TIP of the day: Making sense of the Catholic Topical Index, Themes and Topics

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Dec 28 2015 9:03 PM

Yes, in beta testing I was one of those who had trouble seeing why there were both Themes and Topics. This is my clarification method.

1. One way that is often taught students for organizing material is to place the topics on stickups on a wall or refrigerator and move them around until you find a reasonable clusters of topics. These clusters are then tested for validity as other topics are added. There are often multiple ways that the topics can be clustered so take my results as simply one example.

Catholic Topical Index is relatively simple.

I put my classifications in italics when they are additions - and added a comment for a puzzling entry.

2. Preaching themes is similarly easy to cluster although the clusters are quite different:

3. Topics is more complex ... a long list that is a seeming mishmash with some puzzling entries and duplications. For example one may need to actually look at the referenced resource to translate "Catalog of, and Supernatural Events Miracles" into "Catalog of Miracles and Supernatural Events". This also appears in a duplicate "Miracles, Catalog of, and Supernatural Events:. In choosing how to cluster the heap, I kept in mind both sets of clusters I already had. This gave me the following (shots are incomplete).

4.The resulting mind map of the 3 Guide sections allows me to see quickly the similarities and differences between the sections. I also allows me to remove from my consideration branches that are not of interest to me at the present time without going through long lists and making a decision on each entry.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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