One of the challenges of minding any academic subject, even one as small and regional as Corinthian studies, is the flood of ephemeral digital media that includes everything from Twitter to blogs to conference papers. I used to follow the Twitter accounts for keyword Corinth* but it was all too much. I still filter Google alerts and see dozens of notices each day for personal stories, blogs, books, about Corinth, etc.. Yes, the blog is dead, but scholars, their students, and the public regularly turn to such sites all the same to learn about our subjects. This is especially true in the inundated biblioblogosphere with hundreds of sites devoted to blogging biblical studies.
One useful tool for limiting the pool and the morass of ephemera is the ACI Scholarly Blog Index. ACI dedicates an editorial team with post-graduate credentials to sift the wheat through “strenuous editorial review” of academic blogs. I don’t know what this actually looks like in practice, but according to their website, ACI editors review 500+ new blog submissions each month and accept only about 40% based on the credentials of the author and the quality and scope of site. And ACI’s curated list of 10,000 higher-quality academic blogs must surely be a small percentage of the hundreds of thousands of blogs and dynamic websites on ancient subjects. ACI also adds metadata and taxonomies and information about the credentials of the website’s author. Using their search feature, you can search for individual academic posts on, say, St. Paul and the church of Corinth, or 1 Corinthians (the latter returns 200+ hits). However, using the free version of ACI’s service, you will be able to see only the first page of results and will not have access to the indexed posts. A small subscription fee of $2 per month provides access to the full text.
Whether or not you will find it worth it to sign up for a premium account, there is a free alternative in OCLC WorldCat’s search engine. Last month, WorldCat added the ACI Scholarly Blog Database to its vast collection of bibliographic data. According to ACI’s press release , the “partnership with OCLC…. gives researchers easy access to a very special and growing collection of over one million editorially-selected scholarly blog posts.” That means, as I noted yesterday, that individual scholarly blog posts about Corinth, the New Testament letters of 1 and Corinthians, and Paul and the New Testament can be retrieved via WorldCat’s search engine. Running a keyword search on “1 Corinthians” + “aci scholarly blog” in 2015, for example, turns up 116 new posts and a sizable number of blogs including titles such as Bryn Mawr Classical Review, Political Theology Today, The Ancient World Online, Bible Background, Reading Acts, Storied Theology, Cryptotheology, and Jesus Creed, among others. Such sites provide recent albeit very different perspectives on the study of Corinth, the New Testament, and Paul’s Christ communities.