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As announced today by UK Research and Innovation, the GALaCSy project is one of 19 collaborative research projects funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) from 2022–25. GALaCSy will examine translations of Paul's Letters into Gothic, Aethiopic, Latin, Coptic and Syriac and their relationship to Greek New Testament tradition. With a combined total budget of over €800,000, the project will inaugurate a new collaboration between ITSEE in Birmingham, the Institute for New Testament Textual Research in Münster, and the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

The Birmingham team, led by Professor Hugh Houghton, will focus on the Latin tradition of Galatians, producing a critical edition of the Old Latin texts for the Vetus Latina series. Colleagues in Germany, led by Professor Holger Strutwolf and Dr Frank Feder, will work on the transmission of the Epistles in Coptic, including a digital synopsis of the earliest witnesses to Galatians and Ephesians. Partners from Italy, Germany and the USA will contribute material from the other language traditions. In addition to studying the textual relationships between these different versions and their approaches to translating Greek sources, the data will be integrated into the Novum Testamentum Graecum Editio Critica Maior (ECM) of the Pauline Epistles, of which Professors Houghton and Strutwolf are General Editors.

ITSEE was the UK partner in an earlier project funded under the AHRC-DFG scheme from 2010–13, which developed the Workspace for Collaborative Editing in conjunction with the Trier Centre for Digital Humanities. Not only do the tools created by this project continue to be in daily use in research projects in Münster and Birmingham, but they have also been adopted by teams in Göttingen, London and the USA: all of the partners from the Workspace project are contributing to the ERC MUYA project led by Prof. Almut Hintze at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

Professor Houghton said:

"The award of this funding is wonderful news, which will enable us to move to the next stage of producing the ECM of Galatians as well as create valuable new resources for the textual history of the New Testament. I am delighted that ITSEE is not only renewing its formal partnership with the INTF in Münster but also entering on a new collaboration with the world-leading team of Coptic researchers in Göttingen, a centre of excellence which is widely admired for its pioneering work on the traditions of the Old Testament." 

The Editorial Board of the Editio Critica Maior of Galatians has recently been appointed by the German Bible Society and will be announced at the Society of Biblical Literature conference in San Antonio, Texas, this weekend. Led by Professor Houghton, it also includes Dr Catherine Smith and Dr Amy Myshrall from ITSEE: all three Birmingham scholars will be contributing to the GALaCSy project.


Professor Hugh Houghton, Professor Holger Strutwolf and Dr Frank Feder, leaders of the GALaCSy project