The study of religion corresponds to the study of man’s beliefs, hopes, and fears, plus the institutionalization of these ideas through rituals and rites. Religion’s manifestation is as old as the dawn of human consciousness. Every culture and civilization from past to present have dealt with religious ideas and issues. This library guide is divided into the following fields:
- The study of religion in general
- Examination of major religions along with their histories and doctrines
- The study of religious beliefs in America
- The interpretation and analysis of sacred texts
The purpose of this guide is to direct students in this area to important books and reference resources. What follows is a section on indexes and abstracts and a section of research tools (mostly handbooks) for the academic study of religion.
There are four article indexes for religion.
- ATLA Religion Index
- ProQuest Religion
- Index Islamicus
- Hebrew Union College offers us the use of RAMBI: Index for Articles for Jewish Studies: http://huc.edu/libraries/LA/
Besides these databases, I recommend Historical Abstracts and America: History & Life for articles dealing with religious history. For articles dealing with primitive and tribal religion consult Anthropology Plus. For articles dealing with ethical theory and philosophical theology consult Philosopher’s Index. For the sociology of religion and social ethics also consult Sociological Abstracts.