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Michigan State University

Religions of the World: Sacred Texts Free Web Sites

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

Sacred Texts Free Web Sites

Christian sacred text sites, and sites about Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Greek Orthodoxy, Jainism.  Our guides on Buddhism and Hinduism also have free web sites listed, as does the Bible Resources guide.  For Islam, see also our Muslim Studies guide.

CHRISTIANITY AND SACRED TEXTS

Catholic Communication Network
site offers daily Catholic news, links to Catholic magazines and newspapers, Bible study videos," interviews with leaders, Vatican news, movie reviews, and music and education information.

Christian Classics Ethereal Library
from Calvin College. "There is no better place to look first, when in need of an online text from the Christian tradition. With the aim of collection a 'theological library containing 1,000 of the most important public-domain works for theological study' this is more like a 'real library' than most sites."

Dead Sea Scrolls Online

Finding God in Cyberspace,

Designed by John Gresham. You can find and search various versions of the Bible and sacred texts from other faiths here. Leads also to print resources, people resources, other digital resources, and teaching resources in religious studies; also information on religious traditions.

Internet Sacred Text Archive
"nonprofit archive of religious texts privately maintained in Santa Cruz and is not affiliated with any religious organization or institution."

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.

New Testament Gateway

From University of Birmingham, England. "...provides a plethora of Web information about the New Testament and its background." It is called New Testament Gateway because it provides avenues into other web sites which have the documents: Greek New Testament, Bible translations, Gospels and Acts, Paul the Apostle, Hebrews to Jude, Book of Revelation, Ancient World, Historical Jesus, Women and Gender, Art and Images, Jesus in Film, etc.

Papal Documents, on the Libraries Electronic Resources Pages
From the Vatican website (http://www.vatican.va), links to the encyclicals (and biographies, letters, etc.) Of John Paul I, John Paul II, John XXIII, Paul VI, Pius X, XI, and XII, Benedict XV, Leo XIII.

Religion Online
From Yale Divinity School. "...a growing digital library of over 1,500 English language Christian theological classics and contemporary works, including essays, monographs, chapters, and speeches."  Does not cover Eastern Orthodox Christian or non-Christian religions. Be careful in using these web documents for class work; many are partial, taken from works published in periodical articles, etc. as noted at the beginning of the texts

ISLAM

Al-Islam
"Developed by Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project, has Shi'ite perspective with many pictures and a multilingual Qur'an. A good section now on general Muslim and Shia Muslim responses to September 11."

Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding

The Goal of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding is to improve cultural relationships between the West and the Muslim world. This web site includes a link to Islamic resources, which pulls together web sites of major Muslim publications, organizations, and academic programs around the world. Included are home pages of journals and Muslim newspapers in various languages.

Center on Religion and Democracy

The Center on Religion and Democracy is a nonpartisan research center at the University of Virginia committed to addressing whether American democracy can be "properly woven with the threads of new cultures, languages, backgrounds, interests, and ideas." Funded in part by Pew Foundation, it has connections to Pew centers at other universities. This web site offers links to social theory texts, historical texts, religious texts, and legal documents re democracy and religion, for example, works by Machiavelli, Calvin, Winthrop, Emerson, Douglass, the Magna Carta, the Constitution of the Iroquois Nation. Keyword searches. Also has author approach.

HathiTrust: Islamic Manuscripts

Islamic mss at University of Michigan.  Over 1,000 mss,mostly in Arabic.  Can see either catalog record or full view.  Can browse more than 50 pp of record summaries or use search bar at top to narrow down selections.  Filters at page top also allow for sorting of the collection alphabetically or by date.  UM Libraries research guide.

Islamic Studies, Islam, Arabic, and Religion
by a professor at University of Georgia, gives scholarly resources on Islam and related subjects. Annotated links. A "non-polemical view of Islam."

Islamicity
"a comprehensive site with links to all things Islamic, including an online store, access to the Qur'an, and articles on a wide variety of religious topics. Now includes links and reactions to September 11 and after."

Noble Qur'an
"three translations side by side..., comprehensive search engine and topical index."

BUDDHISM

Buddhanet.net

The goal of this website is to create a virtual Sangha, or community of Buddhists in the English-speaking world. It strives to provide Buddhists from all traditions with tools to help them develop their practice, by offering access to many full-text primary and secondary materials for both the Therevada and Mahayana traditions: online study guides, courses, e-book library, audio library, a library of zipped files, an e-zine, online meditations, and reference tools.

Buddhist Studies WWW Virtual Library

Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center (TBRC) Knowledge Base and Digital Library

TBRC hosts two databases: Knowledge Base, a free public-access database offering easy searchability of Tibetan works, topics, places, persons, content outlines, and corporate bodies, and the Digital Library. The Digital Library contains several thousand scanned Tibetan texts organized by religious school, by topic, and by type (medical, astrological, literary, etc.). Also includes a collection of Tibetan language local histories. Texts in the Digital Library may be purchased by individuals.

HINDUISM

Hindu Universe

GREEK ORTHODOX

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

JAINISM

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.

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