This comprehensive reference resource provides a virtual textbook that covers religion across the globe, making student research on faith and belief across humanity easier and enabling a deeper understanding of the complex issues facing us in the 21st century.
ABC-CLIO's World Religions provides a powerful combination of reference and research components like no other database, comprising thousands of reference items that cover matters of belief, practice, celebrations, and holidays; important individuals and events; significant and sacred places; and much more. It contains thousands of authoritative reference items from leading experts, all specifically written to enhance student research and understanding, as well as engaging essays from scholars that present multiple perspectives on enduring dilemmas to provide students with models of sound critical thinking—all in one place.
The advisor for this collection of dynamic, regularly updated content is J. Gordon Melton, PhD, author of more than 40 scholarly texts and reference books on the topic of religion, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Institute for Religious Studies at Baylor University in Texas..
- More than 50 religion overviews, covering such topics as agnosticism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Shinto
Extensive reference entries on religion in every country, including statistics on the number of followers of various beliefs in the past, present, and projections for the future
Thousands of primary sources, including images, video, and documents
- Constitutes the first database to cover the religions of the world for the academic market
Updated daily with new reference content and regularly updated feature stories that examine the role of religion in current events
Enduring Questions provide users with peer-reviewed perspectives on long-standing or current debates surrounding the topic of religion, allowing readers to examine and learn from the argument essays of professional scholars in the field of religion
User-friendly interface makes searching or browsing quick and effective
"The unbiased delivery of the information is impressive: it conveys plenty of facts but injects no bias or prejudice, a valuable trait, especially when dealing with religious subjects. Each subsection includes an Overview article with a clear, succinct introduction to the faiths, along with links (at screen left) to Articles; Media, Visuals, Maps, and Flags; a Time Line; and Glossary Terms. I particularly appreciate the Glossary—terms in it provide context as well as common links among religions (for example, the entry for dharma begins, 'Dharma is a central concept in the major philosophies and religions of India, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism'). The CLIOview link on the homepage leads to an especially useful feature: the capability to easily compare multiple religions or countries on a variety of points (e.g., number of adherents, percentage of population) within the database. In advanced-search mode, students can do a text search and limit it by category (articles, media, etc.), religions (the 12 subsections), countries, and time periods.
BOTTOM LINE: WRBCC is heartily recommended to public libraries as well as academic libraries serving religious studies courses. The superb scholarship is combined with the uninflected 'voice' of the signed articles, ease of comparing and contrasting aspects of different religions, and attractive and practical design. An unqualified ten, this is one for the ages."