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You simply can't go wrong by starting with The Encyclopedia of Religion!
Encyclopedia of Religion
Call Number: Click title for full access
Publication Date: 2004
Among Library Journal's selections of the most important reference works of the millennium - with the Encyclopedia Judaica and the New Catholic Encyclopedia - Mircea Eliade's Encyclopedia of Religion won the American Library Associations' Dartmouth Medal in 1988 and is widely regarded as the standard reference work in the field. This second edition, which is intended to reflect both changes in academia and in the world since 1987, will include almost all of the 2750 original entries - many heavily updated - as well as approximately 600 (1.2M words) entirely new articles.
The Research Assignment: Recommended Methods and Sources
The resources and methods listed on this REL 204 library site are specifically selected to help you research your chosen topic. In general, you should strive to identify and use scholarly sources. If you have questions or run into difficulties at any point in the research process, please don't hesitate to contact Peggy Burge, Humanities Librarian.
Your research process should follow this order:
- Start with subject encyclopedias. Entries in subject encyclopedias are written by scholars and include a bibliography of additional scholarly sources to consult.
- Locate and browse through the books and articles listed in the bibliographies in the subject encyclopedias.
- Search the religion subject database, ATLA, for more scholarly materials.
- If you use information or materials you find via a general Google search, carefully evaluate them. In many cases, you might be able to analyze these sources as primary (not scholarly secondary) sources and be able to use them to illustrate different practices.
- Cite all of your information sources that you use. The field of Religious Studies tends to use Chicago style (notes and bibliography) or MLA format. Typically your professor will let you know on the assignment prompt what citation style to use; if not, you should ask.