Credible online academic sources of information that one may consult to gain a better understanding of words, concepts, personalities, and topics. Access is limited to Villanova University researchers.

Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd. ed.
Presents a cross-cultural approach that emphasizes religion's role within everyday life and as a unique experience from culture to culture.

New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd ed.
Explores many branches of knowledge with an emphasis on the Catholic worldview, the practices, places and personalities of Catholicism, the teachings of the Catholic Church, as well as topical articles on the Bible, theology, ethics, and philosophy. Content is from the revised New Catholic Encyclopedia, and includes entries from supplemental volumes. Online access via Gale Virtual Reference Library.

Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion
Includes a growing number of peer-reviewed reference articles on topics in all fields of research related to the study of religion. Browsable as well as searchable, new content is added monthly. Specializations include: • African Religions • Ancient Religion • Biblical Studies • Biographies and Works • Buddhism • Christianity • Comparative Religions • Global Perspectives on Religion • Hinduism • Indigenous Religions • Islamic Studies • Jainism • Judaism and Jewish Studies • Literary and Textual Studies • Methodology and Resources • Mysticism and Spirituality • Myth and Legend • New Religions • Religion and Art • Religion and Politics • Religion and Science • Religion in America • Rituals, Practices, and Symbolism • Sociology, Anthropology, and Psychology of Religion • Theology and Philosophy of Religion

Religion Past and Present online
4th ed. of a major encyclopedia of theology and religion, originally published 2007-2013.

Vocabulary for the Study of Religion
Leading dictionary in English offering an overview of terms essential to religious studies.


These resources are important for specialized research in theology and religious studies. Access is limited to Villanova University researchers.

Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online
Covers the most important authors, texts, ideas, and places that played a role in the history of the development of Christianity. Its content is intended to bridge the gap between the fields of New Testament studies and patristics, covering the whole period of early Christianity up to 600 CE. Source continuously updated. Online access via Brill Online.

Brill's Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online
presents a balanced approach to Hinduism, recognizing the divergent perspectives and methods in the academic study of the Hindu religion from its ancient historical roots to its many flourishing traditions today. Source published 2008-2012. Online access via Brill.

Contemporary American Religion
Provides overview articles on U.S. religious figures, groups and topics of interest. Source published in 2000. Online access via Gale Virtual Reference Library.

Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd ed.
Provides extensive facts and a detailed overview of Judaism, Jewish life and the contribution of Jews to world cultures from ancient to modern times. Source published in 2007. Online access via Gale Virtual Reference Library.

Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics, 2nd ed.
Provides a comprehensive and definitive review of the field; including the categories of Bioethics, Computers and Information Management, Economics/Business, Environmental Ethics, Ethics and Politics, Legal, Medical Ethics, Philosophy/Theories, Social and Social/Media. Source published 2012. Online access via Elsevier ScienceDirect.

Encyclopedia of Islam, 3rd ed.
Contains scholarly articles on the global religion of Islam, and the people and places of the Muslim world. Comprehensive coverage of Islam in the modern era, with a focus on the 20th century. Source began publication in 2002. Online access via Brill.

Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd ed.
Examines a wide array of philosophical concepts, schools of thought, and related subjects. Source published in 2006. Online access via Gale Virtual Reference Library.

Encyclopedia of Science and Religion
Explores all aspects of the dialogue between the sciences and the world's religions, reaching into the humanities as well as into the physical sciences and technology. Source published in 2003. Online access via Gale Virtual Reference Library.

Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism
Provides encyclopedic coverage of the most important concepts, texts, authors, deities, monasteries, and geographical sites. Not focused on a single Buddhist language or school, it bridges all major Buddhist traditions and covers terms from all of the canonical languages and traditions of Buddhism. Source published in 2014. Online access via JSTOR eBooks.

Sacramentum Mundi Online
Presents in English in-depth articles on many areas of Christian theology written and edited by renowned Catholic theologians. Originally published in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, 1968-1970, it is now a classic encyclopedia of post-conciliar Catholic theological discourse. Online access via Brill Online.

World Christian Encyclopedia Online
Features comprehensive descriptions of all Christian traditions, including current information on the uniqueness of Christian experiences around the world. It contains estimates for religious and nonreligious affiliation in every country of the world, including detail on Christianity to the denominational level. Source is the 3rd edition of the World Christian Encyclopedia published in 2019. Online access via Brill Online.


These additional online reference works are those occasionally suggested depending on the research topic and the scope of the research project. Most but not all are restricted to Villanova University researchers.

Brill's New Pauly Online
Provides encyclopedic coverage of people, places, works and subjects related to Greco-Roman antiquity and history from the second millennium BC to early medieval Europe, the classical tradition, the aftermath of antiquity, the process of continuous reinterpretation and revaluation of the ancient heritage, and the field of classical studies scholarship. Source is published English edition of the authoritative Der Neue Pauly (periodically updated). Online access via Brill Online.

Encyclopedia of Ancient History (Wiley-Blackwell)
Covers all civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean world including the Near East and Egypt.

Encyclopedia of Bioethics (Gale)
Covers a wealth of topics on the ethics of health professions, animal research, population control and the environment. This work helps researchers to consider the impact of new scientific knowledge and its potential to harm or benefit present and future generations.

Encyclopedia of Medieval Philosophy, 2nd ed.
Contains general entries on medieval philosophers and medieval philosophies and on the key terms and concepts in the subject area, but it also provides more in-depth details and analyses of particular theories. Covers the Middle Ages and part of the Renaissance, ranging from 500 to 1500 CE. Source published in 2020. Online access via SpringerLink.

Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception Online
Contains the most current state of knowledge on the origins and development of the Bible in the canons within Judaism and Christianity. It documents the history of biblical reception, not only in Christian churches and the Jewish Diaspora, but also in Islam, other non-Western religious traditions and movements. Source originally published 2010 and continuously updated. Online access via De Gruyter.

Encyclopedia of the Roman Army (Wiley-Blackwell)
Presents academic essays on all aspects of the Roman army during the Republic, Principate, and Late Antique periods.

Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford University Press)
Contains the complete text of the second edition of the 20-volume Dictionary. Presents authoritative information on words in the English language, including their form, definition, history, pronunciation, and etymology. Approximately 1,000 new and revised entries are added on a quarterly basis.

Oxford Research Encyclopedias - Oxford Classical Dictionary
This edition began with all of the articles from the fourth edition, but is regularly expanded with new articles and updated with revisions to previously published articles. It includes images, maps of the ancient world, links, and audiovisual clips.