Essay / Theology

Killer App: Theology.News Journal TOC Feed

Theology.News is a new website that Chris Woznicki, Jesse Gentile, and I are running. It’s a clearing house for all kinds of current activity in the field of academic theology, and with all kinds of user-reporters pitching in, it will be a great channel that people can use to stay current without having to be extremely online.

But my favorite feature of the site is, in my opinion, a real breakthrough:

When you click on the Journal TOCs (Tables of Contents) tab, what you get is a page that lets you know when a new issue of a theology journal has been published. In fact, it lists the article titles so you can skim them right there on the site and see what you’re interested in.

From there, you’re on your own. If you’ve got research library credentials, you might be able to click right through to the article. Lucky you! It’s pretty magical. If you don’t have those privileges, then at least by using this open access Journal TOCs tab at, you are now equipped with the knowledge of what the latest publications are. Then you can work out your own access with fear and trembling, raging against the closed-access regime machine.

The idea for this service occurred to me when I realized my approach to keeping up with new journals was getting worse and worse as the years went by. I started asking around to see how other people did it, and the answers I got, from senior theologians as well as very sharp grad students, was that they, too, were episodic and scattershot. They kind of waited for a funny feeling in their tummy to tell them to check their favorite journal sites. Or they subscribed to multiple TOC feeds, with mixed results.

So I talked with theologian/programmer Jesse Gentile, and we came up with this. Many were the technical problems to be solved along the way, but Jesse was equal to the task. Check it out at .




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