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John M. Kelly Library

Research Guide to Catholic Spirituality

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This research guide is designed for use particularly by undergraduate students in the Christianity and Culture Program and by graduate students in the Faculty of Theology. It is maintained by Noel S. McFerran. It was last updated September 2011.

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

The New Dictionary of Catholic Spirituality.

The New Dictionary of Catholic Spirituality.

Edited by Michael Downey. Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical, 1993.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area - BX 2350.65 .N49]
Over 300 articles with bibliographies on Catholic spiritual concepts and schools (but not individual writers).

The New Westminster Dictionary of Christian Spirituality.

The New Westminster Dictionary of Christian Spirituality.

Edited by Philip Sheldrake. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox, 2005.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area - BV 4488 .N49 2005]
Lengthy articles on themes, movements, regions, and periods in Christian spirituality - but not biographies of individual persons. Also includes a section of short essays on the relationships between spirituality and other disciplines (e.g. culture, history, psychology, science).

The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Spirituality.

The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Spirituality.

Edited by Gordon S. Wakefield. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1983.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area - BV 4488 .W47 1983]
This older work is still useful, since its replacement has a thoroughly different editorial stance. It includes articles on spiritual schools, writers, and themes. The Catholic tradition is well represented along with Orthodoxy, Protestantism, and to a lesser extent non-Christian religions.

Catholic Spirituality from A to Z: An Inspirational Dictionary.

Catholic Spirituality from A to Z: An Inspirational Dictionary.

Susan Muto. Ann Arbor, Mich.: Servant Publications, 2000.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area BX2350.65 .M88 2000]
Brief articles on concepts, traditions, saints, and periods all chosen and written by a major scholar of formative spirituality. There are no bibliographies, but, as the subtitle indicates, the articles are nonetheless inspirational.

Experiences with God: A Dictionary of Spirituality.

Experiences with God: A Dictionary of Spirituality.

Columba Cary-Elwes. London: Sheed & Ward, 1986.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area BX 2350.2 .C67 1986]
A similar work to that by Susan Muto above. Some articles include bibliographic references.

Dictionary of Catholic Devotions.

Dictionary of Catholic Devotions.

Michael Walsh. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area BX 2350.2 .W34 1993]
A dictionary emphasizing the practice of individual piety, with articles on various shrines, devotions, sodalities, and confraternities.

Encyclopedia of Religious and Spiritual Development.

Encyclopedia of Religious and Spiritual Development.

Edited by Elizabeth M. Dowling and W. George Scarlett. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 2006.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area BV 4571.3 .E53 2006]
An inter-faith encyclopedia with lengthy articles (including bibliographies) about spiritual concepts, leaders, practices, and traditions.

An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Mysticism and the Mystery Religions.

An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Mysticism and the Mystery Religions.

By John Ferguson. London: Thames & Hudson, 1976.
[Trinity Reference - BL 31 .F47]
Includes articles on persons and topics from Christianity as well as non-Christian religions. Articles range from one line to a page. A fine one-volume work for the non-expert.

New Catholic Encyclopedia.

New Catholic Encyclopedia.

2nd edition. Washington, D.C.: Gale, 2003. 15 volumes.
[Available online for UofT use]
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area – BX 841 .N44 2003]
The major English-language encyclopedia on Catholic topics, this work contains some 17,000 articles, each with a bibliography. There is an article entitled "Spirituality, Christian (History of)" which identifies major spiritual masters and schools for each of which there is an article in the encyclopedia. Unfortunately many of the articles in the 2003/online edition are reprints from the 1967 edition without any updating.

The Catholic Encyclopedia.

The Catholic Encyclopedia.

[Available online for free.]
[Print version: St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area - BX 841 .C25 1907]
For over fifty years this work was the chief source of information on the Catholic Church in English-speaking countries. Owing to its length (it has almost twice as many words as the New Catholic Encyclopedia) and its emphasis on historical articles, it is still useful.

Dictionnaire de spiritualité ascétique et mystique: doctrine et histoire.

Dictionnaire de spiritualité ascétique et mystique: doctrine et histoire.

Paris: Beauchesne, 1932-1996. 17 volumes.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area - BX 841 .D67 1932]
The most comprehensive reference work in the field with long, signed articles covering concepts of spiritual theology and explaining their origin and development through the centuries with frequent references to sources. In French.

Dizionario di Mistica.

Dizionario di Mistica.

Edited by L. Borriello et al. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1998.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area - BV 5082.2 .D59 1998]
Over 600 articles on mystics and spiritual themes. In Italian.

Handbooks and Guides

The Blackwell Companion to Christian Spirituality.

The Blackwell Companion to Christian Spirituality.

Edited by Arthur Holder. Oxford: Blackwell, 2005.
[St Michael's 3rd Floor - BV 4501.3 .B535 2005]
Introductory essays on the scriptural background and historical development of Christian spirituality, as well as the interplay between spirituality and other theological and social science disciplines.

The Spiritual Life: A Treatise on Ascetical and Mystical Theology.

The Spiritual Life: A Treatise on Ascetical and Mystical Theology.

By Adolphe Tanquerey. Westminster, Md.: Newman, 1932.
[St Michael's 3rd Floor - BV 5032 .T3513 1932]
A handbook covering the general principles of the spiritual life and each of its three stages as conceived in the traditional manner (purgative, illuminative, unitive). Excellent bibliographies.

A Practical Guide to Spiritual Reading.

A Practical Guide to Spiritual Reading.

By Susan Muto. Revised edition. Petersham, Mass.: St. Bede's, 1994.
[St Michael's 3rd Floor - BX 2350.2 .M884 1994]
A guide for reading programs for individuals and groups. Suggested readings on specific topics (e.g. the desert experience) from Scripture, spiritual classics, and modern spiritual works.

Western Mysticism: A Guide to the Basic Works.

Western Mysticism: A Guide to the Basic Works.

By Mary Ann Bowman. Chicago: American Library Association, 1978.
[St Michael's 3rd Floor - BV 5082.2 .B68 1978]
A selective bibliography of primary and secondary sources on mystics and mysticism suitable for the general reader. Arranged chronologically.

Summaries and Collections

Masterpieces of Catholic Literature in Summary Form.

Masterpieces of Catholic Literature in Summary Form.

By Frank N. Magill. New York: Salem, 1965.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area - BX 885 .M2 1965]
Four to five page summaries of over 300 major Catholic works, including historical, philosophical, theological, spiritual, and devotional literature.

The Treasury of Catholic Wisdom.

The Treasury of Catholic Wisdom.

Edited by John A. Hardon. New York: Doubleday, 1987.
[St Michael's 3rd Floor - BX 885 .T73 1987]
An anthology of outstanding Catholic literature from the first century to modern times. Lengthy excerpts from the writings of mystics, theologians, and poets.

Encyclopedia of Catholic Literature.

Encyclopedia of Catholic Literature.

Edited by Mary R. Reichardt. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 2004. 2 volumes.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area PN 485 .E53 2004]
Chapters on almost eighty major pieces of Catholic literature. Each chapter includes a biography of the author, a plot summary, an essay on major themes, and an essay on the critical reception of the work.

Masterplots II: Christian Literature.

Masterplots II: Christian Literature.

Edited by John K. Roth. Pasadena, Calif.: Salem, 2007. 4 volumes.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area BR 117 .M15 2008]


Three to five page summaries of over 500 pieces of Christian literature both fiction and non-fiction. Includes classic and contemporary works from a variety of Christian traditions.

Histories

Each of these works is a chronological presentation of the development of Christian spirituality from the early Church to modern times.


The Presence of God: A History of Western Christian Mysticism.

The Presence of God: A History of Western Christian Mysticism.

By Bernard McGinn. New York: Crossroad, 1992 - present. (3 of 4 volumes published).
[St Michael's 3rd Floor - BV 5077 .E85 M34]

The Study of Spirituality.

The Study of Spirituality.

Edited by Cheslyn Jones et al. New York: SPCK, 1986.
[St Michael's 3rd Floor - BV 4501.2 .S87 1986]

History of Christian Spirituality.

History of Christian Spirituality.

By Louis Bouyer and others. New York: Seabury, 1963-1969. 3 volumes.
[St Michael's 3rd Floor - BV4490 .H513 1963]

Some Schools of Catholic Spirituality.

Some Schools of Catholic Spirituality.

By Jean Gautier. New York: Desclie, 1959.
[St Michael's 3rd Floor - BQT 2163 .G3 E5]

Christian Spirituality.

Christian Spirituality.

By Pierre Pourat. Westminster, Maryland: Newman, 1953-1955. 4 volumes.
[St Michael's 3rd Floor - BV 5021 .P5813 1953]

Finding More Resources

Bibliographia internationalis spiritualitatis.

Bibliographia internationalis spiritualitatis.

[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area - BX 2350.2 .B52 (1966 - present)]
An annual list of books and articles in the field of Catholic spirituality. The most recent volume lists almost 8,000 items. No annotations.

Catholic Periodical and Literature Index (CPLI).

Catholic Periodical and Literature Index (CPLI).

[Electronic version (1981 - present) for UofT use only]
[Print version (1930 - 1994): St Michael's 1st Floor Index Tables - AI 3 .C3]
Over 200,000 bibliographic citations to Catholic books, book reviews, and journal articles from more than 160 Catholic magazines. A much larger number of articles on historical topics will be found in the older volumes of the print version.

ATLA Religion Database.

ATLA Religion Database.

[Electronic version (1949 - present) for UofT use only]
[Print version (1949 - 1997): [St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area - Z 7775 .A5]
Over one million bibliographic citations to journal articles, essays in books, and book reviews in the field of religion.

It is possible to search the ATLA Religion Database and the Catholic Periodical and Literature Index at the same time: when you are using one or the other index, click on the blue "Choose Database" tab at the top of the webpage, place checkmarks against both indexes, and then click on the "Continue" tab.