Online CPD

Christian K. Wedemeyer wedemeyer at UCHICAGO.EDU
Mon Jun 11 05:53:59 UTC 2007

>  It is not clear from the website who has set 
>this up, although presumably it is the folks in 
>Copenhagen (as the dk in the address suggests). 
>Nor is it clear how one might contribute to the 
>site, which would also be a boon, since many of 
>us have little pencilled notes in our own copies 
>which it would be lovely to be able to share.

As someone who has recently begun to dabble in a 
more disciplined way in Pali and who has some 
prior institutional connection to the Copenhagen 
CPD, I can say that Ken Zysk (a longtime valued 
member of this list and "point man" for the CPD 
in Copenhagen) may have more detailed information 
on the state of this project (which I would love 
to hear). But, from my own side, I can report 
that, when I recently emailed him about the 
status of the CPD, he communicated the following:

>We are up to [fascicle] 3.7, all of 3 are available except 3.7,
>which was published and destroyed by the distributor, Gade Direct, here in
>Copenhagen. Soon the whole CPD will be on-line, which a search option. It is
>only now the working out of the bugs.

So, my understanding is that no more paper 
fascicles of the CPD will be produced, but all 
future additions and emendations will be via 
computer website. (Not sure why the last fascicle 
was destroyed. [Ken?])

I, personally, as someone who tends to privilege 
the long-term advantages of hard-copy text 
publishing over the immediate convenience of 
web-only publishing, am dismayed by this.

However, given what I also know about the 
abhorrent, shortsighted, presentist focus of the 
Danish government and Danish academe (in general) 
on the "ehrvervs-relevance" (business relevance) 
and "social-relevance" (social relevance) of 
humanistic research, I am not at all surprised 
that the funding has finally dried up for this 
venture and that they are forced to resort to 
online publishing to get by (please correct me if 
I'm wrong, Ken or Ole).

No less an authority than Søren Kirkegaard 
regularly complained of the fact that Denmark 
suffered from being a country of small-minded 
shopkeepers (indeed Copenhagen, the closest thing 
Denmark has to a cultural center, means [roughly] 
"merchant harbor"). Culturally, the situation has 
changed little since the end of the nineteenth 
century. A small-minded shopkeeper mentality 
continues to stifle cultural production in that 
country (against the determined but perhaps 
futile resistance of a small, but at its best 
talented, beleaguered and exhausted 
intelligentsia), and research that does not 
conduce to selling Danish products abroad or 
purchasing cheap products or labor from the 
developing world cannot expect significant 
financial support.

I, for one, think that this project should be 
supported, and should endeavor to continue the 
release of print fascicles, in addition to its 
excellent and beneficial online presence. Perhaps 
there might be some chance of seeking financial 
support for this project outside of the benighted 
land of Denmark: from some place where 
scholarship may be valued beyond its immediate 
economic payoff? (But does such a place even 
exist today?!)


Christian Wedemeyer

Christian K. Wedemeyer
Assistant Professor of the History of Religions
The University of Chicago Divinity School
1025 East 58th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637    USA
(773) 702-8265 (phone)
(773) 702-8223 (fax)

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