Nicolai Winther-Nielsen affiliated researcher ETCBC

The Faculty of Theology of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has appointed Dr Nicolai Winther-Nielsen as affiliated researcher of the Eep Talstra Centre for Bible and Computer (ETCBC).

04/04/2016 | 10:02 PM

winther-nielsen, nicolaiWinther-Nielsen is Professor at Fjellhaug International University College Denmark. His appointment as affiliated researcher is a further step in his long-standing cooperation with the ETCBC (formerly known as the Werkgroep Informatica Vrije Universiteit) and its former and present directors, Professor Eep Tastra (1977-2012) and Wido van Peursen (from 2012).

The ETCBC was established in 1977. Since 1987, Professor Nicolai Winther Nielsen was involved in this research project. In 1995 he defended his PhD dissertation at Lund University, with Eep Talstra as co-promotor, entitled “A Functional Discourse Grammar of Joshua: A Computer-assisted Rhetorical Structure Analysis”. As this title indicates, one of Winther-Nielsen’s main concerns was building bridges to see how the ETCBC linguistic database of the Hebrew Bible could be used in the frameworks of various disciplines and approaches such as Rhetorical Structure Theory or Role and Reference Grammar.

The connections between various disciplines in the study of the Hebrew Bible is only one of Winther-Nielsen’s achievements. He also brought the ETCBC database to other parts of the world, including Madagaskar, Kenya and other countries of the Majority World. As director of Global Learning Initiative he is implementing the use of Bible Online Learner (or one of its predecessors, such as PLOTLearner, developed in the EU-funded EuroPLOT, project 2010-2013) as one of the new interfaces for the ETCBC database to be used for educational purposes and developing innovative insights for learning from the theory of Persuasive Technology.

In March and April 2015 Winther-Nielsen was Researcher in Residence at the ETCBC. On that occasion a connection was built between the SHEBANQ website, providing access to the ETCBC database, and the Bible Online Learner. It demonstrated how various applications of the database in research and education can be integrated and thus serve both academic specialists and larger groups of trainers, language instructors and Bible translators in various parts of the world.