basic technical knowledge for the compilation of a digital edition is conveyed.

The content of the teaching project is the translations of the Qur’an that originated in the Christian cultural sphere, which are understood as sources for the Christian reception of early Islam. In the faculty seminar the various translations into Byzantine, Syrian and Latin languages will be critically examined in a philological manner and traced back to their genesis in late antiquity. During the practical seminar the sources will be processed and made available for long term use within the context and framework of the Digital Humanities.

The teaching project is supported financially by the Presidium of the Freie Universität Berlin, as well as the Faculty of Philosophy and the Humanities. Additionally the Center for Digital Systems and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, specifically the project Corpus Coranicum (project management: Prof. Dr. Angelika Neuwirth) are in ongoing dialogues about the prospect of cooperation.


Students will learn and practice philological work as well as become better accustomed with the work of leveraging the digital humanities to digitally processing in the course of the teaching project “The Digitization of Philology - The Corpus Coranicum Christianum: using digitally processed handwritten sources (‘corpus) along with translations of the Qur’an (‘coranicum) originally written in the Christian cultural sphere (‘christianum) they will explore both philology and digitization. In the course of this self-directed process of learning students should become competent in preparing a interdisciplinary and globally usable database for the textual and cultural history of the reception of the Qur’an from the western perspective.

On the one hand, the project initiative for Corpus Coranicum Christianum (CCC) complements the Corpus Coranicum, a project conceived of at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and under the direction of Professor Angelika Neurith, whichfocuses on the Arabic materiality with regards to the revealed knowledge of the Qur’an. As such, the CCC expands this field of study by supplying the specialized knowledge concerning the Christian reading of the Qur’an. On the other hand, the CCC builds upon the dissertation of the applicant of the Coranus Graecus, along with the linked project for the “Compiling a digital edition of the Coranus Graecus, as well as on the efforts to systematically chart the Corpus Coranicum Byzantinum. The teaching project thus locates itself among the main research goals of the Berlin Byzantine studies and strives to offer perspectives for the advancement of budding academics.


The Byzantine studies teaching project “The Digitization of Philology - The Corpus Coranicum Christianum was officially honored by the President of the Freie Universität Berlin, Mr. Prof. Dr. Peter-André Alt, in a ceremony for the Central Teaching Prize 2016 on the 9th February 2017 (see press release Nr. 003/2017 from the 09.01.2017). The project proposal was entered as the Freie Universität of Berlin’s submission for the Teaching Award 2016 by the Berlin Byzantine Studies research fellow Manolis Ulbricht along with his students and (former) interns Nadine Arndt (editions sciences), Katharina Litke (Classical philology) and Johanna Schubert (Latin philology and social studies).

The Teaching Award of the Freie Universität of Berlin honors projects that attend to the integration of the results of excellent interdisciplinary research in university teaching. The goal of the prize is to express esteemed appreciation for outstanding commitment in research-oriented teaching. In this spirit, the Prize promotes the development of innovative teaching forms and formats that complement and help realize the central tenets of the Freie Univeristät Berlin's conceptions for the future in the field of teaching.


With these conceptions for the future in mind, Berlin Byzantine Studies actively pursue sustainable integration of research done as part of its professorship into the regular teaching operation offered to students. This research-oriented teaching, for example in the form of research internships already during a Bachelors or Masters degree, lets our students, as well as students from adjacent fields, become familiar with questions of current research projects in an interdisciplinary fashion. The aim of the Berlin Byzantine Studies is to introduce students at the best networked university in Germany to the methods of operation for future focused research as early as possible.



Further Links

Funding from the research commission for the Corpus Coranicum Christianum project Courses: “Foundational Philological Work” and “Methods for Digital Editions” (Winter Sem. 2017/18) Teaching project “The Digitization of Philology – the Corpus Coranicum Christianum, with application text (2016, in German) Research internships offered by Manolis Ulbricht Project description “Compiling a digital edition of the Coranus Graecus (in German)



Contact: Manolis Ulbricht