Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Michigan State University

Religions of the World: Free Web Sites A-N

This is a guide to researching religions of the world: Western and Eastern Christianity, Eastern religions, Islam, Bahai, New Age Movements, Judaism.

Free Web Sites A-N

A few general sites are listed first, followed by an alphabetical list of sites. 

Internet Public Library 2: Religion and Theology Section

This is a public service organization and a learning/teaching environment merging the collections of resources from the Internet Public Library (IPL) and the Librarians' Internet Index (LII) websites. The site is hosted by Drexel University's College of Information Science & Technology, and a consortium of colleges and universities.  Contains links to websites on faiths and denominations, and a few sacred texts and religious figures.

Virtual Religion Index
http://religion.rutgers.edu/vri/index.html
From Rutgers University. "...a tool for students with little time. It analyzes and highlights important content of religion-related websites to speed research." American religions, Biblical studies, Buddhist tradition, Christian tradition, comparative religion, East Asia, Hindu sites, Judaic studies, Islamic tradition, etc.

ReligiousWorlds.com
Sources for Study of Religions, this site offers information about religious traditions that developed in the Middle East or West Asia as well as others from South and East Asia, too.

ALPHABETICAL LIST BEGINS HERE

American Religious Sounds Project

A joint project between Michigan State University and Ohio State University to construct a unique sonic archive, documenting the diversity of American religious practice through newly produced field recordings, interviews, oral histories, and other related materials.  What does religion sound like?  Sound, image, and text will be integrated in a digital platform to offer new insights into the complex dynamics of American religious pluralism. 

Association for the Study of Esotericism

Esotericism, as an academic field, refers to the study of alternative or marginalized religious movements or philosophies whose proponents in general distinguish their own beliefs, practices, and experiences from public, institutionalized religious traditions. Among areas of investigation included in the field of esotericism are alchemy, astrology, Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Kabbalah, magic, mysticism, Neoplatonism, new religious movements connected with these currents, nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century occult movements, Rosicrucianism, secret societies, and Christian theosophy.

ATLA Digital Library

The Atla Digital Library brings together in a singular, searchable platform digitized collections from libraries, religious institutions, and other organizations worldwide who collect and preserve texts, records, maps, photographs, recordings, and other materials. The items found in the Atla Digital Library are of importance to those with an interest in researching, studying, teaching, and otherwise searching for historical and archival content in religion and theology.  Items found within the Digital Library are intended to be used for noncommercial educational and research purposes. Partner institutions, as a condition of participating in the Digital Library, have sole responsibility to ensure that the items they contribute to the Digital Library are either free of any copyright or other restrictions that would prohibit their display or that they have secured necessary permissions from copyright holders to digitize and display the contributed items.

Becket Fund

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is a Washington, D.C.-based public interest law firm protecting the free expression of all religious traditions. We are nonprofit, nonpartisan, and interfaith. The Becket Fund operates in three arenas: the courts of law (litigation), the court of public opinion (media), and in the academy (scholarship), at home and abroad (international).

Beliefnet Dictionary

Beliefnet.Com provides a searchable and browsesable version of the HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion. Copyright © 1995 by The American Academy of Religion. Look for the dictionary search engine on the left side of the web page.

BishopAccountability.org

BishopAccountability.org is a clearinghouse of information and documents about the Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandals. It's goal is to assemble on the internet a collection of publicly available documents and to report on the crisis. It endorses no particular analysis of the root cause of the crisis and advocates no particular remedy. It tries to include a range of viewpoints. It has links to grand jury/attorney general reports, to the Vatican and U.S. Conf. of Catholic Bishops' materials, and to analyses and commentaries on particular cases.

Catholic Directory

Online since 1997, TheCatholicDirectory.com is a service of CatholicWeb.com, who provides free Web hosting services to Catholic churches, diocese, schools, ministries, and many other types of Catholic organizations in need. It is one of the easiest to use and most comprehensive searchable Catholic database on the Internet! Our mission is to help people find Mass. Users will find over 26,000 Catholic listings in the United States. We have over 96,000 additional listings in countries around the world. Millions of Catholics use the directory regularly to find Mass. People look-up Mass times, view weekly bulletins, web sites, email addresses, maps, directions, staff, and other important information.

Catholic News Archive

Site has thousands of newspaper pages from 17 newspapers, from different cities, fully text searchable. The Archive is a project of the Catholic Research Resources Alliance (CRRA), a non-profit alliance of archives and libraries collaborating in support of the mission to provide enduring global access to Catholic research resources. Search or browse by date, tag, diocese, title.

Catholic Research Resources Alliance

The CRRA is a nonprofit (501c3) membership alliance of institutions collaborating to deliver projects and services in support of its mission "to provide enduring global access to Catholic research resources in the Americas." Their immediate focus is creating access to those rare, unique, and uncommon research materials which are held by libraries and archives in North America.

Catholic Web Resources

A selective guide to Catholic (meaning, Roman Catholic) resources on the World Wide Web by John L. Gresham, MLS, PhD, Instructor in Catholic theology, Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Catholics for Choice

A nonprofit organization that lifts up the voices of the majority of Catholics who believe in reproductive freedom.  They work on a variety of issues, including abortion, contraception, gender and reproductive equity, social justice, conscience, Catholic health care, etc.  Especially see their section of/on Insights and Resources; it offers links to full text information, including their Conscience Magazine.

Church of Scientology International

This site was specifically designed for students and scholars in religious studies.  It includes work by the late Bryan Wilson, an Oxford University professor and past President of the International Society for the Sociology of Religion. It also offers information about Scientology beliefs and practices, video interviews with religious leaders from other faiths about Scientology, as well as information on the status and history of Scientology in countries around the world.   There is a a booklet downloadable free, written by human rights experts on freedom of religion, as well as a blog on international religious freedom.  MSU Libraries has Scientology works in Murray and Hong Special Collections and in the Digital and Multimedia Center on 4th floor, West wing.

Confraternity of St. James

"We are a UK-based charity established to promote the pilgrimage to the shrine of St James in Santiago de Compostela [in Northern Spain].  We provide a range of information services to assist prospective pilgrims, of all religions or none, who are planning a walking, cycling or horseback journey along one of the many Camino de Santiago routes."  Offers history of pilgrimage, routes and assistance with planning a pilgrimage to Santiago, books to read/buy, etc.  There are other useful organization websites also, such as the Association of the Friends of the Way and American Pilgrims on the Camino.

Corresponding with Quakers

Corresponding with Quakers is an ongoing, collaborative research project investigating the Ballitore Collection held at UCSB Library’s Special Research Collections. The Ballitore Collection features more than 2,500 documents related to the Irish Quaker community of Ballitore, Ireland, including letters, journals, notebooks, and dream accounts. Originally assembled by the author Mary Leadbeater (1758-1826), this unique, understudied collection offers important insights into the intersection of gender, race, and religion in this period. The goal is to shed light on the transatlantic development of abolitionist thought, women’s writing, and communal religious practices. They are in the process of digitizing the collection for public access.

Counterbalance Foundation

Counterbalance Interactive Library offers new views on complex issues from science, ethics, philosophy, and religion. Extensive resources on the evolution/creation controversy, biomedical ethical challenges, and much more. Counterbalance will be scientifically religious. This is our commitment to stay true to established theological principles, and to good scholarship.

Cyber Hymnal

Thousands of Christian hymns & Gospel songs from many denominations: Lyrics, audio, sheet music, pictures, history & more. Searchable, free downloads. This site has ov­er 14,000 Chris­tian hymns & Gos­pel songs from ma­ny de­nom­in­a­tions & lan­guag­es: Lyr­ics, sheet mu­sic, au­dio, pic­tures, bi­og­ra­phies, his­to­ry & more.  Searchable.

Digital Theological Library

The mission of Open Access Digital Theological Library (OADTL) is to curate high-quality content in religious studies and related disciplines from publisher websites, institutional repositories, scholarly societies, archives, and stable public domain collections. The OADTL is staffed by professional librarians and curates content without regard for theological or confessional perspective.  Research aids section offers access to open access journals, Greek and Hebrew lexica and grammars, and Bible commentaries.  The Databases A-Z section offers links to a huge number of free electronic resources, and some that are not freely available, including: electronic journals, reference works, sites offering links to digital versions of books, institutional repositories, archives, publishers' websites, organization and research center sites, indexes, bibliographies, etc.

Discovering Sacred Texts

From the British Library.  Discover more about the sacred texts from Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism and the Baha’i Faith, Jainism and Zoroastrianism.

Dissenting Academies Project

In 1662, the Parliament of England passed the Act of Uniformity - which required adherence to many rites and ceremonies prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer. One of the rites required was episcopal ordination for all ministers. In response, other Protestant religious communities established a number of dissenting academies, which were "intended to provide Protestant students dissenting from the Church of England with a higher education similar to that at Oxford and Cambridge, from which they were largely excluded." This digital humanities project, created by the Queen Mary Centre for Religion and Literature in English, allows visitors to learn more about these academies through an extensive database and encyclopedia of 220 academies that existed between 1660 and 1860. The database also includes thousands of individuals who were involved in the academy as tutors or students.

Documents of the II Vatican Council

Online texts of 16 documents of the Second Vatican Council in a variety of languages, including English. The English language texts are translations from National Catholic Welfare Conference, precursor of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. See also Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, 1990, edited by Norman Tanner, Main, BX 825 .A1 1990 v. 1-2. 

Also useful is the site called Vatican II Council, which has documents from the Second Vatican Council online, with a search engine supporting boolean, phrase, and optional case-sensitive searching. Returns specific paragraphs from each document. Includes Latin and German texts as well as English.

Divine Office.org

Divine Office.org's mission is to evangelize and to nurture our Catholic relationship with God by designing and offering contents, software products, development and design services for the Catholic community. The Liturgy of the Hours produced by this ministry is recognized as the best Catholic podcast, website and mobile app in 2011 and 2012. “From ancient times the Christian Church has had the custom of celebrating each day the liturgy of the hours. In this way the Church fulfills the Lord’s precept to pray without ceasing, at once offering its praise to God the Father and interceding for the salvation of the world.”  – Office of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship.  In this site you can pray, read scripture, and sing/listen to hymns.

Eastern Catholicism Websites

From Byzantine Catholic Seminary Library, Pittsburgh, PA.  Provides links to Eastern Canon Law.  Links to websites of the
"Eparchies," their organizational branches.  Links to their monastic communities.  Links to introductory videos and to FAQ type information.

Egypt: Faith after the Pharaohs

Follows the 1200 years from 30 BC, after Egypt officially became part of the Roman empire under Augustus, to the end of the Fatimid period in AD 1171, when Salah al-Din (Saladin) took power. With the arrival of the Romans, most people in Egypt continued to worship many gods. The following centuries were marked by two significant transitions, first to a majority Christian population by the 5th century, and then again to a majority Muslim population in the course of the 10th century. At times, Jewish communities thrived alongside. In Egypt, the changes of state and shifts of faith are reflected in everyday society. What survives shows us something of the lives of people in Egypt – whether Jews, Christians or Muslims – and their relationships to each other and the ancient past. This is an online presence of an exhibit at the British Museum.  Photographs of objects with information about them and videos where experts explain different aspects of religious life in historic Egypt.

Electronic Capito Project

Provides access to the text of letters from and to Protestant Reformer Wolfgang Faber Capito (c. 1478-1541) which are either unpublished or were published before 1850 and are therefore difficult to access.

European Jesuit Provenance Project

This is the largest census of books owned by European Jesuit institutions prior to the suppression.  It includes both texts currently held in libraries and information from pre-1773 inventories, and is an ongoing project created by Kathleen Comerford (Georgia Southern University).

Experiencing History: Holocaust Sources in Context

From U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.  You must set up your own account to use this.  Contains primary sources from the period. A recently released collection, "American Christians, Nazi Germany, and the Holocaust," focuses on the close connections between Christianity and Americans' attitudes toward Nazi Germany and the Holocaust in the 1930s and 1940s. During this period, American Christians tried to make sense of events in Europe and to determine what responsibilities their congregations bore toward Christians and Jews both at home and abroad. Sources included in this collection address reactions to the Kristallnacht pogrom of 1938, America's entry into the war in 1941, and the immediate postwar realities of 1945.

Folkebladet

Digital version of the official newspaper of the Lutheran Free Church in Minneapolis, 3373 issues.  Digitizing done by Augsburg University Archives from the microfilm.  This site also offers lots of other digitized Lutheran information.

From Jesus to Christ: the First Christians

An intellectual and visual guide to the new and controversial historical evidence which challenges familiar assumptions about the life of Jesus and the epic rise of Christianity.For an overview of the series read the Synopsis. It includes links to some of the stories and material on this web site which expand the narrative.This site is anchored by the testimony of New Testament theologians, archaeologists and historians who serve as both critics and storytellers. They address dozens of key issues, disagreements and critical problems relating to Jesus' life and the evolution of Christianity.

Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale

The Forum on Religion and Ecology is the largest international multi-religious project of its kind. With its conferences, publications, and website it is engaged in exploring religious worldviews, texts, and ethics in order to broaden understanding of the complex nature of current environmental concerns.

GAMEO: Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online

GAMEO provides reliable information on Anabaptist-related (Amish, Mennonite, Hutterite, Brethren in Christ) topics, including history, theology, biography, institutions and local congregations. Secular topics from an Anabaptist perspective and full-text source documents are also included. The Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online provides reliable, freely-available English-language information on Anabaptist-related congregations, denominations, conferences, institutions and significant individuals, as well as historical and theological topics. Secular subject articles from an Anabaptist perspective and full-text source documents are also included. The Society obtained permission from Herald Press in Scottdale, PA to copy and modify entries of the four-volume Mennonite Encyclopediapublished in the 1950s, and a supplemental fifth volume published in 1990. M.S.U. Libraries has the print set in Main stacks at BX 8106 .M37. The project in time will include the full text of the print Mennonite Encyclopedia, and will add new content both from North America and around the world. Partner organizations relate both to national Mennonite denominations, and to regional and local Amish and Mennonite historical groups: Mennonite Historical Society of Canada, Mennonite Brethren Historical Commission, Mennonite Church U.S.A. Historical Committee, Mennonite Central Committee, and Mennonite World Conference.

GEMMS Gateway to Early Modern Manuscript Sermons' Project

Being developed at the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.  Available independently here, or also as a free resource in the ITER database.  It is " an open-access, group-sourced, comprehensive, fully searchable, online bibliographic database of early modern sermon manuscripts from the British Isles and North America."

SSHRC-funded project (U.K. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) to create an open-access, group-sourced, comprehensive, fully searchable, online bibliographic database of early modern (1530-1715) sermon manuscripts from the British Isles and North America. The database is a finding aid for all types of manuscripts related to sermons, including complete sermons, sermon notes and reports of sermons, held in numerous repositories in the UK, Ireland, the USA and Canada.

Gnosis Archive

Gnosticism is a historical term used to refer to a number of mystical sects or groups active around the Mediterranean in the first few centuries,A.D. The Gnostic Society Library, including the Nag-Hammadi Library, contains a vast collection of primary documents relating to the Gnostic tradition as well as a selection of in-depth audio lectures and brief archive notes designed to orient study of the documents, their sources, and the religious tradition they represent. There are over a thousand documents related to the Gnostic tradition, including all major Gnostic writings and anti-Gnostic patristic texts. Using the Archive search function, students and researches can easily find just about any anything relating to the Gnostic tradition.

Gods and Scholars

Cornell University Library hosts Gods and Scholars, an online exhibition of diverse archival material on religion. Browse this collection, which includes religious texts, art, objects, and architecture, by a variety of themes, including the The Study and Practice of Religion, Witchcraft and Witch Hunts, and Reformation.  Cornell has a noted witchcraft collection.

Hidden Collections Registry

Provides access to previously hidden or unprocessed library, archives, and museum collections whose owners have received grants to catalog and make the contents accessible online from the Council on Library and Information Resources.  You can search the database by broad topic, such as British studies, medieval studies, etc., or by keyword.  You can limit results by collection name, by institution type, by format. 

History of the Catholic Church in the United States

A research guide made for a class by M.S.U. librarian Mike Unsworth.

Hymnary.org: a Comprehensive Index of Hymns and Hymnals

from Calvin College.  Project aspires to cover North American hymnals comprehensively.  Search and browse by texts (title and text incipit), tunes (names of tunes and melodic incipit), instances (texts and tunes in particular hymnals), people (composers and hymn writers/poets), and hymnals (the books).  Browse for hymns appropriate to the Western liturgical calendar, topic, chapter of the Bible (Protestant canon), and liturgical function.  Browse hymnals by denomination.  Has some links to scores and to audio listening.  Typical info provided is the words (the text of the hymn), info about the writer/composer, info about the tune, scripture references. 

Immanent Frame

Digital project created in conjunction with the Religion and the Public Sphere program of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC).  The website's title derives from Charles Taylor's The Secular Age which describes the desacralised world as one in which religious belief is but "one option among many."  The website editors hope to elevate the public and academic discussion of religion and secularism by inviting religious and secular thinkers to write on key themes and current controversies.  The Essays & Exchanges section organizes original contributions around themes of religion in public life, politics, and culture, the science of religion, and secularism and society.  Contributions are engagingly written and regularly cited in the academic literature.

Interfaith Calendar

Gives dates of religious holidays for all faiths.

Interfaith Dialogue Association

A West Michigan organization with goals: to advance understanding of religions and ideologies by study, dialogue, and sharing about religious experiences; to eliminate prejudice between members of different religious traditions and ideologies; to foster an appreciation for the richness of diverse religions and ideologies; to identify commonalities and differences among religions and ideologies;  to enhance personal growth and transformation; and to promote friendship and trust among people of diverse religions and ideologies.

Internet Sacred Text Archive

"Nonprofit archive of religious texts privately maintained in Santa Cruz and not affiliated with any religious organization or institution."

Internet Theology Resources: By School of Theology Major Areas

Internet Theology Resources: Systematic Theology

These two sites point to many hundreds of primary texts from throughout the 2,000 year history of Christianity, emphasizing Roman Catholic liturgy, monastic history, and systematic theology. Author trained in theology. Organization reflects curriculum at St. John's School of Theology and Seminary.

Jain eLibrary

Jainism is an ancient Indian religion with several million followers today, known for asceticism and philosophies of non-violence.  Highly textually oriented.  The Jain eLibrary was founded by the Shree Gyanvardhak Charitable Trust, the Jain Education International Organization, and other donors.  Includes ancient writings as well as those of contemporary Jains.  30,000 files in about two dozen languages, including over 1,000 items in English.  Site is free to users but you must set up an account for yourself first.  Front page includes search boxes and extensive navigation lists, allowing users to specify authors, publishers, languages, resource types, and topics.  An Aagam Search specifically searches scriptural texts.  No advanced search.  Notice a prominent button leading to Jain Quantum, a newer and more robust search engine that allows users to narrow by language when beginning a search.  This type of search also searches the full texts of items and provides images of individual pages on which search terms are found.  Most texts are available as PDFs.

Jesuit Historiography Online

An Open Access resource offering over seventy historiographical essays written by experts in their field. Aimed at scholars of Jesuit history and at those in all overlapping areas, the essays in JHO provide summaries of key texts from the earlier literature, surveys of more recent work, and digests of archival and online resources. Scope of the essays is global.  Supported by Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies at Boston College.  You will need to register yourself and set up a personal account to use this.

Joseph Smith Papers

Papers of the founder of the Mormon Church, an ongoing online project.  Journals, administrative records, revelations, business, financial records.

Kaufman Interfaith Institute

Its mission is to promote interfaith understanding & mutual respect in West Michigan. Through interfaith dialogue and service, we promote a vibrant and diverse community for all generations. Beyond tolerance, we value hospitality, understanding, respect, and acceptance.

Latest Trends in Religious Restrictions and Hostilities

From the Pew Research Center.  Focuses on religious restrictions in the world's 25 most populous countries.  Uses figures from 2007-2013 the report traces which countries have increased in religious freedom and which have restricted it more.

Leadership Conference of Women Religious

LCWR is an association of the leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States. The conference has more than 1400 members, who represent more than 80 percent of the approximately 51,600 women religious in the United States. Founded in 1956, the conference assists its members to collaboratively carry out their service of leadership to further the mission of the Gospel in today’s world.  Links to newsletters, press releases, writings, publications.

Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library

"The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) is very proud to present the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library, a free online digitized virtual library of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Hundreds of manuscripts made up of thousands of fragments -- discovered from 1947 and until the early 1960's in the Judean Desert along the western shore of the Dead Sea -- are now available to the public online. The high resolution images are extremely detailed and can be accessed through various search options on the site."

LGBT Religious Archives Network (LGBT-RAN)

Dedicated to "preserving history and encouraging scholarly study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) religious movements around the world." Part of the Center for Lesbian & Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry in Berkeley, California. Two initiatives. First, the group assists LGBT individuals and groups in identifying how to preserve relevant archival information. Second, the group seeks to provide "an electronic information clearinghouse for these archival collections and other historical data about LGBT religious history for the use of"scholars. Contains short biographies of LGBT religious leaders and 45 oral history interviews. Online Exhibitions section has digitized archival material.

Liturgical Studies: Eastern Rites

From University of St. Thomas library director and theology librarian Curt Le May.  Offers information about Eastern liturgical texts.  Offers links to information about Eastern Orthodox liturgy.  And information about secondary works.

Mennonite  Archive Image Database (MAID)

The images, some over 100 years old, chronicle everything from weddings to barn-raisings to Pierre Trudeau meeting with Mennonite leaders in Winnipeg in the 70s. MAID is the work of seven Mennonite archives across Canada: one each in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Ontario and three in Manitoba. The database contains 80,000 photos with descriptions but not all are yet available online.

Muslims of the Midwest

This site is a digital archive that documents some of the varied experiences of Muslims in the American Midwest through testimonies across generational, gender, geographical, socio-economic, and ethnic differences. Muslims of the Midwest is housed at Michigan State University and was largely funded by a University of Illinois Humanities Without Walls grant. It was also financially supported by the Michigan State University Muslim Studies Program.  It offers links to interviews and resources such as videos, exhibits, and other online sites arranged by state.

New Advent

This is a Roman Catholic website offering the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, Summa Theologica, works of the Church Fathers, three parallel versions of the Bible in English, Latin and Greek (I think), a Catholic Library containing famous primary source documents through history, links to other Catholic websites, and interesting news articles on Catholicism today and links to them. The site was recommended by a librarian at University of Dayton, Hector Escobar, in an article in ALA Direct.

Nineteenth-Century Collections Online (NCCO).  This is a primary source database MSU Libraries has bought.  One of its archives, #5, is Europe and Africa: Commerce, Christianity, Civilization, and Conquest.

Michigan State University