Welcome to the research guide for Religions of the World. This guide was created for you by Jack Daniels, the Teaching & Learning Librarian and part-time professor of Religion here at Flagler College.

I've designed this guide to lead you to resources - online and in print - for research in the general subject of Religions of the World. You will find here information about many religious traditions covered in Flagler's REL 211 - World Religions as well as instructional materials and guidelines for doing research in Religion and presenting your findings in a research paper or presentation.

Photo of Librarian Jack Daniels

Please remember, you are welcome to contact me - or any of my librarian colleagues - with questions about this guide, its subject, or anything for that matter.

Good luck!

- Jack Daniels




A great place to begin your research on a topic of World Religions is the library's Discovery search. Practice searching Discovery by typing "Buddhism" into the search field at the library's home page. Notice at the "Research Starter" at the top of the results page.

  • Discovery:
    Search all of the Proctor Library’s print books, e-books, DVDs, and almost all databases.

    Has Peer Reviewed: Yes

Google Scholar

Contrary to some "popular opinion," Google can be a very useful research tool if one knows how to use it and approach the resources available through its search interface. For starters, it may be best to go with Google Scholar. When a Google Scholar search yields academic articles, the results page will indicate if the article(s) is available on the library's databases - and provide a link directly to it.

  • Google Scholar:
    Search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites.

    Has Peer Reviewed: Yes
    Searchable in Discovery: No

Try out this Tutorial on Choosing the Best Web Source for tips on determining the validity and usefulness of a website.

Databases for the Study of World Religions

While Google and Google Scholar can be useful, and Discovery is a great starting point - especially the "Research Starter," there a a number of databases available to you through the Proctor Library that are excellent gateways to peer-reviewed information about Religion.

  • Credo Reference:
    A searchable collection of over 620 encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference books covering every subject area.

    Has Peer Reviewed: No
    Searchable in Discovery: Yes

  • ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials:
    A collection of major religion and theology journals. Many full text. Abstracts not included.

    Has Peer Reviewed: Yes
    Searchable in Discovery: Yes

  • Academic Search Complete:
    Full text for nearly 4000 scholarly publications in almost every discipline including social sciences, humanities, education, arts & literature, and many more.

    Has Peer Reviewed: Yes
    Searchable in Discovery: Yes

  • JSTOR:
    Our only database dedicated solely to scholarly literature with articles in the fields of history, politicial science, archaeology, art history, anthropology, literature and languages, music, and more; however, JSTOR usually is unable to provide access to the most recently published articles.

    Has Peer Reviewed: Yes
    Searchable in Discovery: Yes

  • Project MUSE:
    Project MUSE is a leading provider of digital humanities and social sciences content.

    Has Peer Reviewed: Yes
    Searchable in Discovery: Yes

  • SAGE Premier:
    Provides access to over 600 journal titles in business, humanities, social sciences, and science, technology and medicine with backfile to 1999.

    Has Peer Reviewed: Yes
    Searchable in Discovery: Yes


A good introduction to the study of Religion is at the "Why Study Religion" website.

The American Academy of Religion. "The purpose of the Academy derives from two principal goals: (1) To promote understanding of and critical reflection on religious traditions, issues, questions, values, texts, practices, and institutions. To this end, we foster communication and exchange among teachers and scholars, and the public understanding of religion. (2) To serve the professional interests of members as students, teachers, and scholars."

The Pew Research Religion and Public Life Project assays information around social and political aspects of Religion world wide.

The Pluralism Project "...is a two decade-long research project that engages students in studying the new religious diversity in the United States. We explore particularly the communities and religious traditions of Asia and the Middle East that have become woven into the religious fabric of the United States in the past twenty-five years."

Native American

The National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian.

African Indigenous

The Smithsonian's African Voices


The Smithsonian's Hindu Belief and Practice

Hinduism at the BBC

Hinduism at Religious Tolerance .Org


The Federation of Jain Associations in North America

Jainism's Global Resource Center


Gateway to Sikhism

Global Sikh Studies

Confucianism & Daoism

Research Center for Confucian Studies

Daoist Foundation


Encyclopedia of Shinto

Kokugakuin University Encyclopedia of Shinto


Jewish Virtual Library

Judaism 101


BBC Christianity

The Vatican


Islamic City

Islamic Arts and Architecture

Alternative Paths

BBC Paganism


The Witches' Voice

BBC Rastafari