IIPS 30501: Religion and Global Politics (POLS 30347)


Reference tools provide background information, the who, what, where and when -- and a bit of the how and why -- for any topic. They include subject and biographical dictionaries and encyclopedias, almanacs, chronologies, directories and atlases. Many, especially dictionaries and encyclopedias, are now available online. Many others, especially historical atlases and chronologies are still only available in print.


  • Wikipedia
    • Wikipedia can be a great quick help in identifying the "who, what, when and where" of any given issue -- subject to later verification. Librarians use it all the time. However, it can be very suspect when it comes to "how and why" questions especially those involving conflict situations. Use it but use it with caution!


Selected examples of print reference sources.  All titles are located in the General Reference Collection (1st floor, Hesburgh Library).

  • An Encyclopedia of war and ethics,  B 105 .W3 E53 1996
  • Merriam-Webster's encyclopedia of world religions,  BL 31 .M47 1999
  • The Oxford dictionary of world religions,  BL 31 .O9 1997
  • A New dictionary of religions, BL 31 .P48 1995
  • Religion past & present: encyclopedia of theology and religion, 2007-.  BL 31 .R413 2007
  • Religion and violence: an encyclopedia of faith and conflict.  BL 65 .V55 R45555 2011
  • Historical dictionary of Islam.  BP 50 .A33 2009
  • Encyclopaedia Islamica-.  BP 193.5 .D3513 2008
  • The Oxford encyclopedia of the Islamic world.  DS 35.53 .O96 2009
  • Muslim peoples: a world ethnographic survey.  DS 35.625 .A1 M87 1984



  • Historical Atlas of Religions, Ref. BL 80.3 .F2 2002
  • Atlas of Global Christianity, Ref. Oversize BR 479 .A855 2009
  • The Atlas of Religion, Ref. G 1046 .E4 O2 2007
  • Atlas of the World’s Religions, Ref. G 1046 .E4 A7 2007
  • Historical atlas of Islam.  Ref. G 1786 .S1 R9 2004



Here is a selection of statistical sources of potential value for World Christianity.  Statistics for religion(s) are notoriously difficult to locate.  Additional resources may be found from the Libraries homepage by following the path "Reference Shelf | Data, statistics and survey results" or by going directly to Data, statistics and survey results.

Religious Statistics

  • World Christian Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., Ref. BR 157 .W67 2001
  • Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA)
  • Annuario Pontificio per l'Anno ..., Ref. BX 845 .An78
  • Religious Cultures of the World: a Statistical Reference, Ref. BL 85 .P325 1997
  • Yearbook (World Council of Churches), General Collection BX 6 .W77 Y437

Other Sources