Corinthian Scholarship 2015: The Flood

I have just finished processing the final round of Corinthian scholarship published or made accessible in 2015. The process involved sifting through hundreds of Google Scholar Alerts and sorting through 1,329 entries at OCLC WorldCat (Google and WorldCat produce overlapping but different lists of Corinthiaka). It took a long time, but not so long to make me quit. I have thought before–not seriously enough–about looking into an automated way through coding to add materials automatically to filter good material from the bad (suggestions, anyone?). WorldCat

To my surprise, OCLC has begun to catalogue academic blogs indexed through the ACI Scholarly Blog Index (more on that on tomorrow). I noticed catalogued posts by (among others) Craig Keener, Scot McKnight, Bill Caraher, Matthew Malcolm, J.R. Daniel Kirk, Philip Long, Marg Mowczko, Ken Schenck, and PhD students from the Penn Museum Blog. My own Corinthian Matters posts from 2015 took up about 30 entries.

I appreciate that more ephemera forms of scholarship such as academic blogs are being catalogued and indexed for searchability although it further contributes to the inundation–the flood–of new Corinthian Scholarship that seems to increase from year to year, reflecting an explosion of publication, new online journals, and a proliferation of new scholarship. For some perspective, here are WorldCat returns for a keyword search on “Corinth*” for the last 40 years:

1966: 342

1976: 451

1986: 513

1996: 763

2000: 833
2001: 845
2002: 851
2003: 882
2004: 906
2005: 1182

2006: 1167
2007: 1163
2008: 1097
2009: 1273
2010: 1053

2011: 1429
2012: 1481
2013: 1112
2014: 1507
2015: 1329 (this number will likely increase some as entries continue to be added)

We’re dealing with twice the volume of scholarship as 20 years ago, thrice the volume of a generation ago. It’s nigh impossible to keep up with all of the new material, but it’s impossible to ignore. As usual, the greatest burden falls on scholars of the New Testament who have devoted so much ink to understanding the Corinthian churches and the apostle Paul’s correspondence. My current estimate is that their output easily forms 75% of the new material from 2015.

I’ll be releasing these starting next week as PDF reports — as in years past — followed by a new version of the Corinthian Studies RIS file.

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Categories: Bibliography

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