Religious Studies: Christianity

Reference Materials
Audiovisual Materials


This Web guide is intended to introduce information resources pertaining to Christianity. Christianity encompasses many different philosophical and cultural traditions. It is a guide to get you started; there are many more resources available, so this is just a jumping-off point for your research.

Ask Us for help if you need more assistance in finding information about Christianity.

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Encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference materials can be used to identify important concepts, find definitions, and gather background information on a topic. The University of Lethbridge Library has a large collection of reference materials related to religious studies. Following are a few of the key reference resources related to Christianity:

Origins to Constantine (BR 450 O66 2006 v.1, Reference Collection, Level 10)
Part of The Cambridge History of Christianity, this work includes coverage of the earliest period of Christianity.

Eastern Christianity (BR 450 O66 2006 v.5, Reference Collection, Level 10)
Part of The Cambridge History of Christianity, this book focuses on all aspects of Christian experience from late antiquity to the First Crusade. Includes a substantial bibliography.

World Christianities, c. 1815-1914 (BR 450 O66 2006 v.8, Reference Collection, Level 10)
Part of The Cambridge History of Christianity, this is a scholarly treatment of nineteenth century Christianity in a global context

World Christianities c. 1914-c. 2000 (BR 450 O66 2006 v.9, Reference Collection, Level 10)
Part of The Cambridge History of Christianity, this volume is comprehensive history of Catholicism, Protestantism and Independent Christian Churches in the twentieth century.

Encyclopedia of Christian theology (BR 95 D5313 2005A, Reference Collection, Level 10)
A comprehensive critical handbook which crosses all denominations.

Encyclopedia of Biblical theology: The complete Sacramentum verbi (BS 440 B46713 1981, Reference Collection, Level 10)
An important work of Roman Catholic biblical scholarship.

The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (BR 95 O8 1998, Reference Collection, Level 10)
An authoritative dictionary of the Christian church, its doctrines and practices, and its most influential historical figures.

The Early Church: An Annotated Bibliography of Literature in English (BR 162.2 R63 1993, Reference Collection, Level 10)
A bibliography concentrating on sources accessible to undergraduate and beginning graduate students.

The Concise Dictionary of the Christian Tradition: Doctrine, Liturgy, History (BR 95 D67 1989, Reference Collection, Level 10)
A good source for brief definitions of terms and names related to the history, the teachings, and the liturgy of the church.

Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (BS 2312 K514 1985, Reference Collection, Level 10)
A compilation of words from the New Testament including definitions and briefs descriptions of word origins.


Following is a list of general religious studies resources which you may also find useful is beginning your research:

Encyclopedia of Religion (BL 31 E46 2005, electronic resource )
A core reference text which takes a cross-cultural approach that emphasizes religion's role within everyday life and as a unique experience from culture to culture.

The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions (BL 31 O84 1997, Reference Collection, Level 10)
Provides a general overview of a broad range of religious studies concepts.

Religion: A Cross-cultural Encyclopedia (BL 80.2 L463 1996, Reference Collection, Level 10)
Another resource providing a general overview with a focus on the historical origins of religions

New 20th-Century Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (BR 95 N48 1991, Reference Collection, Level 10)
A resource comprised of hundreds ofarticles on the most influential people in culture and Christendom. Each entry gives a short description a person's historical significance or main theological beliefs.

Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion (BL 65 P7 E53 2007, Reference Collection, Level 10)
This work traces the historical roots of the relations between politics and religion in the modern world, especially over the past two centuries.

Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America (BL 458 E52 2006, Reference Collection, Level 10)
A comprehensive and current description and analysis of women and religion in North America. The encyclopedia is interreligious, interracial, and multicultural and is aimed at a broad general audience.

Encyclopedia of Women and World Religion (BL 458 E53 1999, Reference Collection, Level 10)
The work endeavours to be a "culturally and historically comprehensive reference work that reflects contemporary approaches to women's history and experience in world religion from the beginning of time to the present."

Sexuality and the World's Religions (BL 65 S4 S5 2003, Main Collection, Level 9)
A look at how the world's major religions influence the sexual values, attitudes, and practices of their adherents.

Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature (BL 65 N35 E53 2005, Reference Collection, Level 10)
Critically explores the relationships among human beings, their environments, and the religious dimensions of life in 1,000 entries from 520 international. contributors.

Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion: Eastern and Western Thought (B 41 R43 1996, Reference Collection, Level 10)
A useful reference book with extensive inclusion of terms and concepts from Eastern religions"

The Continuum Dictionary of Religion (BL 31 C67 1994, Reference Collection, Level 10)
Includes 5,000 entries which explain theological concepts, religious practices, deities, beliefs, religious articles, schools of theological thought, and religious groups and traditions. Each definition explains what a thing is and its significance to the religion to which it belongs; it also note similarities between the term defined and ideas in other religions and refer the reader to those entries either through embedded cross-references.

The History of Science and Religion in the Western Tradition: An Encyclopedia (BL 245 H57 2000, Reference Collection, Level 10)
Comprehensive treatment of the subject of science and religion.

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Reference Materials

There are many versions and translations of the holy religious texts available in the library. Following is a selected list:


Sacred texts of the world: A universal anthology (BL 70 S247 1982, Main Collection, 9th Floor)
Provides a broad overview of numerous world religions.


King James Bible (electronic resource)

The Jerusalem Bible (BS 195 J4 1968, Main Collection, 9th Floor)

The Interpreter's Bible (BS 491 I65, Main Collection, 9th Floor)
The Holy Scriptures in the King James and Revised standard versions with general articles and introduction, exegesis, & exposition for each book of the Bible.

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The library's catalogue provides access to the collections in our library.  This includes books, as well as audiovisual materials, government documents, microforms, and electronic resources. You can search the library catalogue for specific titles, works by a particular author, or on a specific subject.

Subject Headings are terms assigned to each item to describe its content, using a set of standards that is applied to all items in the catalogue. Below are a few of the standard subject headings used to describe content in the Christianity area of religious studies:


Apocryphal Books - New Testament

Bible - Criticism, interpretation etc.

Catholic Church Doctrines

Church History

Bible - N.T.

Orthodox Eastern Church



Notice all of the sub-headings beneath the major subject terms which allow you to get more and more specific in terms of topic or geographic location.

These same terms (and more) will work as keyword searches, but you will get many more (and possibly irrelevant) results using a keyword search. Try both and take it from there. If you search any term in the 'subject' field, the catalogue will try to suggest related subjects for you to try, as well as more sub-categories of the subject. Of course, if you know the title or author of a book, you can search the catalogue using those fields as well.

General Resources

A few examples of some of the research guides on religious studies in the main collection that may help you get started with your research are listed below:

Research Guide to Religious Studies (BL 41 W5 1982, Main Collection, 9th floor)

Library Research Guide to Religion and Theology: Illustrated Search Strategy and Sources (BL 41 K45, Main Collection, 9th floor)

You can also do an 'advanced keyword search' and restrict the 'material type' to limit your search to e-books only.

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The most current information and research on any academic topic is generally found in articles. To find articles in journals, newspapers and magazines (also dissertations, conference proceedings, government documents, and book chapters), search in the Library's subscription databases. The University of Lethbridge subscribes to several specialized databases for religious studies.

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Scholarly Approaches to the Study and Teaching of Religion
A website developed by the University of Lethbridge Department of Religious Studies with numerous links to aid in the academic study of religion.

BBC Religions: Christianity
An informative introduction to all major religions of the world.

Blue Letter Bible
This site contains fourteen searchable versions of the Holy Bible. You can compare passages between versions, and there are loads of additional tools including encyclopedias, dictionaries, text commentaries, audio/video commentaries, timelines, maps, charts, and more.

The Unbound Bible
A searchable online bible - several different versions, and many languages to choose from.

Catholic Encyclopedia
Full text of the 1914 Catholic Encyclopedia.

Codex Sinaiticus
This website features all surviving pages of the Codex Sinaiticus, a manuscript of the Christian Bible written in the middle of the fourth century which contains the earliest complete copy of the Christian New Testament (in Greek - some English translation available, but not much).

Internet Sacred Text Archive
A collection of Western, Eastern, and traditional religious texts.

Religious Studies Web Guide
A collection of free internet resources of use to researchers involved in the academic study of religion maintained at the University of Calgary.

Research Guide for Christianity
Prepared by Yale Divinity School Library.

Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean
Links to sources for ancient religions and cultures maintained by York University humanities professor Philip Harland.

Virtual Religion Index
Index with numerous links to religion related websites.

Wabash Centre Internet Guide to Religion
A selective, annotated guide to a wide variety of electronic resources of interest to those who are involved in the study and practice of religion. The Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion is an institution whose mission is to strengthen and enhance education in North American theological schools, colleges and universities.

The Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA)
Information on denominations, specific congregations, locales, historical perspectives, and more... Data are available via hundreds of data files, searchable by country, category, popularity, denomination, etc. 

Intute: Arts and Humanities
A collection of web links for religious studies evaluated and maintained by subject specialists in the UK.

Religion... by the numbers
A huge array of sites which offer statistics on various religious denominations.

World Christian Database
Resource based on the World Christian Encyclopedia and includes detailed information on 9,000 Christian denominations and on religions in every country of the world.

Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA)

The targeted audience and the data collection have both greatly expanded since 1998, now including American and international collections and developing features for educators, journalists, religious congregations, and researchers. Data included in the ARDA are submitted by the foremost religion scholars and research centers in the world.




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Audiovisual Materials

To find audiovisual materials in the library catalogue go to 'Advanced Keyword' search and then limit by material type (film/video). For example there are numerous films and video on the topic of religion.

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If you have difficulty finding or using the information you require:

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 Content Revised: April 14, 2014
 Content Created: April 19, 2010

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