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Michigan State University

Religious Studies: Getting Started: Home

Offers basic suggestions for finding periodical articles and a few basic reference works. Last updated 06-22-2023


Periodical Index

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Oxford Reference Online
Contains online versions of dictionaries and encyclopedias previously published in paper by Oxford University Press. The database contains works on these topics:  Bible, peoples and places of the Bible, Buddhism, Byzantium, Christian Church, Hinduism, Islam, Jewish religion, the Middle Ages, Popes, the Reformation, Saints, and world religions. Once in the resource, click on the Subject tab at top left.  Then choose Religion.  One can search within these results as a whole in a box near top left by the orange question mark.  Or one can look through the 31 reference resources available here and choose to search within a particular reference work in this discipline.

Religions of the World: a Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices Main BL 80.3 .R45 2002 v. 1-4

Online version is 2010 edition.  Provides comprehensive, global coverage of religion, emphasizing larger religious communities without neglecting the world's smaller religious outposts.  To use the electronic edition, click on the Table of Contents tab once you are in the resource.  It's a dictionary arrangement of people, topics, places, themes, faith names, organizations, etc. so you need to choose the volume you want, alphabetically.  There is a place to do this near the top left once you are in Table of Contents. After you choose your volume number scroll down a bit and click on the gray triangle between which your topic will fall, alphabetically.  This opens up the topics to choose from at that part of the alphabet.

Faiths Across Time: 5,000 Years of Religious History

Covers religious history from 3500 B.C.E. to 2009 C.E. Arranged by date. Includes all world religions. Entries include the date of the event, continent and country it occurred in, what religion was involved, and a description. Many black-and-white illustrations, but no maps. Signed entries.  Bibliography in v. 4.  Info. from ARBA Online.

There are a great many more suggestions of reference works in our Religions of the World library guide.

Library guides for HinduismBuddhism, Jewish studies, Muslim studies, Eastern Religions, New Age religious movements.

Library guide for Bible Resources.

Library guide for Religion: Data and Statistics.