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AN 295: Religion & Society

Dr. Alex Ruuska

Online and Print Reference Resources (available on the 3rd floor unless otherwise noted).

Encyclopedia of Religion. The second edition (2005) of a resource that is considered a standard reference in the field. Presents a cross-cultural approach that emphasizes religion's role within everyday life and as a unique experience from culture to culture. The original 2,750 entries have been retained, many heavily updated, and approximately 600 entirely new articles have been added by an international team of scholars and contributors.

An Encyclopedia of Religion. 1946. BL31 .F4

Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions. (2013)

The Oxford handbook of new religious movements. BP603 .H36 2004

Cults and New Religions: A Brief History. (2015)

Religious cults in America. BL 2525 .R469 1994

The encyclopedia of Caribbean religions. (2013)

The HarperCollins dictionary of religion. BL31 H37 1995

Contemporary American Religion. (2000).

Encyclopedia of American Religious History. (2009).

Hutchinson Dictionary of World Religions. (2005).

The concise Oxford dictionary of world religions. Abridged from the acclaimed Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, this Concise version (published in 2000) is written by an expert team of 80 international and multi-faith contributors. It contains entries on all the major and many minor religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Shinto, Sikhism, and Taoism. Over 500 entries cover movements, sects, and cults, from Cargo Cults and the New Age movement to Rastafarians and Soka Gakkai. Over 1,000 entries explore the sacred writings of religions worldwide, and short biographies of founders, leaders, gurus, philosophers, mystics, and heretics are given. There are details of sacred sites, customs, religious practices, dogmas, beliefs, traditions, festivals and fasts, and artefacts such as altars, rosaries, icons, and torah ornaments. There are also entries on worldwide religious teachings on abortion, animals, birth control, war, homosexuality, and suicide.

The archeology of world religions; the background of primitivism, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto, Islam, and Sikhism. 1952. BL80 .F5

Dictionary of non-Christian religions. 1971. BL31 .P36

New Historical Atlas of Religion in America. 2001. G1201 E4 N4 2001.

Encyclopaedia of religion and ethics. 1951. BL31 .E5

New Catholic Encyclopedia (2003).

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (online since 2006).

Annual Report on International Religious Freedom. U.S. Depatement of State.

From Congress, the State of Religious Liberty in the United States (online and print for the years 2011 and 2014).

Mythologies. compiled by Yves Bonnefoy; a restructured translation of Dictionnaire des mythologies et des religions des sociétés traditionnelles et du monde antique prepared under the direction of Wendy Doniger. 1991. Reference BL 311 .D513 1991.

The ABC-CLIO World History Companion to Utopian Movements. 1998.HX626 .H65 1998 "The ABC-CLIO World History Companion to Utopian Movements is a unique reference work devoted to actual and theoretical utopian movements. Detailed entries examine major utopian movements, significant utopian thinkers and literary works, and various sects, settlements, and communes. The more than 100 A to Z entries include: Diggers; Ecotopia; Fairhope Colony; Feminist Utopias; Futurism; Huguenot Utopias; Kibbutzim; Lunar Utopias; Millennialism; Native American Utopias; New Age Cults; Oneida Community; Ranters; Transcendentalism; and Welfare State"

Norton Anthology of World Religions. BL74.N67 2014. Looks at the 6 major international religions in 2 volumes. Volume 1: Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism; Volume 2: Judaism, Christianity, Islam.

Electronic Resources Available at NMU and the WWW

In addition to the above, nearly all-compassing search, search individual databases listed on the AN 100 course guide one at a time if you wish.

Additional resources for books, which you are encouraged to use, are the MelCat catalog and the WorldCat catalog. Resources found here will need to be interlibrary loaned: plan ahead (search right now).

PsycINFO. Journals, books, and other resources covering psychology and psychological aspects of related disciplines including: anthropology, business, education, law, linguistics, medicine, nursing, pharmacology, physiology, and sociology. 1805 to present.

List of electronic journals on religion that NMU has access to.

Society for the Anthropology of Religion. Formed in 1997 to facilitate teaching and research in the anthropological study of religion. This includes anthropological approaches to religion from all the subdisciplines: cultural anthropology, archaeology, physical anthropology, etc. Their website has a list of publications. Additionally, Archaeolink contains a list of resources.

Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. Founded in 1949, SSSR fosters interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration among scholars from sociology, religious studies, psychology, political science, economics, international studies, gender studies, and many other fields. Check out their "web resources and archives" link for additional resources.

Anthropology of Religion links from the University of Alabama. Includes Religions, Myth and Mythology, Magic & Witchcraft, Shamanism, Cult of the Virgin Mary, Pilgrimage, Voodoo, Satanism, and Halloween.

Voice of the Shuttle: Religious Studies. Large list of links from the UC Santa Barbara.

Cult Education Institute (formerly known as the Ross Institute of New Jersey). Includes news stories, research papers, reports, court documents, book excerpts, personal testimonies and hundreds of links to additional relevant resources. Archives can be searched here. Also note the index of group types on the right hand side of the page. They also run a cult news blog.

Evaluating Internet Sources. Found a website? Give it a critical look with this list of criteria.

Statistics and Country Briefs

Ethnocultural Characteristics from the United Nations Statistical Yearbook: Table 6, Population by religion, sex, urban/rural residence and percentage: each census, 1985-2004. And a more up-to-date set of numbers (you may have to select a recent year) from the UN.

The CIA World Factbook contains percentages of religious adherents under the "People & Society" section for each country.

American Religious Identification Survey
Conducted in 1990, 2001 and 2008. A nice companion to the Association of Religion Data Archives resource below.

Religious Affiliation
From the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA). View the social, economic, demographic, and religious landscape of neighborhoods, cities, states, regions, and the entire United States. Contains the 2010 U.S. Religion Census: Religious Congregations & Membership Study by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies. Doesn't work well in Firefox.

Statistical Abstract of the United States
Published now Proquest (instead of the Census Bureau), this yearly compilation has several tables on religious identification, groups, and adherents. Older editions are available here. Also available in print: HA 202 [YEAR].

From their website: Adherents.com a growing collection of over 43,870 adherent statistics and religious geography citations: references to published membership/adherent statistics and congregation statistics for over 4,200 religions, churches, denominations, religious bodies, faith groups, tribes, cultures, movements, ultimate concerns, etc. The religions of the world are enumerated here.

The Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project (select Religion if this link does not take you right to it) contains statistical information and studies of religion in the US and around the world. Also studies issues that have a religious component.

Religious information as well as other cultural information can be found in nearly any country study. This link takes you to NMU's list of information about foreign countries.


American Anthropological Association Styleguide. The Association's citation style is based upon the Chicago Manual of Style. Zotero has this style as an add-on.

Zotero. A free program that helps you organize your resources. Sorry. Doesn't work in Edge.. NMU has posted some tutorials.

If you need help with any of these resources (or found some others you'd like to see added), ask for assistance at the Library's Reference Desk (227-2294), use the live chat, or contact Bruce Sarjeant, Reference, Documents & Maps Librarian (227-1580).


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