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Jessie Ball duPont Library

Guide for Theological E-resources: Encyclopedias

E-resources for Theology

Background Information

You can start your research on a topic by gathering some background information. Encyclopedias are a good source to beging your documentation.

Taught question: Would you use Wikipedia for your research? Or rather for your pre-search phase of your research?


Encyclopedia Mythica

A reference work dedicated to mythology, folklore, and religion, Encyclopedia Mythica is organized by geographical region, covering each major ethnographical area. For example, The Americas has subsections on Aztec, Haitian, Inca, Maya, and North American Indian mythology. The folktale section covers general folklore, folktales, and legends. Special areas feature a bestiary, legendary heroes, image galleries, and genealogical tables of pantheons and prominent houses. The encyclopedia has more than 7,000 highly informative articles.


Encyclopedia of Religion and Society

Produced by the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, The Encyclopedia of Religion and Society covers world religious leaders and scholars—past and present—in the United States and the world. This comprehensive volume is an essential reference for the study of the anthropology, psychology, politics, or sociology of religion.


The New The Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge

The Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge is a basic religious encyclopedia. It is based on an earlier German encyclopedia, the Realencyklopädie für protestantische Theologie und Kirche. In its English translation the new encyclopedia focuses on the History of Christianity from a Protestant point of view.


Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary

The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary originally published in six volumes, 7,200-pages, features more than 6,000 entries from 800 leading international scholars. Covering numerous Biblical subjects, the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary is a premier resource for students of the Bible. In his review of the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary, Gene M. Tucker, of Emory University, describes it as “a gold mine of information on and interpretation of an extremely wide range of topics concerning the Bible and its environment, from AARON to ZUZIM.” (The contents of the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary are identical to the Anchor Bible Dictionary. The name of the product has changed because the copyright for this resource was transferred from Doubleday to Yale University.)


Catholic Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is an international reference work on the theological history and literature of the Catholic Church. The first volume appeared in March 1907 and the last three volumes appeared in 1912, followed by a master index volume in 1914 and later supplementary volumes. In El Cajon words, the Catholic Encyclopedia was designed "to give its readers full and authoritative information on the entire cycle of Catholic interests, action and doctrine."


Subject Guide

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