Review by Choice Review
Broad, comprehensive, scholarly, and generally up-to-date, this is a translation of the third revised edition of Evangelisches Kirchenlexicon, with articles added and expanded for English-speaking readers. Volume 1 has 473 entries of some 1,700 projected for the five-volume set. Entries are arranged alphabetically and range in length from half a column on "cannibalism" to 26 pages on "church." Articles contain helpful internal cross-references, but they are indicated by arrows, which intrude annoyingly. Each article has a heavily German bibliography. Articles cover Christian theology ("Christology," "eschatology," "ethics"), traditions ("Adventists," "Baptists," "Churches of God"), practices ("anointing," "celibacy of the clergy," "dietary laws"), and spirituality ("devotional literature," "communities, spiritual") from the inception of Christianity until the present. Current demographic data on Christianity are provided for each country--an outstanding feature. There are a few charts but no illustrations (not even for the lengthy article on "Christian art"). The international roster of contributors reflect the best of German critical scholarship, although some inaccuracies occur in articles on US religious groups. When complete, this should be the standard reference on Christianity for academic and public libraries. G. Holloway David Lipscomb University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
The much-lauded Evangelisches Kirchenlexikon (3d ed.) is being published in a five-volume expanded English translation expected to be completed over the next five years. The German editors have worked with the editors of the English edition to add significant content for American and British audiences, and this first volume sets the standard for reference works of this kind. While starting from a Protestant foundation, the encyclopedia is remarkably free of bias and covers all branches of Christianity with sufficient depth. The articles capture nuances while maintaining clarity. The work also covers every country of the world in country-specific and regional articles, other major religions, new religious movements, and Christian denominations and sects. The work is meticulously organized, with clear cross references to related articles. Because Christianity interacts with sociology, psychology, ethics, and politics, such articles as "Anxiety," "Birth Control," "Colonialism," and "Conservatism" also appear. The scope, scholarship, and clarity of the work should make it the modern replacement for such classic reference works as The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (1908) and the Twentieth Century Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge: An Extension of the New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (1955), which focused on Protestantism and frequently exhibited a polemical edge. One minor caveat is that the new encyclopedia's German origin and the translation's intended American-British audience result in some articles dealing only with Germany, England, and the United States. Eessential; this is possibly the best encyclopedic reference on Christianity.William P. Collins, Library of Congress (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.