By Darren Poley
Seeking out authoritative encyclopedia articles to become familiar with a topic or the vocabulary scholars use to discuss a subject is an important step when starting a research project.
It has become commonplace for researchers to access reference tools such as encyclopedias via the Web. Brill, a respected academic publisher, has transitioned many of its offerings in the field of religion to the digital format.
Falvey now provides access to some new online resources on a diversity of religions. So whether you are interested in Judaism, Hinduism, Early Christianity, or comparing various religious traditions, the Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture Online, Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, and the Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online are great places to start.
The authoritative Enzyklopädie jüdischer Geschichte und Kultur in German is currently being translated into English. The result is the ongoing publication of the Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture Online. Right now, only entries from A to L are available in English. Falvey will add updates as newly translated content is made available.
The Enzyklopädie jüdischer Geschichte und Kultur Online is fully available. This reference work covers many aspects of the modern life of European and American Jewry and the non-European Jewish Diaspora, from the mid-eighteenth century and the Jewish Enlightenment to the mid-twentieth century and the establishment of the modern state of Israel.
Falvey has in print the 6-volume Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism (call number: BL1105 .B75 2009). It now also offers the content from this major work on the many facets of the Hindu traditions via Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online. Some of what it covers is divinities, sacred texts and languages, ritual and religious traditions, ancient and modern teachers, its migration and communities outside south Asia, and Hindu engagement with contemporary moral issues.
The term Christian applied mono-culturally seems to imply a homogeneity within the Christian religious tradition of the first six centuries of the common era that was just not the case. In the period of the early church there is a rich multicultural heritage filled with controversies and ecumenism.
The Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity focuses on the most important authors, texts, ideas, and places that played a role in the history of the development of Christianity up to the period of Late Antiquity. It gives an understanding of the Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts. And incorporates elements from the specialized areas of New Testament Studies, Patristics, and modern historical scholarship.
Darren G. Poley is Associate Director of Research Services and Scholarly Engagement, and Theology, Humanities, and Classical Studies Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library. You can access these encyclopedias and other online reference tools from the Theology and Religious Studies Subject Guide on the Library Website.