The aim of the African Religion website is to gather together works published on this topic by Wim van Binsbergen, a Senior Researcher at the African Studies Centre, Leiden and Professor of the Foundations of Intercultural Philosophy at Erasmus University Rotterdam. These include a series of articles, books, seminar papers and photo-essays. The site is divided into sections on general theoretical and comparative studies of African religion; popular Islam in North Africa; Christian Churches in South Central and Southern Africa; and further sections on historical African religion in South Central Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa. Sample articles include: 'The interpretation of popular Islamic myth'; 'A modes-of-production approach to religion and ritual'; 'Church and state in contemporary Botswana'; and 'The land as body in Manjak religion'. A useful resource for students of religion.
The 'African Traditional Religion' web pages maintained by Chidi Denis Isizoh are a general collection of resources on indigenous African cultures and beliefs, as well as their development both in Africa and in the African Diaspora. Through a series of articles, students and others with a general interest in African society are introduced to a number of social and religious issues including: women's role in religious rites; an examination of certain creation myths; and the function of marriage. There is also an interesting collection of papers tracking the interaction of native African religions with Christianity and Islam. For those writing papers of their own or furthering their research, a number of superior resources may be found here, including a bibliography of traditional African religion, and statistical information on religious adherence. The section on traditional religion in the African diaspora includes links to online resources on: voodou (voodoo); Orisha; Ifa; and Candoble. An extensive series of links to a wide variety of related topics (many from academic sources) will also assist research into any aspect of African culture.
African-American Religion: A Documentary History Project (AARDOC) is the website of a research project based at Amherst College. The project aims to produce a comprehensive history of African-American religion, from the earliest African-European encounters in the mid 15th century up to the present day. A range of relevant materials are offered on the site, including brief overviews of three periods: African-American religion in the Atlantic world, 1441-1808; the continental phase, 1808-1906; and the global phase, 1906-the present. There are also sample primary documents (for example, the journal of a young black female 19th-century missionary); bibliographic essays; teaching resources including syllabi; and a small collection of articles. A useful resource for those interested in this area.
Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou is an online exhibition from the American Museum of Natural History. It accompanied an exhibition at the Museum from 1998-1999, which explored the arts and culture of the Afro-Caribbean religion of Vodou (sometimes spelt "voodoo"). Vodou is the Creole religion, described here as "a way of life which has inspired Haitian artists in many different media". The site displays images of a sample of the 500 objects, from sequinned flags to medicine packets and prototypes of several altars from Haiti, each honouring different religious deities. The images can be enlarged. The presentation is arranged in sections: introductory text about Haiti and the religion; roots; ritual; spirits; and tools of worship. A link in the bottom left-hand corner offers users the chance to learn more, through related links on the Internet, and a select bibliography.
Atoms and Ancestors is an introductory text on African religions by Fred Welbourn. Published in 1968, it was written primarily for students sitting for the A level examinations. However, its entertaining and engaging style of writing renders it accessible to anyone interested in exploring African religious traditions. It is also suitable for undergraduate use. The full-text of all twelve chapters of the book are freely available from this website.
For those searching for primary resources on Zoroastrianism, the Avesta Zoroastrian Archives are an excellent starting point. Zoroastrianism was a major world religion from the 6th century BC to the 7th century AD, and still has several hundred thousands adherents in India, Iran and North America. The site includes the whole of the Avesta (ancient scriptures of Zoroastrianism) in both English and Avestan (though the latter is provided in Latin script), an assortment of the middle-Persian/Pahlavi texts, and a selection of modern works. Introductory discussions on Zoroastrianism and the Avestan language are also offered. The linguistic section contains a helpful dictionary and descriptions of the language, but caution should be exercised with some of the other Zoroastrian resources, as not all information presented here reflects the best of scholarly opinion. Nevertheless, they do offer an intriguing view into modern expressions of the faith.
The Baha'i Library Online brings together an extensive collection of primary source material, including not only the tradition's authorised sacred writings, but also related spiritual texts. However, the site’s true strength is in its strikingly large and thorough collection of secondary resources. There are full-text versions for dozens of monographs on the Baha’i faith, plus scholarly articles and papers (both published and unpublished), theses, mass-media publications, and even court and government documents. Users should, however, note that the site appears to be aimed primarily at members of the Baha'i faith rather than interested outsiders: although there is an introductory section offering links to basic information, most of the material on the site assumes a reasonable degree of knowledge about the tradition.
The Bahá'í reference library site offers free online-access to English translations of the Bahá'í sacred texts, identical to those disseminated by the Bahá'í World Centre. These include: selections from the writings of the Bab (forerunner of the Bahá'í dispensation); of Baha'u'llah (founder of the Bahá'í faith); of Abdu'l-Baha (son of Baha'u'llah); and of Shogi Effendi (grandson of Abdu'l-Baha). Texts include: Epistle to the Son of the Wolf; the Promulgation of Universal Peace; and the Will and Testament of Abdu'l-Baha. The site also provides an introduction to the Bahá'í faith; links to other Bahá'í sites; and brief synopses of doctrinal formulations. The site is a useful starting point for those who wish to gain an overview of the Bahá'í faith and, especially, an introduction to its sacred texts.
This truly superior online collection of citations and bibliographic material has been compiled by Barend J. ter Haar at the University of Leiden. The main introductory page of his Bibliographies on Chinese History and Culture leads to eight different extensive (and usually annotated) bibliographical resources on Chinese society. While this includes references for literacy and education, violence, and protest and dissent, many categories are specifically devoted to religious themes including the Yao religion, Shamanism, and the Falun Gong movement, as well as more general collections on twentieth century religious life and culture in mainland China. The bibliographies are organised in a series of logical sub-divisions, and include details of electronic resources. However, a basic search engine to retrieve references by author or exact subject would be a welcome addition to the site. In any case, undergraduates and academics at all levels who wish to enlarge their knowledge of Chinese secondary sources will find these lists useful, whether they are searching for books or material on the Web. New lecturers may also wish to avail themselves of the Teaching Aids section, which takes the form of an extended annotated exploration of Internet, encyclopaedic and print resources.
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.
The Canadian Journal of Native Studies is a full-text ejournal published by the Society for the Advancement of Native Studies, and edited from the Department of Native Studies, Brandon University. At June 2009 there are around 50 issues online (1981 to 2005), with peer-reviewed articles freely offered as PDF files. The journal also publishes many book reviews. Many articles are only of interest to those investigating sociological and contemporary land-rights issues, but there are also many articles on artistic, cultural and historical topics. Example article titles include: 'Angels of Light: A Mi'kmaq Myth in a New Arche'; 'The Gros Ventre / Fall Indians In Historical and Archaeological Interpretation'; 'The Media, Aboriginal People and Common Sense'; 'The Hero's Journey In James Welch's Fools Crow and Traditional Pikuni Sacred Geography'; and 'A Measured Sovereignty: The Politics of Nation-Making in British Columbia', among others. A full-text search-engine is available via the external Indigenous Studies Portal. The website has full details of the editors, Editorial Board, subscription rates for the print edition, and submission information.
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.
What better way to learn about a religion than to go right to the source! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints - a Christian denomination especially prominent in the mid-western United States and notable for including the Book of Mormon in their canon - has constructed an attractive and detailed site. In addition to a guide to the basic tenets of the faith and information about Mormon church and home life (some of which is housed off-site), the site offers a considerable volume of texts. The complete Mormon scriptures are provided in both text and audio versions, including the Book of Mormon, and selections from Joseph Smith's translation of the Bible. Also available is information about historical developments that led to the foundation of the Mormon movement by Joseph Smith in the early 1800s, plus contemporary sermons and a regularly updated collection of news articles and stories that deal with issues and events affecting the Church body. Students looking for background information about this religious group will find ample material to begin their studies, and researchers will find this provides an interesting insight into the Church's activities and theological / cultural responses to modern issues.
This website enables access to the full-text of the Code of Practice for the Surgical Management of Jehovah's Witnesses published by the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 2002. Focusing mainly on issues surrounding blood transfusion and organ transplantation, the code uses the following subject headings: ethical considerations; legal and consent issues; preoperative considerations; and surgical techniques. Samples of an Advance Medical Directive and a General Consent Form Excluding Blood Transfusion are provided in the Appendix. The document is available in PDF and requires Adobe Acrobat Reader. This should be a useful resource for those interested in medical ethics.
Witchcraft historian Owen Davies is the author of the Cunning Folk website, devoted to the study of those who were variously known as wise-women, wise-men, healers and herbalists. This site is produced in tandem with Davies' book Cunning Folk, Popular Magic in English History. A lecturer in history at the University of Hertfordshire, Davies is an expert in the later, and less frequently studied period of witchcraft, from 1736 to 1951 (when the last witchcraft act was repealed). There is a bibliography of his works and extracts from his books and articles. The cunning folk made up an entity distinct from those accused of witchcraft, and although cunning folk were accused of witchcraft on occasion, they were more likely to be those purporting to carry out beneficial practices, love magic, or locating lost items. The information provided here will be of use to undergraduate students, and for those desiring further information, a brief but helpful list of books and articles on related subjects is provided.
'Dibaajimowinan idash Aadizookaanag' is a site devoted to disseminating the culture, history and narratives of Native Americans. Available on the site are stories translated from a number of Native American languages. These include Dibaajimowinan (Native narratives, true stories), Aadizookaanag (traditional stories, myths and legends) and Mazinaajim (picture stories). There are also features on the difficulties of collecting and authenticating Native American tales such as these, comparisons between American and European myths, articles on 19th-century revisionism, and information about Native American languages. Of both anthropological and literary interest, this site is a valuable addition to folk-tale resources on the Internet.
The Earthlore Explorations website is devoted to cultural legacies including history; myth; poetry; and more. Resources at the Earthlore site are arranged into sections. Gothic Dreams includes: photographs and artwork depicting the architecture, sculpture, arts, and crafts of the Medieval period; a glossary of various aspects of gothic cathedrals and churches; and an in-depth historical overview of Notre Dame de Paris, comprehensively hyperlinked throughout to relevant resources within Earthlore Explorations. Ireland includes history and mythology, and gives an article on the poems of W. B. Yeats. Additional countries that may be featured with their own sections include Brazil; China; and Egypt. The Mystery of Lost and Forgotten Histories examines: the relevance of a historical or legendary King Arthur (including an in-depth historical overview of the Holy Grail); and the decline of ancient Peruvian civilization. The Lore of Astrology examines the history and evolution of the world's astrological sciences. Additional subjects that may be featured in the future include symbolism; music; literature; and Arthurian lore. Earthlore Explorations, online since 1995, was originally the work of New York based photographer Rhey Cedron. Cedron now works with a number of other investigators and researchers, all of whom are cited on this resource.
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.
Exploring Theosophy is the home page of theosophist David Pratt. The website offers a wide range of articles on various aspects of theosophy (a belief system centring around the idea of the spiritual unity of all things), including both introductory pieces explaining key concepts, and more detailed essays about specific elements of the subject. Particularly interesting are the papers giving theosophical perspectives on a range of issues in modern scientific research. The site also offers an extensive collection of quotations from classic theosophical texts (including the works of H. P. Blavatsky, G. de Purucker, and W. Q. Judge), grouped by topic. There is some fascinating material here; however, there are also some controversial pieces, and the lack of information about the author's academic credentials is perhaps cause for slight caution. Nevertheless, this is a useful site for anyone interested in finding out more about theosophy in general, and more specifically its relation to science.
The website From primitives to zen is an online reproduction of the reference work by Mircea Eliade, originally published in print in 1966. While the title of the book hints that the principal focus of the book would be on Buddhism, it is in fact a very large, comprehensive investigation of ancient religions of the world, divided into sections which are geographically based. The omission of Judaism and Christianity is explained in the introduction. The following five chapter headings given on the home page lead to lists of links to further pages. The first of these chapters looks at creation myths from around the world. After this section the emphasis is more strongly on the Ancient Near East, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism and Zen. This presentation of the book is offered with no further commentary but is rather a faithful reproduction of the original text.
The Gnostic Society Library website provides a wealth of information for the study of gnosticism. It offers a substantial collection of English translations of primary texts from the gnostic tradition, plus anti-gnostic patristic works. There are over a thousand documents in total, including the Nag Hammadi Library; other Gnostic scriptures and fragments; writings from the Valentinian tradition; the Corpus Hermeticum; and an impressive collection of Manichaean writings. Introductory notes to the material are provided, and there is an annotated bibliography. The site also provides access to a collection of Web lectures on gnosticism. A very valuable site for anyone with an interest in this tradition.
'In the beginning was the Word: the Russian church and native Alaskan cultures' is an online exhibition at the Library of Congress, initiated by librarian and historian James H. Billington and compiled by linguist Vyacheslav Ivanov. It brings together manuscript documents and images from the Library's Alaskan Russian Church archive to illuminate the relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church and the native Alaskan population between 1794 and 1915. The resource includes: a brief introduction to the state and church in Russian America; several sections exploring missionary work amongst the native population; and a section on the preservation of native languages such as Tlingit, Eskimo and Aleut. The brief text of these sections is accompanied by selected digitised documents (such as pastoral letters, parish financial reports and priests' journal extracts) and images (photographs, plans, maps). Unfortunately the quality of the digitised documents varies and there are no transcripts, so many are of limited use for close study. The resource offers an exciting introduction to the archive, and will be of most use to scholars planning further research or to students and teachers seeking an illustrated overview of the topic.
This is the homepage of INFORM (Information Network Focus on Religious Movements)(charity number: 801729). Based at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), this independent charity was established by Professor Eileen Barker in 1988 to provide the public with information about new and/or alternative religious or spiritual movements. This website offers information about their aims and codes of practice; and of forthcoming events (e.g. seminars and talks). There are also: guidelines for friends and family of converts; information for travellers abroad; the transcript of the address given by the Bishop of Norwich at the opening of the 2008 INFORM/CESNUR International Conference; and an article by Professor Barker entitled 'What should we do about cults: policies, information and the perspective of INFORM'.
The Innu Nation website provides a selection of information about the Innu people, the indigenous inhabitants of Nitassinan, an area in eastern Quebec and Labrador, Canada. For those interested in indigenous peoples and the modern impact of European settlement in Canada, this site brings together a reasonable collection of material on the social and economic issues that have affected their recent history. The section entitled Innu History and Culture contains a variety of articles, ethnographic reports, stories, and myth translations would be of value to a wide variety researchers including students, historians, ethnologists, anthropologists and sociologists. There is a substantial section on Innu spirituality. Those interested in researching the subject further may find the bibliography (under the heading References) useful. While the information here may be of use to scholars, it should be stressed that the Innu Nation site is not an academic posting, but represents the specific opinions of band members and, in particular, the benefits and disadvantages of the Innu’s current relationship with Canada and the Canadian government. Even though many of these opinions are widely shared between the Innu and academics, some positions may be open to contest. The site is straightforward to navigate, although not all the internal links on the front page are functional.
The 'International Workshop on Strange Convergences: Performance and Performativity in Fantasy Game Cultures, the Gothic Milieu, and Pagan Spirituality' was held at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Art and Sciences in April 2006. This webpage is in English, and it gives full details of the workshop, of those attending to present papers (with email addresses), and has generous abstracts of the papers presented. Most usefully, at the foot of the page there is a selected bibliography of about 50 items that relate to the workshop themes.
J.B. Hare established the Internet Sacred Text Archive to make public domain religious and mythological texts available to the interested reader. It brings together material collected by the archive itself with a variety of links from other primary resource sites on the Internet to form one of the largest and far reaching electronic text resources available anywhere. With a somewhat eclectic selection in content, the site includes everything from English translations of the sacred texts of African, Australian, and North American indigenous cultures to Eastern, Neo-Pagan and Occult traditions. Judeo-Christian and Islamic resources are also well represented. The archive is still growing, with new texts added on a regular basis. The need to avoid material which is still in copyright means that many of the translations date from over a hundred years ago, but the variety of resources in translation makes the site invaluable to those lacking extensive foreign language skills who wish to rapidly familiarise themselves with a specific tradition. This site is an excellent starting point for anyone who wants to locate an electronic English-language version of a significant religious text from almost any religious tradition.
Links to Multifaith and Religion Sites is an Internet gateway to resources of use for religious studies. Annotated links are provided to a range of websites, including those that are academically orientated, and the homepages of faith groups. Coverage is broad, with sections on traditions old and new from around the world, but this site will be of particular interest to those researching the interfaith movement, and within that, groups whose aim is to bring the adherents of different religions together with the common purpose of promoting peace and justice. Also well covered are indigenous belief systems, nature and magical religions, and minority traditions such as Zoroastrianism and Scientology. The site is easy to navigate, with the individual sections accessible via a hyperlinked list at the top of the front page.
This site provides listings of magical manuscripts and early printed books from the classical, medieval and early modern periods. The material has been gathered by Frank Klassaan of the University of Saskatchewan and is a work in progress. The listings are divided in to four themed areas: 'Ars notaria' and 'Liber visionum'; Necromantic and other ritual magic manuscripts; 'mage magic, Arabic image magic, and other Arabic magic; and the 'Sworn Book of Honorius' or 'Liber sacer'. Records are listed alphabetically by place of repository. There are also list of manuscripts by author (where known) and an index of incipits (first lines). This site will interest historians of magic, of science, of religion and theology.
This website allows access to the full-text of 'Maori Religion and Mythology', a book written by Edward Shortland and published by Longmans, Green & Co. in 1882. The discussions are organized under the following chapter headings: Aryans and Polynesians; Maori Cosmology and Mythology; Religious Rites of the Maori; The Maori Chief of Olden Times; and Claiming and Naming Times. Users are also given lists of 'Maori Terms of Relationship' as well as 'Vocabulary of Some Maori Words Requiring Explanation' in the Appendix. The resource forms part of the Internet Sacred Text Archive.
Part of the larger Native American Indian Resources site, designed and compiled by Paula Giese, is Maps: GIS Windows on Native Lands, Current Places and History. Using results from Geographical Information Systems software, this site brings together a useful collection of visual resources that depict a variety of historical and cultural factors in relation to North American indigenous or Native populations. Approximately twenty-five different maps are available, of which many will be of use as visual aids either for students or as teaching resources for lecturers. Some of the graphics are quite sophisticated, offering enhanced details on population and links to treaty documents and native bands. These pages are also complemented by a selection of external links that lead to other similar materials. Unfortunately, the site does not appear to be updated particularly frequently, and as a result, some of the links are broken.
The Web Site "The Modern World of Witchcraft" is an essay written by Professor Craig Hawkins, the President of Apologetics Information Ministry (AIM), a somewhat radical Christian organisation that aims to provide pertinent Biblical information on a range of issues, including cults, the occult, and world religions. The essay examines neopagan witchcraft from a fundamental Christian perspective, and traces the development of contemporary occult cults from the legacies of Gerald Gardner and his acolytes. He discusses the differing types of neopagan beliefs and the role of animism, pantheism, and polytheism, as pillars of faith, and the primary importance assigned to experience. This site is a good example of Christian attempts to demolish neopagan beliefs and as such can be a guide to alternate perspectives of the latter tradition.
Mormon Publications: 19th Century is an online collection of books, missionary tracts, doctrinal treatises, hymnals, and periodicals. Part of Brigham Young University's Digital Collections, the works offered relate to the history and doctrinal development of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from 1830 until the end of the 19th century. PDF facsimiles of over 700 texts are available, including issues of the Deseret News, the Journal of Discourses, and the Millennial Star. The process of full digitisation is ongoing, but all the titles in the collection have been processed using optical character recognition software, so it is possible to search the full text of each publication. Alternatively, one can browse through the collection as a whole, or through one of the sub-sections accessible via a pull-down menu on the front page. Descriptions of the major items available are also given. A valuable resource for those working in this area of religious history.
The Neopaganism in Central-Eastern Europe website is based on papers previously published in Spoleczenstwo otwarte in 1995, and presented at the Fifth World Congress of Central and Eastern European Studies in Warsaw and at the conference New Religious Phenomena in Central and Eastern Europe after the Fall of Communism, Cracow in the same year - which was, the site claims, the founding conference of International Study of Religion in Eastern and Central Europe Association. The site provides an extended explanatory essay on the background and current state of pagan movements in Central and Eastern Europe. Within its historical overview, the site acknowledges implicitly that the endurance of apparently pre-medieval traditions was grounded heavily in 19th century mysticism, which in turn may have gained currency in connection with nationalist political movements. The site then focuses on the present revival of neo-pagan movements in Belarus; Estonia; Latvia; Lithuania; Poland; former Prussia; and the Ukraine. Essays on the site, written by different authors, are illustrated with unreferenced images taken from early and current sources. Again, the site is interesting mainly for its awareness of the post-Soviet context and associated new era of nation building. But its recognition of that background remains contained within spiritualist rhetoric on the one hand, and a sociological catalogue of current groups on the other. Various links to external sites punctuate the text, including one on western neo-Paganism, but there are several broken links. Content in general on this site draws a fine line between what is relevant for researchers of modern religion and spiritualism, and what is relevant for enthusiasts.
The website Organised pagan cult in Kievan Rus. The invention of foreign elite or evolution of local tradition? is an extensive piece by Roman Zaroff. The work discusses the pagan Slavonic pantheon, beginning with a quote from the Laurentian version of the Russian Primary Chronicle, describing the setting up of the idols Perun, Dazhbog, Stribog and others, by Vladimir (Volodymyr). In a wide-ranging work, that discusses the much-debated topic of the origin of the Slavs and their religions, Zaroff adopts a tripartite approach to the question of pre-migration Slavonic religion. He traces the evolution of selected deities and confusions between other popular and sustained myths about the pantheon. Perun, Weles (Veles), Stribog, and Svarozhits are all discussed here, as is the anthropomorphisation and personification of the deities. The piece brilliantly places the subject in an international and European comparative context, as well as focusing on Eastern Slavonic aspects. It has an excellent bibliography and is extremely useful for those interested in the early or religious history of the Slavs or Kievan Rus, and its inhabitants. Unfortunately the Polish characters have not converted.
Unlike many other resources on religious trends within the United States which focused specifically on the Judeo-Christian tradition, The Pluralism Project, directed by Diana Eck at Harvard University, seeks to consider and evaluate the growing diversity in religious expression found across the nation. A variety of textual resources are made available through this site including: a series of scholarly articles; directories of religious centres; and a series of excellent bibliographies and guidelines for conducting contemporary research on religious denominations, applicable to research on religious pluralism in both North America and Europe. There is a link advertising the project's CD-ROM On Common Ground: World Religions in America, (Second Edition). An interesting sub-set of this project is World Religions in Boston, which describes the variety of religious expression and interaction all within one major American city, and can be downloaded or viewed on the web. Unfortunately, the site lacks any extensive demographic material on religious growth and developments.
This strangely entitled but useful site brings together a wide variety of unconnected material on all manner of subjects about which Mr. Slone (University of California at Berkelety) is obviously seriously interested. Topics range from linguistic structures to carcinogens in our atmosphere, but this diversity aside, he has also assembled a number of helpful resources on indigenous Melanesian or Papua New Guinean society that will be of use to anyone studying the anthropology, culture or language of this region. Contained within these pages is a compilation of folklore and stories translated from the original Papua New Guinea Pidgin English. As a complement to this resource, Slone has added a Bibliography of Melaneasian Pidgin English dictionaries, phrase books and study guides, and the large and well organised Annotated Bibliography of Papua New Guinean Folklore. This latter bibliography will likely have the widest mass appeal to students and researchers. Citations are organised initially into geographic divisions, but at the end of the list are also reorganised by category, theme, community and author. At the time of review the site hadn't been updated since 2003 and quite a few of the outgoing links were broken.
The website 'Religion and Society in Central and Eastern Europe' is a peer reviewed electronic journal which began publication in 2005. The work is inter-disciplinary in nature, covering history, religion, geography, anthropology, sociology, and other related fields. The editors are particularly keen to encourage submissions that address the following topics: regionalism in central and eastern European religion; religious aspects of the region's culture (e.g. religion, music, and literature); civil religion; local and folk religions, including ethnographic studies of groups and parishes; ethnicity; religion and race, class, and gender issues; and political influences, including the regulation of religion in central and eastern Europe. The full-text of articles is made available online as soon after acceptance as is possible, and the journal also publishes reviews of relevant books. The site is attractively presented, easy to navigate, and a search facility is available. The journal is sponsored by the International Study of Religion in Eastern and Central Europe Association (ISORECEA) and is also supported by University of Szeged, Hungary.
Religion Compass (ISSN: 1749-8171) is an online journal dedicated to original peer-reviewed surveys of research and other works from across the discipline. Published by Wiley-Blackwell Publishing and edited by Tamara Sonn, the resource is targeted at teachers, researchers and students of religion, as well as non-specialist scholars. The materials can be browsed according to Authors' names and the following section themes: African Religions; Ancient Near East; Buddhism; Chinese and Japanese Traditions; Christianity; Indian Traditions; Islam; Judaism; New Religions; Native Religions of the Americas; and Theory and Method. Although subscription is needed to access the materials in full, this website makes available their abstract alongside information about the journal's editorial board.
For anyone who has an interest in the religious development of the youngest of the Canadian provinces, Hans Rollman’s website Religion, Society and Culture in Newfoundland and Labrador is one the best electronic resources currently available about religion on The Rock. Hosted by Memorial University, the site brings together historical articles on religious groups that helped to shape the character of religious expression in Newfoundland and Labrador, from native traditions such as Beothuk to contemporary Christianity. A significant amount of material is hosted on-site, but there are also links to information elsewhere on the Web (including, unfortunately, some broken links). Where possible, transcriptions of original texts and letters from early religious leaders on the island are made available, including material for all Christian denominations with a significant presence in the region during the 18th and 19th centuries. There are also links to modern religious associations and some limited demographic information on religious practice. A good starting point for any student or academic researching the earliest Christian presence in Canada and the New World.
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.
Created by Mike Harding, this website provides background information on the Green Man, an ancient wooden or stone carving of a human head found in medieval churches throughout Britain and in other areas of the world. The site includes a selection of colour photographs of the Green Man in various forms.
Designed to complement the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) news reporting, articles, and publications on the African continent, 'The Story of Africa' provides a comprehensive multimedia introduction to African culture and its entire history. With contributions from an array of academics from around the world and recordings of historical broadcasts from major African figures, the site describes a host of major political and social events beginning with early nomadic and agricultural communities up to and including the political movements for African independence from colonial powers. Students who work their way through these pages will find themselves quickly orientated and introduced to the major events in African history. The sections on Islam, Christianity and traditional religions will especially please those interested in religious development on this continent. Each describes the arrival and progress of these belief systems, as well as their distinctive features, practices, and interactions with various political and secular arenas. Within the sub-sections of the site users will find helpful links and bibliographies, as well as excerpts from audio broadcasts previously transmitted by BBC radio.
The home page of the Theosophical Society provides information about this organisation. Theosophy (from the Greek 'theos' (god) and 'sophia' (wisdom)) is a philosophy based on the concept of the essential oneness of all life, and the Theosophical Society states that its primary purpose is to demonstrate this oneness. The site offers information about the founders of the theosophical movement (H. P. Blavatsky, H. S. Olcott, and W. Q. Judge), the objectives and history of the Society, an overview of the basic principles of theosophy, and resources for further study. There are details of correspondence courses, plus links to the Theosophical University Press online (which offers full-text versions of many important works on theosophy) and to the online edition of Sunrise, the Society's magazine.
Theosophical University Press online is a publishing arm of the Theosophical Society. Theosophy (from the Greek 'theos' (god) and 'sophia' (wisdom)) is an esoteric philosophy based on the concept of the essential oneness of all beings. This website contains numerous books and essays by and about H. P. Blavatsky, William Q. Judge and other theosophical writers, including Blavatsky's 'The Key to Theosophy' and 'The Voice of the Silence'. The full texts are available to read online; some can also be accessed as downloadable zip files. Other resources on this site include fifteen introductory theosophical manuals, the online version of Sunrise, the journal of the Theosophical Society, and an Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary - although it is easy to miss this last unless one is looking for it, as the title is hidden among the other works of its editor, G. de Purucker. The majority of the texts are in English, but are offered in Spanish and Russian. Author and title indexes aid navigation, but there does not appear to be a search function.
This site, part of the Secular Web from Internet Infidels, contains, or links to, electronic versions of some of the works of Thomas Paine, the eighteenth and nineteenth century deist and proponent of American independence. Major works include 'Rights of Man', 'Agrarian Justice', 'The American Crisis', and 'The Age of Reason'. Also included are a number of minor works, such as essays and articles, particularly on the subject of religion. The site's presentation is simple and clear.
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 Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson website, published by Jim Manley, is one of the most extensive, useful, and accessible resources on the Web dedicated to the American transcendentalist, who lived from 1803 to 1882. It features the full texts of nearly all of Emerson's most enduring essays, addresses, poems and books, all made freely available online. Essays and addresses available include: Self-Reliance; Nature; Friendship; The American Scholar; The Divinity School Address; and many others. Books available include: Nature; Representative Men; English Traits; and The Conduct of Life. The site also makes available various bits of Emerson's uncollected prose and lectures. Basic biographical information, as well as a list of Emerson's most significant intellectual influences, is provided. There is a time line, a glossary, a set of articles by today's scholars on Emerson, and a section on Emerson's influence on and relevance to recent works about consciousness. The site also contains links to other resources on the web dedicated to Emerson. The site is well laid out, but slow loading, and does not always display correctly in all browsers.