Preston Hunter's website Adherents.com is one of the most valuable tools available on the Internet for researchers needing statistical information on religious groups or organisations around the globe. The site is easily navigable and may be searched by either geographic location or religious affiliation. Though the bulk of information relates to American religious demographics, those digging for information will be hard pressed to find any belief system omitted, as virtually all-major cultures are included somewhere in these pages. Appropriate for students and academics at all levels, inquiries produce detailed information on various sects and denominations within a faith, their distribution, the number of adherents, the percentage of the population, and (when available) the number of congregations or churches. Thankfully, the editors have taken care to provide the source information for each entry and often a link to the referring page for electronically published data. Limited amounts of historical population statistics are also available through this site. The site features advertising but it is not obtrusive.
Developed in conjunction by the Royal Anthropological Institue and the Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing, “Anthropology Index Online” is one of the finest reference tools available for cultural and ethnographic study of human activity. The resource is extremely comprehensive and formed from the collection of anthropological journals held by the British Museum’s Museum of Mankind. The database presently contains in excess of 140,000 references to journal articles spanning from the late 1950s to the present day. A complex search facility allows users to identify references through author, title, or journal, with the option to further limit results by geography, language, subject area, or date of publication. The Index will be an invaluable instrument for students, teachers and researchers conducting any level of study in anthropological or ethnographic fields. The site contains advertising.
This is the website of the Association for the Sociology of Religion, formed in 1938 as an international association dedicated to furthering scholarly research and theory in the sociology of religion. The Association encourages a wide variety of approaches to the study of religion, including comparative, theoretical and historical. Information for those interested in membership is readily available. The Association periodically publishes a newsletter containing news on recent activities and upcoming events, a copy of which appears on the site, along with additional relevant news items, including details of conferences, research grants, and study programmes. There are also links to other sites that may be of interest. The Association meets annually in conjunction with the American Sociological Association, and its principal scholarly outlet is the quarterly journal, 'Sociology of Religion,' which is the only publication in the English language dedicated solely to the sociology of religion. Topics addressed in the journal include: spirituality and community; religion in multicultural societies; and religion and democracy in churches and states. A link is provided to the journal's website.
Part of James Winslow Dow’s (Department of Social Anthropology, Oakland University) online collection of anthropological course material, the Bibliography for the Study of Magic Witchcraft and Religion is an extensive introductory citation list that would be of benefit to any undergraduate student researching or writing papers on anthropology of religion. Unfortunately, at time of writing the bibliography does not list material published after 1998, but it is nevertheless a useful guide to older works in the field. The selection of material covers groups from all over the world, however references for North and South American culture groups are especially strong. The lists themselves are organised into four major sections: Comparative studies and theoretical works; Ethnographic reports; Historical works; and finally Shamanism and healing. These topics are then further subdivided by geographical zones and organised alphabetically by author.
This is the official website of the Center for the Study of Religion (CSR) at Princeton University, USA. Directed by Dr Robert Wuthnow, the centre wishes to encourage interdisciplinary scholarly studies and public discussion of religion. This website contains information about the center's mission; funding opportunities; visiting fellowships; and academic courses on offer. It also provides details of public events they organize like conferences and lecture series. Visitors may view video and audio recordings of some of the past proceedings from this site. They may also download posters from these events and the centre's newsletter. Links are provided to a number of interesting online resources on Atheism; Baha'ism; Buddhism; Christianity; Hinduism; Islam; Judaism; Native American Spirituality; and Religions of the Americas.
This is the homepage for the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame, USA. The center is directed by Dr Christian Smith. Available on this website include information about seminars and academic courses on offer; recent and upcoming events; and research projects involving its members of staff. Visitors are also linked to the homepages of relevant research centers within the university, as well as to those belonging to external organisations. Particularly interesting for undergraduates of religion are a useful set of links to sites dedicated to statistics and data resources; syllabi and articles; religion news servces; and the following faith traditions: Baha'ism; Buddhism; Hinduism; Islam; Judaism; Mormonism; Native American Spirituality; and Atheism.
This is the website for Center for the Study of Religion and Society at Creighton University, established in 1988, and dedicated to encouraging and facilitating the study of all religions and religious groups the world over. The Society is committed to a pluralistic approach and a comparative perspective. The principal scholarly outlet of the Society is the cross-disciplinary 'Journal of Religion and Society'. The site makes freely available the full articles and contents of all past issues of the journal from its inception in 1999. The Society also publishes a semi-annual newsletter, all volumes of which are freely available online. Information on various coming events of the Society as well as current projects is readily available. The site is well presented and accessible.
The website of CESNUR (Center for Studies on New Religions) provides information about the organisation, which describes itself as 'an international network of associations of scholars working in the field of new religious movements'. Covering themes such as New Age religions, cults, 'brainwashing', fundamentalism and radical sects the site is an attempt to understand the phenomenon of non-traditional religions, and includes many articles on their roles in recent international events. Osama Bin Laden is, therefore, the subject of a number of papers that are available at the CESNUR site, in a section on Islamic fundamentalism. However, the site also has an enormous amount of material that extends to early Christian heresies and radical Christianity at the time of the Reformation, for example. Also featured is information about the network; an online catalogue of the centre's library; many electronic texts and case studies relating to new and historically 'eccentric' religious movements; details of conferences; and book reviews. This is not always the easiest of sites to navigate, but there is plenty of useful material for those willing to spend a few minutes browsing through what's on offer. The site may be of interest to theologians, political theorists and sociologists.
This is the home page of CrossCurrents, a magazine sponsored by the Association for Religion and Intellectual Life. Articles therein come from the interfaith community and these deal with a vast array of socio-religious issues relating to life in the postmodern era. The site publishes the tables of contents of all issues. It further makes available without charge a number of full-text articles taken from previous and current issues, as well as special collections of articles organised under themes like 'Religion and Violence'; 'Nature as Thou'; 'Returning to Scripture'; 'Education of the Heart'; and 'Sophia's Sisters'. The magazine's submission policy and an online forum that enables readers to register their reaction to issues raised on the site are also available.
This Web page briefly outlines an AHRC/ESRC-funded project analysing the contribution faith-based organisations make to housing homeless people. In particular, the project is aiming to compare the moral frameworks religious organisations use with those of secular agencies, examine the impact of policy changes and study the “difference faith makes” to the service user.
The Encyclopedia of Religion and Society (ISBN: 0-7619-8956-0) is edited by William H. Swatos Jr. and published by AltaMira Press. The entries provide an account of how religion is viewed from the perspective of the principal social sciences, namely anthropology, psychology and sociology. The online version of the encyclopaedia can be freely accessed from this website. It is made available by Hartford Seminary's Hartford Institute for Religion Research. The print version can also be ordered from here. The work would be of interest to undergraduate and postgraduate students on religious studies courses.
This website very briefly describes an AHRC/ESRC-funded project investigating the construction and use of religious extremist discourses and how these can be challenged by Muslim groups in partnership with the police. The study will draw on the experiences of Muslim communities and Police Officers’ own experiences, giving voice to opinions “overlooked by the welter of policy-driven terrorist and counter-terrorist discourse post 9/11”.
Developed by the Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing (CSAC) and funded by HEFCE, "Experience-Rich Anthropology" (ERA) is an Internet-based teaching and learning initiative for anthropological study. Through a series of teaching resources based on real-world data, the site aims to provide educators with useful electronic tools with which to assist their students' understanding of the associations between collecting field data and the resulting analytical publications from professional ethnologists or anthropologists. The materials are suitable for incorporation into university-level lectures or seminars. They include a variety of primary resources focused on African traditions, as well as projects relating to Turkey, Galicia, Italy and Brazil.
The site is segmented into a number of projects that take the user through a series of key concepts for each section. Two collections of notes, aimed at teachers and students, complement each section. These notes (in addition to explaining how to best use ERA) outline the learning goals in detail, highlighting the main themes and explaining to instructors how they may be incorporated into a teaching environment. The notes for students also suggest possible topics for essays, seminars and further discussion. A sample CD, offering some of the material available on the site, is also available from CSAC. The site is directed towards lecturers and teachers who wish to incorporate web resources into the classroom setting. However, because of the wide selection of electronic resources found under each heading, the site may have a more general interest to all students of anthropology, especially those focused on African cultures.
The Sociology of Religion pages on the Hartford Institute for Religion Research website bring together a wide variety of scholarly material on modern religious phenomena and its various expressions. The site serves both to disseminate research findings and to connect sociologists with each other. There is an extensive list of academics currently within working in the field of religion, as well as details of scholarly and professional associations. For those looking for articles and other academic material, the site offers links to: a wide range of contemporary sociological publications organised by author; a bibliographic database; a collection of syllabi; and a set of resources offering census data and other statistical information. The collections of links are reasonably well maintained, although there are some broken links. This site is an essential resource for anyone seriously interested in sociology of religion.
This is the homepage of the International Society for the Sociology of Religion (ISSR) which is based in Belgium and presided over by Jean-Paul Willaime. The society was established in 1948 (as the International Conference for Religious Sociology) to advance knowledge in the sociology of religion and related fields. This website contains information about membership; upcoming conferences; how to join the mailing list of their New Researchers' Forum; and recent news and publications by members. It allows access to their newsletter; the society's statute; and other relevant websites. Visitors are also linked to the homepage of the society's journal - 'Small Compass: International Review of Sociology of Religion' (ISSN: 1461 7404).
This website has been developed by the L'Association Internationale Jacques Ellul and the International Jacques Ellul Society to bring together resources relating to the study of the French theologian and sociologist, Jacques Ellul (1912-1994). The website contains information about both societies together with: short biographies of Ellul in both French and English; an essay entitled, "Ellul l'inclassable" by Patrick Troude-Chastenet; a bibliography of books by Jacques Ellul; an aid to finding works by and about Ellul; information about the print publication, 'The Ellul Forum for the critique of technological civilization'; and details of forthcoming events and recent news.
The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture is a Web-based, peer reviewed journal funded by the University of Saskatchewan and dedicated to the academic consideration of the relation between religion and contemporary cultural media. The journal, edited chiefly by Mary Ann Beavis, encourages any academic theological analysis or interpretation of media studies, film or broad cultural studies in relation to religion. This includes such things as popular novels, television, radio, journalism, the Internet, video games and so on. All articles and book reviews are made freely available online and are easily accessible. The first volume was published in spring 2002, since which volumes have typically appeared three times per year. The site is well presented, organised and will be of considerable use to anyone interested in the relation between religion and cutting edge culture. Information for those wishing to submit articles to the journal and/or book reviews is readily available.
The Journal of Religion and Society is an online peer reviewed journal published by the Kripke Center for the Study of Religion and Society at Creighton University. It is dedicated to the interdisciplinary academic study of all social dimensions of religion. Topics addressed include, for example: feminism in contemporary society; religion and the Internet; political movements; religious education; liberation theology; and so on. Because it is solely an online journal, it is an ongoing, rather than periodic, publication. This allows for a much quicker turnaround rate for submissions than is usual for most journals. The journal is divided into yearly volumes which incorporate all the articles, book reviews, notes and discussions published in a given calendar year. The first volume was published in 1999. The full contents of all volumes are made freely available online without subscription. Articles are presented in an accessible and printable format via Adobe Acrobat (PDF). You may subscribe to the journal to receive updates as soon as new material is released.
The Journal of Southern Religion is an online, peer reviewed academic journal dedicated to the study of all aspects of religion in the American south. The journal is published annually and funded by the Association for the Study of Southern Religion. Topics addressed include: religious aspects of southern culture; folk religion; religion and southern literature; religion and race; religion and gender; and so on. The site provides access to the full contents of all volumes published since its inception in 1998. Additional features include a list of recent news stories featuring southern religion, and a link to the home page of H-Southern-Religion, an electronic discussion network associated with the journal. The site is well presented and easily accessible.
This is the homepage of the Lincoln Theological Institute at Manchester University's School of Arts, Histories and Cultures. Launched in 1997 and directed by Dr Peter Scott, the institute focuses on the theological study of religion and society. This website contains information about: past and upcoming events, the projects which the institute engages in, and the works published by the institute's staff. Access is given to the institute's newsletters; as well as resources like reports, images and papers from workshops; transcripts of speeches; links to relevant websites; film recordings of interviews; and draft articles. Some of the materials are available in PDF and would require Adobe Acrobat Reader for access.
This website offers a general introduction to the many religions that used to be, or are still being practised around the world. It is organised into two sections, the first of which is on transcultural religions. This contains flowcharts and short explanations of the underlying assumptions, historical backgrounds, symbol systems, adherents and main centres of Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shinto, Sikhism, Taoism, and Zoroastrianism. The second section describes the religio-historical development of the following regions: China, East Asia, Europe, India, Indonesia, Latin America, North America, Polynesia, South East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Western Oceania. Maintained by the University of Cumbria, the resource is the outcome of a joint project between its Department of Religion and Social Ethics, and the Museum of World Religions in Taiwan.
The PDF document summarises the activities and members of an AHRC-funded research network, which aimed to “identify and develop the contribution of religion to human wellbeing, through interactions with the happiness hypothesis”. The network, funded for two years from 2008, held a workshop in 2008 and this document includes titles of papers presented, alongside an elaboration of the project’s aims and methodologies as well as early findings.
This is the homepage of the Psychology and Religion Research Group (PRRG) set up in 2000 at the University of Cambridge. The group was founded and directed by Dr Fraser Watts in order to forge better links between psychology and religion. It is co-directed by Dr John Polkinghorne. This website informs visitors about the academic programmes on offer as well as the research projects which its staff are involved in (on issues like Religion Cognition; Human Spiritual Qualities; and Science and Theology). Also available is information on news and events. Visitors can view staff profiles and search PRRG's publications database, where the abstracts of many works are available. The site holds a search engine.
A subdivision of Psych Web, the Psychology of Religion Pages website assembles a wide variety of articles, historical research, and bibliographic material on a wide variety of aspects of the relationship between religion and psychology. Those making their first foray into this field will particularly appreciate the introductory essays on the subject. A regularly updated blog provides announcements and discussion of contemporary issues. The site also provides information for those interested in studying the subject in more depth, including a database of relevant journal articles, lists of books, films, scholarly organisations, and email discussion lists, and a syllabus collection. There is also a selection of links to other online resources, although this does not seem to be updated particularly frequently, resulting in some broken links. The site is compiled by Michael Nielsen at Georgia Southern University.
The website of Psychology, Culture and Religion Group (PCR), (formerly the Person, Culture and Religion Group) provides information about this organisation, which is affiliated to the American Academy of Religion. The Group is an association of scholars in the fields of religion and psychology who are interested primarily in the relationship between religion, psychology and contemporary culture. The Group convenes annually in conjunction with the AAR and actively encourages scholarly research into religion and psychology. The site contains a list of books that have come to fruition as a direct result of the scholarship of the Group, as well as an online discussion group which visitors are welcome to join. The Group publishes a newsletter two or three times a year which is freely available online. Information for those interested in membership is readily available. The site is well presented and accessible.
This is the Brooklyn College Religion in Society and Culture (RISC) website. The office was established in 1998 and is directed by Dr Anthony Stevens-Arroyo. The site is home to the National Survey of Latino Parishes and Congregations, and it allows free access to works published on these e.g. The National Survey of Leadership in Latino Parishes and Congregations (NSLLPC); The American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS); and the Program for the Analysis of Religion Among Latina/os (PARAL). It also provides a list and the abstracts of works published as part of their PARAL Studies Series. There is likewise information on the training sessions and fellowships on offer.
This website allows access to the full-text of 'Religion on the International News Agenda', a book edited by Mark Silk and published in 2000 by the Pew Program on Religion and News Media and the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life. The work contains seven chapters and these are presented under the following headings: 'In a Minor Key: Religion, Politics and the State in India'; 'Religion and the Chinese State'; 'The Opium Wars of the New Millennium: Religion in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union'; 'Islam, Politics, and Iran in Particular'; 'Profiles in Pluralism: Religion and Politics in Indonesia'; 'Religious Freedom and Religious Conflict in Africa'; and 'The News About Religion in Latin America'. Contributors include: Said Amir Arjomand; Eileen Barker; Rosalind Hackett; Robert Hefner; Daniel Levine and Arthur Waldron. The book is available in PDF, hence Adobe Acrobat Reader is required.
This Web page describes a 2008 AHRC-funded workshop series which aimed to explore the inconsistencies between multi-faith, faith-blind modern Western states which yet sponsor, regulate and reflect religious practice. The Web page includes each workshop's programme and a list of participants.
The Religious Movements Homepage is a vital resource for anyone researching new or contemporary religious developments in the western world. Developing out of, and in conjunction with, a class on the sociology of new religious movements, this site is an excellent example of the practical utility of electronic resources in higher education. The primary function of these pages is to provide introductory information and research on those religions typically not regarded as mainstream, and often labelled as ‘cults’, ‘sects’ or ‘quasi-religious organizations’. Its most valuable utility is a searchable index of new religious movement profiles, which contains historical and demographic information on over 200 groups, summarizes their individual belief system as well as offers links to related resources. Far more than simply a reference tool, the often-surprising breadth for detail for an undergraduate class project means it can stand as a true starting point for students researching the formation and development of new religions. The site actively seeks to clarify the meaning of such terms as ‘cult’ and ‘sect’ while diffusing some of the fear occasionally associated with these words. A number of articles are included on cults and cult-controversies, and an extensive bibliography will help guide interested readers further in these issues.
As of mid 2008, the Religious Movements Home Page is in the process of undergoing a major revision and migration. Until this is complete, a link to an archived version of the resource is available.
The Religious Research Association (RRA), founded in 1951 by H. Paul Douglas, is an association of academics and professionals dedicated to encouraging scholarship into all practical aspects and manifestations of religion. This includes, for example: new religious movements; conflicts between denominations; religious experience; religion and family life; and religion and political behaviour. The association meets annually in conjunction with the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, and publishes a newsletter periodically which is freely available online. The principal scholarly outlet of the association is the quarterly journal, 'Review of Religious Research.' The site makes available the tables of contents of several recently published issues. Information for those interested in membership is readily available.
'Religious Rights' is a database produced by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)'s Management of Social Transformations Programme (MOST). Designed to assist researchers, policy-makers, and both government and religious officials in addressing the issues facing multireligious societies, the website contains information and links to sites on national constitutions as well as international legal instruments that deal with the principles of non-discrimination and religious freedom. It also contains a bibliography of print-based works on religious rights in international law, social science analyses of multireligious communities and an annotated set of links to relevant sites.
This is the website of the Society for the Anthropology of Religion. Created in 1997, and associated with the American Anthropological Association, the society is dedicated to facilitating teaching and research in the anthropological study of religion and to promoting international discussion among scholars. The Society convenes annually in conjunction with the American Anthropological Association. The site provides a list of publications produced by members of the society, as well as information on upcoming conferences and other society activities, including details of an electronic mailing list. Information for those wishing to become members of the society is readily available. The site is straightforward in design and accessible.
This PDF document outlines a series of AHRC-funded workshops aimed at "academics, officials, lobbyists, and members of cultural minority groups" which will consider issues that raise the temperature of relations between diffierent cultural communities and minorities and consider questions of toleration, belonging and citizenship. The document includes the programme of workshops, which took place in 2006.
This website features brief excerpts from a print book by Irving Hexham and Karla Poewe, entitled Understanding Cults and New Age Religions. The increasing popularity of cults and new age religions particularly among the young has often been met by vehement disparagement and censure from those outside their fold. But, as Hexham and Poewe emphasise, understanding must precede criticism. They bring together their skills in anthropology and sociology, and use these to offer an insightful account of the lifestyle and beliefs of the followers. Through this, they hope to facilitate fruitful interactions between the two factions. The website allows users to access excerpts from all ten chapters of the book, which provide a good overview of the work's content. A link for ordering a print version of the book is also provided.
The Virtual Religion Index (VRI) is an extensive catalogue of online religion resources. It provides an ideal starting point for both researchers and students of religious studies. The site is topic-led with topics including: archaeology and religious art; ancient near eastern studies; comparative religion; all the major world religions; and the philosophy and psychology of religion. Each link within the catalogue has a short annotation and links are according to topic on a single page. Users may join the site's email list if they wish to be kept up-to-date with new additions and alterations.
Max Weber (1864-1920) is widely regarded as one of the originators of the field of sociology of religion. His writings and definition of religion helped shape our modern approach to the study of faith and religion in all its forms, and are still widely taught in university level sociology and anthropology courses. Struck by Weber's thoughts on the changing relationship between magic and salvation, Moriyuki Abukuma created the Weberian Sociology of Religion site to offer an electronic forum to discuss issues of Weberian Sociology, as well as to attempt to apply Weber's ideas to a variety of religious groups, with a special focus on those in Japan. Of particular value are the electronic transcriptions of many of Weber's works, which include "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism" and "The Rejection of the World and Theodicy".
This site contains the full-text of William James' (1842-1910) classic text, 'The Varieties of Religious Experience'. First published in 1902, and based on the Gifford Lectures on Natural Religion delivered at Edinburgh University in 1901-1902, 'The Varieties of Religious Experience' remains one of the most influential texts on the psychology and philosophy of religion. The text is easily accessible, and is helpfully divided and linked according to the original table of contents. It is made available on the Web by Dr Michael Nielsen of Georgia Southern University.
This is the homepage of a research network project funded by the AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society Research Programme. 'Young People and the Cultural Performance of Belief' is jointly convened by Gordon Lynch of Birkbeck College, and Simon Coleman and Abby Day of the University of Sussex. The work aims to deepen understanding of the concept of 'belief' in the context of contemporary religion and young people. Between May 2009 to January 2011, it proposes to organise discussion events and conferences where ideas could be shared and sharpened. This website contains background information about the project and details of events; and allows access to podcasts of seminars. It is hosted by the Centre for Religion and Contemporary Society at Birkbeck College, London.