Welcome to Tounanbu

The principal purpose of this blog is to promote Genesis in Japan: the Bible beyond Christianityby Thomas Dabbs, published by the Texas Review Press (of the Texas A&M Press Consortium).

In Genesis in Japan, Dabbs relates his experiences teaching the Bible to Japanese university students in Tokyo.

For a book preview of the book, please see the introductory chapter entitled, 'In the Beginning,' along with another chapter entitled, 'A World Without Sin.' This book can be ordered from Amazon.com.

Link to TAMU PressThis site will also track Dabbs' recent contributions to Shakespeare studies and other areas in early modern studies. Recent and forthcoming publications and presentations on the Bible and Shakespeare are listed and explained here as well.

Tracking the Digital Echoes between Churchyard and Theatre in Shakespeare’s London

On July 3rd, 2015, Dabbs gave a talk at the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO) Conference, in Sydney, Australia.

The talk considered one of the ways in which various digital tools can be used in an integrated fashion to map the public reception of new print and drama during the Elizabethan period in Paul's Cross Churchyard.

The Churchyard in Shakespearean Theatre

On Jun 19th, 2015, Dabbs gave a talk for the Shakespearean Theatre Conference in Stratford, Ontario. This paper examined the relationship between the graveyard scene in Hamlet, and the Paul's Cross churchyard in London during the 16th century.

This churchyard was walked by Elizabethan Londoners frequently because it was surrounded by bookshops and in the central cathedral precinct of St Paul's. Particularly during times of disease or plague, the churchyard was overfilled with the bodies of commoners.

Digital Humanities in Tokyo

On October 12th, 2014, Dabbs presented a paper at the 53rd Conference of the Shakespeare society of Japan. His paper was entitled, 'As You Like It: A Work Sample in Digital Reconstruction.' This talk probed into EEBO and other digital search platforms that one can use to place Shakespearean scenes within the context of the popular consciousness in London and specifically in Paul’s Cross Churchyard during the early modern period. Paul’s Cross Churchyard was located on the northeast side of St Paul’s in London and was the commercial centre of the bookselling industry. 

Also, with its outdoor preaching pulpit, it was frequently a type of theatre ground, much like the Globe and other public amphitheatres nearby. Dabbs examined digital technology on two levels: the first was on how to connect existing hard copy research with digital reconstructions. The second was on how examine the Virtual Paul’s Cross Project and other digital resources to show how they can be used in Shakespearean research. The focused on several themes in 'As You Like It' and gave a small sample through digital reconstruction of how themes and, indeed, individual lines from the play echo the popular print environment of Paul’s Cross Churchyard during the years just prior to the performance of the play.

Book Break: Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan

On April 14th, 2014, Dabbs spoke for the Book Break event at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Tokyo. Dabbs read from his book, Genesis in Japan: The Bible beyond Christianity

He also talked briefly about some of the ungainly early attempts he made at writing this book and then speculated on how perhaps all reasonably successful attempts at personal experience writing are the results of successive failures. He also described some of the unnerving conflicts one runs across when writing on the Bible and Christianity.

Paul's Cross and Shakespeare: Recent Publications

Dabbs has recently published two articles on the relationship between the St Paul's Cathedral precinct and the development of Shakespearean drama in London during the Elizabethan period. Of particular interest is the publishing hub that developed in Paul's Cross Churchyard in the precinct from the early Elizabethan period onward.

The articles appear in two editions: Paul's Cross and the Culture of Persuasion in England, 1520-1640, edited by Torrance Kirby and P. G. Stanwood, and Renaissance Papers, 2012, edited by Andrew Shifflett and Edward Gieskes.

The articles featured in these editions are primarily for academic specialists, either in church history or early modern English culture.

Dabbs Presents at Oxford

In September, 2013, Dabbs gave a paper at the University of Oxford for the Early English Texts Online Conference, in collaboration with the Texts Creation Partnership. He examined how the preaching and bookselling environment at Paul's Cross Churchyard influenced Shakespeare, specifically in Romeo and Juliet.

Also he covered how such new developments in digital research as the EEBO-TCP database made it possible to consider such a project. More information at the EEBO-TCP website.