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Religious Studies: Reference Works

A guide to resources and research in religious studies

(Selected) Reference Sources in Religions at OSU

Oxford Reference Online

  • Access to Full-text from more than 170 key Oxford dictionaries and reference works

  • Contains over 1.5 million dictionary definitions, facts, figures, people, places, dates, and quotations

  • Search one reference book at a time, or search across all titles simultaneously

  • Titles relating to religions include:  
          Dictionary of the Bible
          Oxford Companion to the Bible
    Oxford Guide to People and Places of the Bible
          Dictionary of Buddhism
          Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
          Dictionary of Hinduism
          Oxford Dictionary of Islam
          Concise Companion to the Jewish Religion
          Dictionary of Popes
          Oxford Dictionary of Saints
          Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions

The Cambridge History of Christianity

  • Provide the complete chronological account of the development of Christianity - theological, social, political, regional, global - from the time of Christ to the present day

  • v.1 Origins to Constantine (call # 270.1 C178)

  • v.2 Constantine to c.600 (call # 270.2 C178)

  • v.3 Early Medieval Christianities, c.600-c.1100 (call# 270.2 E12)

  • v.4 Christanity in Western Europe, c. 1100-c.1500 (call# 274.04 C555)

  • v.5 Eastern Christianity (e-book) 

  • v.6 Reform and Expansion, c. 1500-1600 (call# 270.6 R3315)

  • v.7 Enlightment, reawakening, and revolution, c. 1660-1815 (call# 270.7 E58)

  • v.8 World Christianities, c. 1815-1914 (call # 270.8 W9275)

  • v.9 World Christianities, c. 1914-2000 (call # 270.82 W927)

The Cambridge History of Religions in America

  • Volume I. Pre-Columbian times to 1790 (call # 200.973 C178 v. 1)
    Background on religious traditions, pre-1500s
    Religions in the post-Columbian new world, 1500-1680s
    Religious patterns in colonial America, 1680s-1730s
    Religious diversity in British America, 1730s-1790
    American religions in the eighteenth-century international context
    Thematic essays

  • Volume II. 1790-1945 (call # 200.973 C178 v. 2)
    Religion in North America
    Religions in the new nation, 1790-1865
    Changing religious realities
    Religious responses to modern life and thought
    Comparative essays
    Religion and diverse areas

  • Volume III. 1945 to the present (call # 200.973 C178 v.3)
    The postwar religious world, 1945 and following
    Controversial issues in transitional times
    The world's religions in America
    Religious and cultural conflict in America
    New and continuing religious realities in America
    Concluding essays.

New Catholic Encyclopedia (2003)

  • 15 volumes; 12,000 articles on theology, philosophy, history, literary figures, saints, musicians and much more

  • Find answers to questions such as "What impact did Catholicism have on Shakespeare?" "What role does music play in religious worship?" "What did John Paul II have to do with the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe?"

  • Electronic version. Click here to access.

  • Print version Call # 282.03 N5323 2003 (shelved at North Boomer Annex)

Encyclopaedia Judaica (2007)

  • 22 volumes.

  • Provide an exhaustive and organized overview of Jewish life and knowledge from the Second Temple period to the contemporary State of Israel, from Rabbinic to modern Yiddish literature, from Kabbalah to 'Americana' and from Zionism to the contribution of Jews to world cultures.

  • Electronic version. Click here to access.

  • Print version. Call # 909.04924 E56 2007

Encyclopedia of Buddhism (2004)

  • 2 volumes.  

  • Offer a comprehensive overview of Asia's most important religious and social forces

  • Contain entries on basic teachings and practices of Buddhism, Buddhist scriptures, art, architecture, saints, demons, monastic orders, festivals, rites and ceremonies.

  • Call # 294.303 E56b9. Temporarily shelved at General Reference, 1st Floor Edmon Low Library (Non-circulating)

Encyclopaedia of Islam (1999)

  • CD-ROM (ask reference librarian for assistance)

  • Provide entries on the Mulism world, tribes and dynasties, crafts and sciences, political and religious institutions, geography, ethnography, flora and fauna of the various countries, history, topography and monuments of the major towns and cities

  • Geographical and historical scopes encompass the old Arabo-Islamic empire, the Islamic countries of Iran, Central Asia, the Indian sub-continent and Indonesia, the Ottoman Empire and all other Islamic countries

Encyclopedia of Religion (2003)

  • 15 volumes

  • The second edition of a resource that is considered a standard reference in the field. Presents a cross-cultural approach that emphasizes religion's role within everyday life and as a unique experience from culture to culture. The original 2,750 entries have been retained, many heavily updated, and approximately 600 entirely new articles have been added by an international team of scholars and contributors.

  • Electronic version. Click here to access.

Encyclopedia of Taoism (2008)

  • 2 volumes. Published by Routledge

  • Provide a comprehensive coverage of Taoist religion, thoughts and history

  • Contains approx. 1,750 entires on schools and traditions, deities, immortals, temples and other sacred sites, etc.

  • Call # 299.51403 E56

Other notable sources

  • Encyclopedia of African Religion (2009)
    Call # 299.603 E563.  Temporarily shelved at General Reference, 1st Floor Edmon Low Library (Non-circulating)

  • Religion and American Culture: An Encyclopedia of Traditions, Diversity and Popular Expressions (2003)
    Call # 200.97303 R382.  Temporarily shelved at General Reference, 1st Floor Edmon Low Library (Non-circulating)

  • Atlas of the World's Religion (2007)
    Call # QUARTO 290 A881 2007. Temporarily shelved at General Reference, 1st Floor Edmon Low Library (Non-circulating)