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Theological Research for Beginners   Tags: research, writing  

A basic guide to theological research.
Last Updated: May 11, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Getting Started Print Page

About this Guide

About this Guide:

    Links to Resources:

    • Book titles link to Emory's DiscoverE catalog
    • Periodical titles link to online access page or to DiscoverE

    Ask a librarian if you have any questions or need help.


      How to Read a Book

      What, you don't just start on page one and read every word until you get to the end?

      If that's what you think, this book is for you—it will greatly enhance your theological education by giving you the tools to make better use of your reading time.

      How to Read a Book

      Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren, How to Read a Book (WOODRUFF STACKS PN83 .A43 1972)

      An invaluable guide to academic reading. One to own.

      Read a summary via the link below.


      Starting Points

      Consider beginning your research with the following volumes, located in the Reference Collection on the second (main) floor of Pitts Theology Library

      We've also created a small booklet of the reference sources we find ourselves turning to most.  You can view and download a copy of your own below.

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      The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church - F. L. Cross (Editor); Elizabeth A. Livingstone
      Call Number: ONLINE and in READY REFERENCE BR95 .O8 2005
      --starting point for almost any topic (like Wikipedia, but from authoritative sources)
      --brief articles give an overview of the subject
      --excellent bibliographies

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      The Encyclopedia of Christianity - ed. Erwin Fahlbusch and Geoffrey William Bromiley
      Call Number: THEOLOGY REFERENCE BR95 .E8913 1999
      --five-volume set
      --lengthy articles with global perspective and good bibliographies
      --excellent coverage of historical topics
      --good for in-depth orientation to a subject

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      The HarperCollins Bible Commentary - ed. James Luther Mays
      Call Number: READY REFERENCE BS491.2 .H37 2000
      --quick overview of a biblical book or passage
      --further options:
      The Oxford Bible Commentary (READY REFERENCE BS491.3 .O94 2001)
      The New Jerome Biblical Commentary (READY REFERENCE BS491.2 .N485 1990)
      Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible (READY REFERENCE BS491.3 .E37 2003)
      Anchor Bible Dictionary (READY REFERENCE BS440 .A54 1992)

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      The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought - ed. Adrian Hastings et al.
      Call Number: READY REFERENCE BR95 .O94 2000
      --orientation to any theological topic
      --lengthy articles on range of material
      --short bibliographies

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      The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Ethics - ed. James F. Childress and John Macquarrie
      Call Number: THEOLOGY REFERENCE BJ1199 .W47 1986
      --orientation to Christian ethical issues
      --short articles, some bibliographies

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      The New SCM Dictionary of Liturgy and Worship - ed. Paul F. Bradshaw
      Call Number: THEOLOGY REFERENCE BV173 .N49 2002
      --all things liturgical
      --broad coverage of traditions and subjects
      --short articles and bibliographies

      Cover Art
      Concise Encyclopedia of Preaching - Richard Lischer and William H. Willimon
      Call Number: THEOLOGY REFERENCE BV4211.2 .C583 1995
      --articles range in size and depth
      --includes biographical profiles of historical figures
      --also available in THEOLOGY STACKS

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      Dictionary of Pastoral Care and Counseling - ed. Rodney J. Hunter and Nancy J. Ramsay
      Call Number: REFERENCE BV4011.3 .D53 2005
      --encyclopedic coverage of pastoral theory and practice
      --bibliographies and cross references


      Frequently Used Print (and equivalent electronic) Resources

      This is a list of some of the reference resources we use most frequently in assisting library patrons.  The list is organized by topic and includes descriptions of each item. There are, however, plenty of other useful resources, so please ask us for additional resources related to your particular project!

      Note: Location is Pitts Theology Library REFERENCE unless otherwise indicated.

      Subject Guide

      Profile Image
      Sarah Bogue
      Contact Info
      Reference and Instruction Librarian
      Room 209 - Research Office

      Quick References

      Consecrated Phrases - James T. Bretzke
      Call Number: THEOLOGY REFERENCE: BX841. B68 2013
      Have you ever run across a Latin phrase in your reading and aren't sure what it means? This dictionary provides listings and definitions of Latin phrases commonly used in theological writings, including entries for the Latin titles of many church documents.

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