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Religious Studies

Guide to key sources for research in Religion

Encyclopedias, Dictionaries and Handbooks are wonderful tools for locating background information on a topic and will often direct you to key books and articles on your subject.

Quick Search tool

The Library Search Box is a great resource for locating encyclopedia articles.  Just limit your search results to Item Type "Reference Entries"

Other Tools to cross search many references works at once:

Credo Reference  - allows you to quickly search over 500 reference works including Gale Virtual Reference Library as well as a large number of databases for journal articles and books on your topic

Brill Online Reference - search all the Brill encyclopedias that the University of Calgary subscribes to.

Gale Virtual Reference Library -  includes many subject encyclopedias such as the Encyclopedia of Religion

Gale World History in Context -  Links to encyclopedia entries,  journal articles, primary sources, images etc.  Covers religious history and has specific sections for religion including:  BuddhismChristianity Hinduism Islam, Judaism,  and Taoism

Oxford Reference -  limiting to unlocked and free will ensure that material retrieved are items that you have access to. Otherwise will retrieve articles from all Oxford encyclopedias and dictionaries, many of which we do not have access to.

General Religious Studies Encyclopedias and Dictionaries


Other Examples:

  • Critical Terms for Religious Studies
  • Encyclopedia of Millennialism and Millennial Movements
  • Encyclopedia of Science and Religion - "Addresses the interactions, contradictions, and tensions between science and religion, both historically and in contemporary life. The set examines technologies like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and continuing developments in neurophysiology against the backdrop of deeply-held religious beliefs. In addition, phenomena such as the Church of Scientology are also studied, along with more traditional issues, such as the origins of life, the nature of sin, and the philosophy of science and religion."
  • Encyclopedia of World Scriptures
    Call Number: BL 70 .S56 2001 | Location
  • Encyclopedic Dictionary of Religion (3 vols)
    Call Number: BL31 .E57 | Location
    - 3 volumes
    - Good for biographical information. Brief articles
  • Historical Dictionary of Sacred Music - covers Buddhism,  Christianity, Hinduism,  Islam and Judaism -  Extensive bibliographies
  • Melton's  Encyclopedia of American Religions
    Call Number: BL2525 .M449 2017 | Location
  • Encyclopedia of Sacred Places

Other useful subject encyclopedias