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Michigan State University

Religions of the World: Free Web Sites O-Z

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 O-Z

On Common Ground

Three sections: New Religious Landscape, America's Many Religions, Encountering Religious Diversity. Religious diversity in 26 cities with maps.  Profiles 17 religious traditions in America, giving introduction and history of it in America, with timelines and bibliographies.  Religious diversity issues historically and currently in America with essays and primary sources and web links.  Complements Pluralism Project, below in this list, and ARDA, Association of Religion Data Archives in the statistics section of this research guide.

100 Questions and Answers about Muslim Americans

"100 Questions and Answers About Muslim Americans with a Guide to Islamic Holidays: Basic Facts about the Culture, Customs, Language, Religion, Origins and Politics of American Muslims" was written by a class in the Michigan State University School of Journalism.  The link here goes to the Amazon.com page about it.  Click on the book cover and scroll down.  You can open the chapters and read them online for free.

Open Access 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.

Pandemic Religion: a Digital Archive

This is an archiving project dedicated to documenting "the many ways that American religious communities have been challenged and reshaped" in the past year.  It collects various forms of media, including images, videos, audio files, sermons, screen shots, etc.  Share your experiences.  Browse what others have submitted.  Created by two profs at George Mason University and overseen by a multi-faith advisory board.  It is a joint project between GMU Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media and IUPUI Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture. 

Papal Documents

From the Vatican Web site, links to the encyclicals (and biographies, letters, sermons, exhortations, etc.) of a growing number of the Roman Catholic popes.

Parishes Online: Online U.S. Directory of the Catholic Church

ParishesOnline is the online U.S. directory of the Catholic Church. Find Catholic Churches, Mass Times, Pastors, Bulletins, Maps, Dioceses, Schools... and much more! Over 20,000 listings. Full-time staff dedicated to hundreds of updates daily.

Patheos

Founded in 2008, Patheos.com is designed to serve as a resource for those wishing to learn more about different belief systems, as well as participate in productive, moderated discussions on some of today's most talked about and debated topics. The foundation of Patheos is an expansive library of easy-to-read information on world religions. Patheos visitors will find a variety of unique lenses, maps, family trees and comparison charts that can be used to compare, contrast and learn about different religions and belief systems. Has a calendar of the holidays of the major world faiths. The authors/creators are a combination of computer gurus, management people, and religion content knowledgeable people. This site was recommended in an article on religion websites by ALA.

PBS: God in America

2010 PBS documentary series (6, each 60 minutes) investigates the evolving relationship between religious ideologies and movements within American culture, the U.S. government, and the marketplace.  Chronological approach covers impact of Puritans in colonial America, role of religion in the Civil War, faith of Progressive Era reformers, importance of the Black church throughout our history, etc.  Interactive timeline, interviews with scholars, links to other resources.

Peace Pilgrim

From 1953 to 1981 a silver haired woman calling herself only "Peace Pilgrim" walked more than 25,000 miles on a personal pilgrimage for peace. She vowed to "remain a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace, walking until given shelter and fasting until given food." In the course of her 28 year pilgrimage she touched the hearts, minds, and lives of thousands of individuals all across North America. Her message was both simple and profound. It continues to inspire people all over the world.  This site has full texts of her "works" drawn from her speaking engagements, biographical information, and links to A/V materials.  See also author, title, and subject entries in our online catalog under "peace pilgrim."

Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, launched in 2001, seeks to promote a deeper understanding of issues at the intersection of religion and public affairs. The Forum pursues its mission by delivering timely, impartial information to national opinion leaders, including government officials and journalists. As a nonpartisan, non-advocacy organization, the Forum does not take positions on policy debates.

Pilgrims and Pilgrimage

Pilgrims and Pilgrimage is a website offering ways to explore a concept common to almost all cultures and faiths through the centuries, that still profoundly influences millions of people today. This website outlines the multiple meanings of pilgrimage within the Christian tradition in particular, exploring their expression through the centuries and their continuing significance today. This survey is set against the background of the importance of pilgrimage in faiths and cultures worldwide.

Pitts Theology Library

Pitts Theology Library is the special library for Emory University's Candler School of Theology.  It is internationally renowned for its rare book and archival collections including: The Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection, the largest collection of Reformation-related materials in North America; manuscript collections of John and Charles Wesley, part of one of the foremost collections of Wesleyana in the world; the Pitts hymnody and psalmody collection, the largest holdings of hymnals in North America outside of the Library of Congress; and periodicals, monographs, and archives related to African Christianity. Pitts is also the institutional repository for many important ecclesial and scholarly organizations, including the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church, the American Academy of Religion, and the Society of Biblical Literature. The library’s collections are available in many digital repositories, the most notable of which is the Digital Image Archive, a collection of over 60,000 images digitized from the rare book holdings.

Pluralism Project

From Harvard University, the Pluralism Project studies and documents the growing religious diversity of the U.S. with a special view to its new immigrant religious communities. This web site provides access to project files, bibliographies, directory of religious centers (by state and tradition), links to other resources.  See also the site On Common Ground in this list of web sites.

Portal to Jesuit Studies

By Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies from Boston College.  It offers "online access to a curated and fully searchable collection of important primary sources and some of the latest secondary scholarship related to the history, spirituality, educational heritage, and pedagogy approach of the Society of Jesus. The Portal also hosts online resources, such as key documents in Jesuit history and a forthcoming lexicon of Jesuit terminology."

Post-Reformation Digital Library

PRDL is a select database of digital books relating to the development of theology and philosophy during the Reformation and Post-Reformation/Early Modern Era (late 15th-18th c.). Late medieval and patristic works printed and referenced in the early modern era are also included. The PRDL is a project of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research.

Princeton Seminary Digital Library

The Princeton Seminary Digital Library offers access to over 185,000 pages of digital materials, and for people with an interest in American religious history, 19th century Korean photographs, and a cornucopia of other topics, this website is worth bookmarking. First-time visitors to the site can browse the materials here by author, collection, or journal. Currently, there are twelve different historical journals archived, including "Biblical Repertory," "Theology Today," and "The Princeton Review." In the "Browse Authors" area, visitors can look through the alphabetical listing or view the most prolific authors in a tag cloud. In the Princeton Collection, visitors can view the materials by document type, including images, poems, and sermons. The "sermon" area has some rather intriguing documents, such as a series of sermons originally published in the 1852 "Princeton Pulpit."

Project Canterbury

This is a free online archive of out-of-print Anglican texts and related modern documents. Click on "New Items" to see what is in the database.  Founded by Richard Mammana, it is a volunteer effort and is not affiliated officially with any church body. Documents hosted on Project Canterbury are believed to be in the public domain unless otherwise indicated; for-profit use of any material on this site is forbidden.

Public Religion Research Institute PRRI

Nonpartisan organization founded 2009. Conducts qualitative research and public opinion polls on the intersection of religion, values and public life.  Their research section aggregates their articles, fact sheets, surveys, and popular research; also they track book chapters, articles, and other work in the field.  Links to full texts.  The interactive American Values Atlas (AVA) combines annual PRRI survey data with a rich interactive mapping system by which people can explore similarities and differences between America's political, religious, and demographic groups.

Red, White, and Brimstone: New World Literature and the Millennium

2013 digital version of a traditional exhibit at University of Virginia from 1999.  For exploration of the last book of the Bible, Revelation, via primary documents.  Organized chronologically in 12 topics, such as Revelation in England, Lost Tribes of Israel, Cotton Mather and, New Israelite Republic, Thomas Jefferson and, Second Coming 1843, New Earthly Paradise, Babylon: Sin City, USA, Antichrist in America, Apocalypse Now. 

Religion & Politics

Online news journal from John C. Danforth Center on Religion & Politics, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, containing articles from journalists and scholars on religion and politics.  Two main menus: Features (with content listed by format: report, essay, profile, review, interview, excerpt) and off to the side by subject (bioethics, civil liberties, culture, education, elections, foreign policy, law/order, media, money, science, sexuality/gender).  States of the union project in here has essays by writers describing religion and politics in their states of the U.S.  The Table is a space where issues of the day are debated by experts with diverse perspectives.

Religion and the New Republic [exhibit from Library of Congress]

See the overview section to learn how the display is organized; there is a link on the main page for this.  There is a section "Emergence of the African American Church"; scroll down, carefully, about a third of the way on the main page.  

Religion Dispatches

eligion Dispatches is a daily online magazine dedicated to the analysis and understanding of religious forces in the world today, highlighting a diversity of progressive voices and aimed at broadening and advancing the public conversation. Rigorous, open and respectful debate about central issues of the day is essential if democracies are to survive and flourish. Although religion is one of the most powerful forces shaping domestic and global politics today, it remains among the least understood and under-analyzed dimensions of our world. Partisan religious voices are all too common, but they do little to help us understand the dynamics of religion in the contemporary world. Whether dealing with fundamentalist movements at home and abroad, the purported clash of civilizations or public controversies over sexuality, immigration, and AIDS, gaining a deeper understanding of the role of religion, for good and for ill, is imperative. Religion Dispatches is an online magazine devoted to exploring the intersections of religion, values, and public life, nationally and globally. It aims to provide a platform for expert, critical exploration of religion in the contemporary world for a general readership. The goal of RD is to inform public debate by analyzing and critically engaging the role of religion and values on the most vital issues of our time. This will involve bringing a wider spectrum of perspectives into the conversation, especially voices that have been marginalized in most media, and increasing attention to progressive expressions of religion and values. (from the website).

Religion in Context

From Harvard Divinity School.  Contains information on five world religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism.  Case studies on how faiths respond to pressing social issues, such as climate change and conflict.  Info on arts and culture.  Country profiles.

Religious Movements Homepage

A goal of this web site is to promote religious tolerance and appreciation of the positive benefits of pluralism and religious diversity. Site's original author was Jeffrey K. Hadden, now emeritus professor of sociology, University of Virginia, whose research interest was in new religious cults and movements. This site provides information on and links to religious cults and movements and controversies about them. Includes bibliographies.

Religious News Service Photographs

From collections of the Presbyterian Historical Society.  Conceived by journalist Louis Minsky (1909-1957), Religious News Service (RNS) was established in 1934 as an affiliated but independently managed agency of the National Conference of Jews and Christians (later the National Conference of Christians and Jews), and was dedicated to providing authoritative and bias-free news about religion and ethics to both the secular and religious press. This collection contains photographs documenting Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, and Jewish groups. Coverage of Protestants (especially mainline Protestants) and Catholics constitutes the bulk of the images.

Religious Studies Web Guide

From University of Calgary.  Sections: bibliographies, sacred texts, digital collections, journals.

Religious Worlds

Site's author is a recognized scholar of Indian religons. This is a gateway to: sites of the religious traditions (Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, D/Taoism, Hinduism, Jainism, Judaism, Islam, Shintoism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, new religions), interfaith relations, religious studies programs (in North America, Great Britain, continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand), scholarly organizations in religious studies, e lists, other gateways, bibliographies, religious experience, freedom of religion, freedom from religion, religion and science, religion and ecology, religion and film, etc.

Rethinking Hell.com

July, 2014 leading proponents of conditional mortality held a conference in Houston in honor of Edward Fudge.  The group that put on the conference maintains this website devoted to the idea that "the suffering of the wicked in hell is finite, that after a time their souls are extinguished....  This is in direct opposition to the traditional Christian view that suffering in hell lasts forever."

Review of Biblical Literature

Review of Biblical Literature (RBL), founded by the Society of Biblical Literature, presents reviews of books in biblical studies and related fields.

Shaker Research

This page from the Enfield Shaker Museum in New Hampshire offers links to finding material about the Shakers in various states of the U.S.  Links lead both to museums and to libraries.

Societe des Bollandistes

Saints are inspirational, though some may belong more to the realm of folklore or even invention. For twenty centuries they have been influencing our world, our culture and our thinking in ways few people realise. The early martyrs whose exploits sustained generations of readers, the great mystical writers, pilgrimages and the trade in relics, accounts of prodigious healings and other miracles: the saints have inspired innumerable writers and artists, their very names identify towns and villages all over Europe and America, their patronage still inspires feasts and processions everywhere.

For almost four centuries the Bollandists have been at the forefront of hagiographic research [about Christian saints.]  Our team of experts, now both Jesuit and lay, is dedicated exclusively to the critical study of Greek, Latin, Oriental and modern hagiographic sources as well as to the history of the saints and their cults in all their aspects.  They have a library, a research centre, and do publications.  Look in our online catalog under author "Bollandists."  We do not offer Acta Sanctorum [lives of the Saints] online, but if you check this title in our online catalog you will find some vols are available in SPC or  via HathiTrust database. 

Spiritual Ecology: a Topical Bibliography of Books

By Leslie E. Sponsel.  Spiritual ecology is the arena of intellectual and practical activities at the interfaces between religions and spiritualities on the one hand and ecologies, environments, and environmentalisms on the other.  Deals with animism, deep ecology, earth religion, earth spirituality, earth mysticism, ecofeminism, ecomysticism, ecopsychology, ecospirituality, ecotheology, green religion, green spirituality, natural theology, nature mysticism, nature religion, nature spirituality, nature worship, paganism, pantheism, religion and ecology, religion and nature, religious ecology, religious environmentalism, religious naturalism, sacred ecology, spirituality and environmentalism.  Whew!

Swedenborg Digital Library

Swedenborg was a Swedish scientist, philosopher, theologian, revelator, and mystic. He is best known for his book on the afterlife, called Heaven and Hell (1758). This digital library contains online full-text versions of books about Swedenborg and the Second Coming as well as access to the books of the Second Coming teachings that Swedenborg himself published.

Theological Commons

From Princeton Theological Seminary.  Over 80,000 resources on theology and religion, with most of the material from their Theological Seminary Library.  Most material is in English, but thousands of items also in French, Dutch, or German.  Search by keyword, title, or author. Limit results by twenty-five year date intervals or by format (book, periodical, audio, thesis). Strength is reformed theology and history.  Three major collections: (1) Benson Collection of Hymnology (historical hymnbooks of the major Protestant denominations, gospel anthologies, books about hymns and their writers, hymnbooks in various languages for use in the mission field); (2) Payne Theological Seminary and A.M.E. Church Archive (history of this seminary, Wilberforce University, and history of A.M.E. Church); (3) T. F. Torrance Collection of Antiquarian Books (400 rare volumes published prior to 1800 on history of Christianity in Scotland and archival material.  Site will be especially useful for research on topics in early 19th and early 20th c. American Protestantism.

Theopedia, an Encyclopedia of Biblical Christianity

Theopedia is a growing online evangelical encyclopedia of biblical Christianity, a network of interconnected pages.  The goals are to centralize the efforts of thousands of Christians into a free, comprehensive encyclopedia on biblical Christianity for the benefit of God's people around the world, to promote sound theology, to build Christian community, and to promote the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam

This is an online exhibit of works owned by the New York Public Library. Three Faiths includes 200 rare and precious works created over the past 1,500 years. Among them, great works of the miniaturist's art and of calligraphy, drawn from all three faiths, delight the eye, as they have done since their creation centuries ago. Manuscript materials are accompanied by some of the most significant printed works of the past 550 years. The scrolls, codices, illuminated manuscripts, and printed volumes are complemented selectively by important bindings, early photographs, prints, maps, and liturgical or ritual objects dating from the fifth century of the Common Era (CE) to the present.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is an assembly of the bishops of the U.S. and U.S. Virgin Islands who jointly exercise certain pastoral functions on behalf of the [Roman Catholic] Christian faithful of the U.S. Its purpose is "To unify, coordinate, encourage, promote and carry on Catholic activities in the U.S.; to organize and conduct religious, charitable and social welfare work at home and abroad; to aid in education; to care for immigrants; and generally to enter into and promote by education, publication and direction[,] the objects of its being." This body, headquartered in Washington, D.C., also reviews movies and writes about the Catholic Church's issues.

U.S. Religious Landscape Survey

An extensive new survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life details the religious affiliation of the American public and explores the shifts taking place in the U.S. religious landscape. Based on interviews with more than 35,000 Americans age 18 and older, the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey finds that religious affiliation in the U.S. is both very diverse and extremely fluid.

University of Calgary Religious Studies Web Guide

Includes web resources from more than a dozen faiths, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Taoism, and New Religious Movements.  Browse by faith name or "thematic categories such as bibliographies/indexes, digital text collections, data/statistics, images, journals, sacred texts."  Authors are L.C. religion specialist Cheryl Adams and retired U. of Calgary religious studies librarian Saundra Lipton.

Vatican Library

Site is beginning to offer digital versions of manuscripts.  Has links to its online catalogue, manuscripts, printed books, archives, incunabula, prints and drawings, coins and medals, and general catalogue.  Over 4,000 ancient mss digitized.

Visual Commentary on Scripture

VCS "is a freely accessible online publication that provides theological commentary on the Bible in dialogue with works of art. It helps its users to (re)discover the Bible in new ways through the illuminating interaction of artworks, scriptural texts, and commissioned commentaries. The VCS combines three academic disciplines: theology, art history, and biblical scholarship. While the project’s main commitment is to theology, it is responsibly informed by the latter two disciplines. Each section of the VCS is a virtual exhibition comprising a biblical passage, three art works, and their associated commentaries. The curators of each exhibition select artworks that they consider will open up the biblical texts for interpretation, and/or offer new perspectives on themes the texts address. The commentaries explain and interpret the relationships between the works of art and the scriptural text."

Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning: Religion on the Web

The Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion of Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, presents a collection of Internet resources for those interested in the study and practice of religion. The collection offers access to electronic publications, syllabi, bibliographies, discussion groups, liturgies, and more.

Wesley Center Online

Dedicated to collecting historical and scholarly resources about "the Wesleyan tradition, theology, Christianity, and the Nazarene church." Full-text primary sources not available elsewhere, including a number by theologians such as John Wesley. Also some sermons and biographies and back issues of the Wesleyan Theological Journal and the Arminian Magazine. Most titles are not yet available elsewhere, so even though the site is somewhat clunky, it is useful.

Yale Divinity Digital Image and Text Library

The Digital Library contains two discrete subsets that can be browsed or searched separately: AdHoc: Image and Text Database on the History of Christianity and EIKON: Image Database for Biblical Studies. Use the former to find material on the history of Christianity and the latter to find material on the Bible. Please note that some images in the Digital Library are restricted to Yale use, due to copyright agreements.

Yale University Libraries Free Web Resources on Religion

By Suzanne Estelle-Holmer at the Yale Divinity School Library.  Has links to:  other web resources, links to online texts, reference works, image resources (maps, art and photography related to religion).  Access is also possible via topical categories: Biblical studies, church/denomination/ecumenical/early Christianity, patristics, ethics, religion and the arts, theology, data/statistics, journal articles.  Sites restricted to Yale University persons will probably not be accessible to MSU people unless we also own/subscribe to them.

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