Monday, January 10, 2011

Religion Websites

I recently came across an article in Booklist that had several recommendations for useful websites dealing with religion. Most of these are related to the Western hemisphere with a Christian or Judeo focus, although a few do have information on other world religions.
This is a good website for answering common questions and providing basic religion statistics. One can ask such questions as, "How many Lutherans live in Wisconsin?" or "What are the major religions of India?" This site is not affiliated with any particular religion. Instead, it summarizes religious data compiled from books, journals, or other websites. Entries include citations to the sources from which the data was compiled.

Biblical Art on the WWW
Did you ever need to find an illustration of Moses, but Google's image search or Flickr let you down? Biblical Art on the WWW indexes more than 37,000 biblical images. Browse by biblical subject, text, or artist, or do a keyword search. Entries include artist's name, year of artwork, and location of the physical illustration.

Encyclopedia of Religion and Society
The content of the Encyclopedia of Religion and Society, published by AltaMira in 1998, is posted on the website of the Hartford Institute for Religion Research. Entries are browsable by table of contents.

Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online (GAMEO)
GAMEO provides reliable information on Anabaptist religions (Amish, Mennonite, Hutterite, Brethren in Christ). Entries are indexed alphabetically and include history, theology, biographies, and more. Entries also include formatted citations for MLA and APA styles.

Jewish Encyclopedia
Based on the printed 12-volume Jewish Encyclopedia, which was published between 1901 and 1906. This online source includes more than 15,000 articles and illustrations.

New Advent
Content is derived from the 1913 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia. The site also includes the Bible, writings of the church fathers, and church documents.

This site's unique tool allows the user to select different religions and conduct a comparison on backgrounds and beliefs. Each religion entry provides current news and information and links to further reading. Another great tool is the multi-religion holiday calendar, which shows various religious holidays all in one click.

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
This site provides an extensive report on American religious beliefs, statistics, and mapping information. Public survey information is drawn from more than 35,000 American adults. Statistics are provided in a very user-friendly environment with various charts. The report and statistics detail the religious makeup, beliefs, and practices of the American public.

Finding that patron saint is no longer a problem with this site. More than 4,000 saints are profiled. Keyword searching allows the user to find specific saints or saints that are related to a specific event or subject. Biographies with links to additional sources are included. The site also provides MLA citation for each page visited.

Source: Escobar, Hector. "Finding Religion. " Booklist. 107.6 (Nov 15, 2010): 56(1).

To read the entire article, check with your library and see if they have access to online databases from Gale. I used General Reference Center Gold, but any number of similar Gale products should have it.

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