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Digital Samaritans

Rhetorical Delivery and Engagement in the Digital Humanities

Jim Ridolfo

Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Imprint: University of Michigan Press
Published: 01/2015
Pages: 184
Subject: Religion - General
Print ISBN: 9780472052806
eBook ISBN: 9780472900077


Digital Samaritans explores rhetorical delivery and cultural sovereignty in the digital humanities. The exigence for the book is rooted in a practical digital humanities project based on the digitization of manuscripts in diaspora for the Samaritan community, the smallest religious/ethnic group of 770 Samaritans split between Mount Gerizim in the Palestinian Authority and in Holon, Israel. Based on interviews with members of the Samaritan community and archival research, Digital Samaritans explores what some Samaritans want from their diaspora of manuscripts, and how their rhetorical goals and objectives relate to the contemporary existential and rhetorical situation of the Samaritans as a living, breathing people.

How does the circulation of Samaritan manuscripts, especially in digital environments, relate to their rhetorical circumstances and future goals and objectives to communicate their unique cultural history and religious identity to their neighbors and the world? Digital Samaritans takes up these questions and more as it presents a case for collaboration and engaged scholarship situated at the intersection of rhetorical studies and the digital humanities.


“Digital Samaritans is a scholarly examination of the Samaritan version of the Torah as revealed through a close study of texts and oral history video interviews with those who claim Samaritan Studies as their life’s work. Through the interviews, the Samaritans themselves reveal how the digitizing of Samaritan manuscripts can advance global knowledge about their existence and culture. Unsurprisingly, Jim Ridolfo and his research are far ahead of the rest of us in bringing together digital humanities, rhetorical studies, writing studies and the crafting of a research methodology that honors the past while looking to the future. Ridolfo is to be applauded for this outstanding twenty-first century historical and intellectual work.”
—Gail Hawisher, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign