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Research Resources: Class Guides

RST 378: Abraham and the Abrahamic Religions

Secondary sources - Encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks and bibliographies

Secondary sources are informational ones authored by people who were not actual participants in the topic at hand. They are of value to your research since they often provide greater objectivity and different views as a result of time's passage. Common secondary sources include encyclopedias, dictionaries, and handbooks.
Encyclopedia of Religion
Now in its second edition (2006), the most comprehensive reference source treating the full spectrum of religious studies. Articles are cross referenced. Contains a synoptic outline and a detailed index.

The New Encyclopedia of Judaism
Ref Room BM50 .E63 2002
This single volume encyclopedia updates the Encyclopedia of Judaism (1990), giving more emphasis upon biblical periods as well as adds new biographies of biblical figures. The books of the Apocrypha and some of the Pseudepigrapha are covered. Contains index and bibliography.

Dictionary of Judaism in the Biblical Period
Ref Room BM50 .D525 1996
This two volume encyclopedia dictionary covers not just the time of which the Bible speaks, but also the era during which both Judaism and Christianity were established and canonized (roughly 450 BCE through 600 CE.) It also covers subjects not found in similar works, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, Philo and Josephus, and classic writings of Judaism beyond the Scriptures. Cross-references present terms in a transliteration of the original language or its contemporary translation.

Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion
Ref Room BM50 .O94 1997
Written by a distinguished team of scholars from Israel, North America, and the UK, it covers doctrinal issues, religious concepts and controversies, rituals and symbols. Contains bibliographies.

Encyclopedia of Islam
The most academically prestigious, scholarly and comprehensive single reference source on Islam published in the English language, this prodigious work's main corpus is now in its 2nd edition with the 3rd edition in publication. It covers biography, history, geography, religion, and social institutions and customs. This online version provides sophisticated advanced searching techniques as well as standard Boolean operations. Contains bibliographies.

Index Islamicus
The most comprehensive bibliography for Islamic Studies. Produced by an editorial team working at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, its covers scholarship deemed significant to the field. Over 3,000 journals are monitored for inclusion in the database, together with other peer-reviewed work. Coverage extends back to 1906. Limited to 3 simultaneous users!!

Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an
Ref Room BP133 .E53 2001
The central English-language reference work for Qur'anic studies. The focus rests on the Qur'an itself rather than the history of interpretation, though references to interpretation occur throughout the text. Entry words are in English rather than transliterated Arabic.

Encyclopedia of the Early Church
Ref Room BR66.5 .D5813 1992
This resource covers topics concerning the early church and its relationships with ancient society. Contains bibliographies and index.

Anchor Bible
Ref Room BS293.3 .A1 1964 .G3
This massive eighty odd volume set is a joint venture of both Jewish and Christian scholars. Commentary is based upon critical rather than theological and/or confessional judgment. Although aimed at the general reader the level of discourse is quite erudite.

New Catholic Encyclopedia
Ref Room BX841 .N44 2003
A fifteen volume encyclopedia which supplants the Catholic Encyclopedia published more than fifty years ago. Many articles include cross-references. Contains index.

Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World
Ref Room DS35.53 .095 1995
This four volume encyclopedia contains over 750 articles dealing with all aspects of the Islamic world. There are bibliographies at each chapter's end, some of which are annotated. Articles are cross referenced, if appropriate, to other articles of related interest. Contains a detailed index.

Encyclopaedia Judaica
Ref Room DS102.8 .E496 2007
An update to the 1972 edition, this resource is considered to be the most comprehensive for Judaic Studies in the English language. It has been expanded to 22 volumes, and now contains over 22,000 entries of which well over half are either new, revised, or updated. While the first edition was often criticized for an "Israel-centric" scholarly bias, this edition was overseen by a joint editorial board of Israeli and Diaspora scholars. Each volume has an abbreviations section and glossary. Contains index.

Dictionary of the Middle Ages
Ref Room DS114 .D5 1982
Although the call number bears the year 1982, this encyclopedic thirteen volume work was completed in 1989 and has supplemental volumes in publication. Both authoritative and comprehensive, this resource is useful for the period for which it was named. Contains bibliographies and index.

How to find books at the Franklin & Marshall College Library

  • Select "BOOKS" from the Library home page. To find books for this class use either the "browse" mode and subject search to view sub-divisions of the term "Abraham" or use more specific keyword search terms such as "Abraham AND Islam OR Jud* OR Christ*" within the "words or phrase" mode.
  • Look at the subject headings for a book that meets your needs. Select those subject headings to find other books that are described the same way and might also be useful.
  • Go to the call number locations of those books both in the stacks and the reference room. Similar books will be nearby. Use indices to further mine their contents.

How to find books at the Lancaster Theological Seminary Library

  • Call numbers obtained at F & M's Library can also be used at the Lancaster Theological Seminary Library located across (east side) College Avenue. This library, where F & M students may borrow a limited number of titles, has a large collection of books related to Christianity and the Hebrew Bible.

How to find and locate journal articles

Look under "ARTICLES: ...A to Z List" on the Library homepage. Scroll down to find the selections that may be the most helpful for your topic, some of which are...

ATLA Religion Index
Comprehensive database in religious studies scholarship. Covers 1949 to the present.

Once you have a specific journal title, go to ""JOURNALS: search our catalog..." from the library homepage and type in the title of a journal you hope to find.

How to find information on the World Wide Web

The World Wide Web can be a helpful environment in which to access scholarly information but because it is an unmediated matrix it is advisable to start one's exploration of it at bona fide sites.

Islam and Islamic Studies Resources
A gateway to links for Islamic study resources, including the Qur'an, hadith, the Sunnah, Shi'ism, Sufism, Islam in the modern world, militant Islam, jihad, terrorism, Muslim women, Islamic art, architecture, music, Islamic history, theology, and philosophy.

Internet-based "Index of Articles in Jewish Studies" -- an excellent and comprehensive resource.

How to...


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