Religious Studies

Religious Studies


Religious Symbols

The Columbia University Libraries have an extensive collection of materials in religious studies, although they are not all located in a single physical space.  Butler Library holds materials on the history of religions; Burke Library has theological and missiological materials; Lehman and Starr East Asian both contain materials on religions unique to the Global Studies locales each library serves.

As a result, no one librarian supports "religion" as such.  Library assistance for religious studies is roughly divided thus:

In addition, religions in specific geographic locations are often supported by the appropriate Global Studies Librarians.

Finding Titles in CLIO

Use CLIO to locate books, journals (but not the articles themselves), visual materials, etc.

In CLIO, a "Subject Heading" search is often a good starting point.  Searching on the subject of "Religion," or a specific religion's name, such as "Islam," will get you started.  Your results will display the number of titles we have under that general heading, and then under a series of sub-headings, which often focus on specific countries or time periods.

Three useful subheadings to look for when starting out are

  • Dictionaries
  • Encyclopedias
  • Bibliography

These will often point you toward resources that can give you preliminary information.

You may also perform more general keyword searches.  These will look for your search terms anywhere in a CLIO record: title, author, subjects, summary, table of contents (if available), etc, and allow you to perform a more targeted search.  For example,

  • christianity AND food
  • judaism AND folklore
  • islam AND mysticism

If you need help finding what you need, Ask a Librarian or the subject librarian for your area (above).

Finding Articles by Subject Area

General & Comparative Religion

Electronic resources

Print resources

  • Encyclopedia of religion
    Treats the theoretical, practical, and sociological aspects of religion, in articles by over 1400 contributors.
    R032 E1945 (Butler Ref)
    BL31 .E46 2005 (Burke Ref, Barnard Ref)
  • A reader's guide to the great religions
    A bibliographic guide to the history and traditions of the world's principal religions. 
    Z7833.A35 1977 (Barnard)
    Z7833.A35 1977 (Butler)
    Z7833.A35 1977 (Burke Ref)

Judaism

Electronic resources

  • RAMBI
    Coverage: 1966 to the present.  A bibliography of periodical articles and essay collections in the various fields of Jewish studies and in the study of Israel, primarily from the holdings of the Jewish National and University Library.  Entries are in Hebrew, Yiddish, and western languages.
  • Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd ed.
    A comprehensive encyclopedia with over 20,000 articles, most with accompanying bibliography.
  • ALEPH
    The online catalog of the Jewish Theological Seminary Library.

  • Index to Jewish Periodicals
    Coverage: 1988 to the present.  Indexes English-language articles, book reviews, and feature stories in over 160 periodicals devoted to Jewish affairs.

  • Old Testament Abstracts
    Coverage: 1978 to the present.  Indexes periodicals, monographs, multi-author works, and electronic resources relating to the Hebrew Bible.

Print resources

  • Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1st ed.
    A comprehensive encyclopedia with over 20,000 articles, most with accompanying bibliography.
    DS102.8 .E496 (AncMed, Butler)
    DS102.8 .E496 (Burke)
  • Back to the sources : reading the classic Jewish texts    
    BM496.5.B33 1984 (Butler, Milstein, Offsite, Barnard)
    BM496.5.B33 1984 (Burke Ref)

Christianity

Electronic resources

  • ATLA Religion Database
    Coverage: 1949 to the present.  This database indexes over 1500 periodicals and multi-author works in religion and theology; book reviews are also included.
  • The New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd ed.
    Revised and expanded version of the original Catholic Encyclopedia.
  • Old Testament Abstracts
    Coverage: 1978 to the present.  Indexes periodicals, monographs, multi-author works, and electronic resources relating to the Hebrew Bible.
  • New Testament Abstracts
    Coverage: 1985 to the present.  Indexes periodicals, monographs, multi-author works, and electronic resources relating to the Gospels and related literature.
  • Catholic Periodical and Literature Index
    Coverage: 1981 to the present.  Indexes articles published in Roman Catholic periodicals, Papal documents, church promulgations, and books about the Catholic faith that are authored by Catholics and/or produced by Catholic publishers.
  • L'année philologique (for early Christianity)
    Coverage (as of 2006 update): 1949-2004.  The pre-eminent bibliography for classical antiquity and its continuing traditions.
  • International Medieval Bibliography Online (for medieval Christianity)
    Coverage: 1967 to one year earlier than the present.  Indexes articles on interdisciplinary topics concerning the Middle Ages in the European west and Mediterranean region, drawing on over 4,500 periodicals and 5,000 miscellanies.
  • Digital Library of Classic Protestant Texts
    Transcriptions and facsimiles of documents by seminal writers of the Protestant authors of the 16th and 17th centuries.
  • Digital Library of the Catholic Reformation
    Transcriptions and facsimiles of documents—including papal and synodal decrees, catechisms and inquisitorial manuals, biblical commentaries, theological treatises and systems, liturgical writings, saints' lives, etc.—by Catholic authors of the 16th and 17th centuries.
  • Internet Mission Photography Archive
    Thousands of historical images in missionary collections of several countries. A view of missions which conveys their history and impact in ways which usefully and interestingly amplify text-based resources.
  • Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium
    Major survey articles and many shorter pieces on the personages, places, history, structure, and culture of the Byzantine empire, from the 4th through 15th centuries, most with bibliography and illustrations. 
  • Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation
    Brief but thorough articles on the personages, concepts, and movements of the 16th-century reformation, with extensive bibliography, often divided between primary and secondary sources.

Print resources

  • The Catholic Encyclopedia
    The 1907-1912 edition of a comprehensive encyclopedia treating the history, doctrine, rites, councils, and orders of the Catholic Church; still of great use despite the existence of a revised edition.  Articles contain useful bibliography and are heavily illustrated.
    BX841.C25 1913 (AncMed)
    BX841.C363 (Burke Ref)
    R032 C28 (Butler Ref)

  • The New Catholic Encyclopedia
    Revised and expanded version of the original Catholic Encyclopedia, now in its second edition, though the first edition is still of great use.
    1st ed.:
        BX841.N44 1967 (AncMed, Butler), N30 N42 (Avery Ref), BX841.N44 1967 (Burke)
    2nd ed.:
        BX841.N44 2003 (Barnard Ref), R032 N421 (Butler Ref), BX841.N44 2003 (Burke Ref)

  • The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 3rd ed. revised
    More than 6,000 short articles, with bibliography, on the history, doctrine, and personages of the Christian church in all its denominations.  Earlier editions also available: 1957, 1974 (rev. 1983), 1997.
    BR95.O8 2005g (AncMed)
    BR95.O8 2005 (Barnard Ref, Burke Ref)
    R032 Ox232 (Butler Ref)

  • The literature of theology: a guide for students and pastors
    An annotated bibliography of reference works and Bible versions.  In two editions, 1979 and 2003. 
    Z7751.B67 (Burke Ref)
    Z7751.B67 2003 (Burke Ref)

  • Anchor Bible Dictionary
    Over 6,200 articles, some quite long and with bibliography, on Biblical books, personages, and Apocrypha.
    BS440.A54 1992 (Butler Ref, Barnard Ref)
    BS440.A54 1992 (Burke Ref)
  • Dictionary of early Christian literature
    Brief articles on early Christian authors and their works, most with extensive bibliography.
    R281.1 L59 (Butler Ref)
    BR67 .L4813 2000 (Burke Ref)
  • Encyclopedia of the early church
    Articles by 167 scholars on all aspects of early Christianity through the mid-eighth century, with special attention on the relationship between Christianity and the pagan world. 
    BR162.2.D5813 1992 (Burke Ref)
    R032 D6471 (Butler Ref)
  • Oxford dictionary of Byzantium
    Major survey articles and many shorter pieces on the personages, places, history, structure, and culture of the Byzantine empire, from the 4th through 15th centuries, most with bibliography and illustrations. 
    DF521.O93 1991 (AncMed, Barnard Ref)
    R949.3 Ox2 (Butler Ref)
    N6250 Ox2 (Avery)
  • Oxford encyclopedia of the reformation
    Brief but thorough articles on the personages, concepts, and movements of the 16th-century reformation, with extensive bibliography, often divided between primary and secondary sources. 
    BR302.8.O93 1996 (AncMed, Barnard Ref)
    BR302.8.O93 1996 (Burke Ref)
    R940.7 Ox2 (Butler Ref)
  • Encyclopedia of Protestantism (2004) 
    BX4811.3.E53 2004 (Barnard Ref)
    BX4811.3 .E53 2003 (Burke Ref)
    R032.84 En19 (Butler Ref)
  • Dictionary of Christianity in America
    Articles on the religious bodies, movements, institutions, and individuals of the historical church in North America (especially USA), with emphasis on the evangelical tradition.
    BR515.D53 1990 (Burke, Burke Ref)
    R032 D5645 (Butler Ref)
  • Encyclopedia of evangelicalism 
    1st ed.:
        BR1640.B35 2001 (Burke), R289 B21 (Butler Ref) 
    2nd ed.:
        BR1640.B35 2004 (Barnard Ref, Burke Ref), R289 B211 (Butler Ref)

Islam

Electronic resources

  • Encyclopedia of Islam
    Contains the full-text of volumes I to XI and Supplement (Volume XII) of the print edition (see below); offers basic searching of the nearly 12,000 pages (NB: cross-referencing and transliteration can be a challenge, so it is advisable to look for variants).
  • Index Islamicus
    Coverage: 1960 to the present.  Index of over 2,000 journals, as well as Festschriften, conference proceedings, monographs, multi-author works, book reviews, websites, and other materials in European languages as well as Turkish, Malay, and Indonesian, on all aspects of Islamic history, culture, law, art, and philosophy.
  • Middle East Studies Internet Resources: Islam
    An exhaustive list of online resources relating to geography, law, religion, music, and more.
  • Online Text, Translation and Commentary on the Qur’an
    Online collection of Quranic commentary, providing the original Arabic texts of over 100 books of tafsir (Quran tafseer or commentary), recitation (tajwid) tutorials and hadith collections, and other fields, pertaining to the study of Quranic exegesis.
  • Encyclopaedia Iranica
    A multi-disciplinary reference work focusing on the land, life, culture, and history of all Iranian peoples.
  • Hartford Seminary Library
    A collection of links with information on books, periodicals, videos, and websites concerning Islam.

Print resources

  • The Encyclopaedia of Islam (Brill)
    The primary resource in English on Islam, containing articles with bibliography on subjects in biography, history, geography, religious beliefs, institutions, manners and customs, tribes, industries, sciences, and various terms.  
    1911 ed.:
        DS37.E5 (Burke), R032.97 En1 (Butler Ref)
    1954 ed.:
        DS37.E523 (Burke Ref), R032.97 En11 (Butler Ref Desk)

  • Encyclopaedia of the Qur’an / Jane Dammen McAuliffe, general editor
    Entries, both brief and essay-length, using English-language entry words, on the figures, concepts, places, values, and events of the Qu'ran, many with bibliography.
    R297 En19 (Butler Ref Desk)
    BP133.E53 2001g (Islamic RR, Barnard Ref)
  • Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim world
    Over 500 entries covering the religious dimensions of Islam as well as the development of the tradition in various parts of the world (e.g., Africa, South Asia, U.S.), as well as cultural issues of importance to the history of Islam (e.g., architecture, calligraphy, language).
    BP40.E525 2004 (Islamic RR, Barnard Ref)

South Asian Religions

Electronic resources

Print resources

  • South Asian religions in general
    • Encyclopedia of Asian philosophy
      Covers all aspects of Asian philosophy and religion. 
      B121.E53 2001 (East Asian Ref)
    • Eastern definitions: a short encyclopedia of religions of the Orient
      A guide to common, ordinary, and rare philosophical, mystical, religious, and psychological terms from Hinduism, Buddhism, Ṣufism, Islam, Zen, Taoism, the Sikhs, Zoroastrianism, and other major and minor Eastern religions. 
      R032 R37 (Butler Ref)
    • The encyclopedia of Eastern philosophy and religion: Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Zen
      An English translation of Lexikon der östlichen Weisheitslehren
      R032 L587 (Butler Ref)
    • Eastern religions: origins, beliefs, practices, holy texts, sacred places
      BL1055.E25 2005 (Barnard, Comp Lit & Society RR)
    • Eastern definitions: a short encyclopedia of the Orient
      R032 R37 (Butler Ref, Offsite)
  • Buddhism
    • The A to Z of Buddhism
      A dictionary-style history and chronology of all aspects of Buddhism
      BQ130.P73 2001 (Barnard Ref, East Asian Ref)   
  • Hinduism
    • Encyclopaedia of the Hindu world
      R032.945 En19 (Butler Ref)
    • Harper's dictionary of Hinduism: its mythology, folklore, philosophy, literature, and history
      BL1105.S88 1977 (Burke Ref)
  • Jainism
    • Historical dictionary of Jainism
      BL1303.W45 2004 (Barnard Ref, Burke Ref, South Asian RR)
  • Sikhism

East Asian Religions

Electronic resources

Print resources

  • Asian religions in general
    • Encyclopedia of Asian philosophy
      Covers all aspects of Asian philosophy and religion.
      B121.E35 2001 (East Asian Ref)
    • Chinese religions: publications in western religions (4 volumes)
      Comprehensive bibliography covering literature on all aspects of Chinese religious subjects through 2000 (title of volume 1 varies).
      Z7757.C6 T55 1985 (vol. 1) (East Asian Ref)
      Z7757.C6 T556 1993 (vol. 2) (East Asian Ref)
      Z7757.C6 T558 1998 (vol. 3) (East Asian Ref)
      Z7757.C6 T558 2002g (vol. 4) (East Asian Ref)
    • Chinese religion: an anthology of sources
      A compilation of translated Chinese religious source material.
      BL1802.C5477 1995 (East Asian, Barnard, Milstein)

    • Bibliography of Japanese new religions: with annotations and an introduction to Japanese new religions at home and abroad
      Bibliography on 20th-century religious trends in Japan. 
      BL2207.5.B53 1999g (East Asian Ref)

  • Buddhism

    • The A to Z of Buddhism
      A dictionary-style history and chronology of all aspects of Buddhism. 
      BQ130.P73 2001 (East Asian Ref, Barnard Ref)

  • Shintoism

    • The A to Z of Shinto
      A dictionary-style history and chronology of all aspects of Buddhism. 
      BL2216.1.P535 2006g (East Asian Ref)

    • Shinto-bibliography in western languages: bibliography on Shinto and religious sects, intellectual schools, and movements influenced by Shintoism
      An authoritative bibliography on a broad range of subjects related to Shinto. 
      Z7835.S5 S38 1986 (East Asian)

    • A popular dictionary of Shinto
      A quick look-up resource.
      BL2216.1.B63 1996g (East Asian Ref)

  • Taoism

    • The A to Z of Taoism
      A dictionary-style history and chronology of Taoism. 
      BL1923.P371 2006g (East Asian Ref)

    • Westliche Taoismus-Bibliographie (WTB) = Western bibliography of Taoism
      The fifth edition of an authoritative bibliography on Taoism. 
      Z7835.T2 W3 2003 (East Asian)

Cults & New Religious Movements

Electronic resources

  • ATLA Religion Database
    Coverage: 1949 to the present.  This database indexes over 1500 periodicals and multi-author works in religion and theology; book reviews are also included.
  • Sociological Abstracts
    Coverage: 1963 to the present. Indexes articles in sociology journals that concern the sociology of religion, religion and society, etc.

Print resources

  • Dictionary of cults, sects, religions, and the occult
    BL31.M295 1993 (Burke)
    R032 M42 (Butler Ref)
  • The annotated dictionary of modern religious movements
    BL31.B36 1993 (Burke)

Atheism

See also resources for General Religion.

Print resources