Nearly 20 years ago, Deal (Religious Studies) meticulously color-coded by hand the content categories of some of the tales from the Japanese Buddhist text Hokke genki, "Miraculous Tales of the Lotus Sutra," in order to see the people, events, regions of 11th century Japan.
His 2011 Freedman Fellows award and newly gained skills now allow him to apply digital textual and spatial analysis tools to the texts. Using XML and TEI to analyze and interpret the tales unlocks the complexity of the texts and also "dramatically changes what is possible," beyond reading texts. Using digital technologies, research is possible in new ways: one can see word frequencies, the relationships of those content categories on a larger scale, the scope of Buddhism in 11th century Japan via GIS, and a developing concordance of key words in context.
To read more about this Freedman Fellow, visit the KSL News Blog by clicking here.