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John M. Kelly Library

Research Guide to Church History

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 July 2012.

Multi-volume Encyclopedias - General

New Catholic Encyclopedia.

New Catholic Encyclopedia.

2nd edition. Washington, DC: Gale, 2002. 15 volumes + annual supplements.
[Available online for UofT use]
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area – BX 841 .N44 2002]
The major English-language encyclopedia on Catholic topics, it contains some 17,000 articles, each with a bibliography emphasizing the primary sources. Unfortunately many of the articles in the 2003/online edition are reprints from the 1967 edition without any updating. Use this work to get an overview of a subject and to see how it can be divided into narrower topics for a paper.

Routledge Religion Resources Online.

Routledge Religion Resources Online.

[Available online for UofT use]
An online collection of thirty different encyclopedias and dictionaries on various religious topics. Strong in some areas (e.g. Protestantism, monasticism, early Christianity), but weak in other areas. Includes the Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, Encyclopedia of Monasticism, The Encyclopedia of Protestantism, and The Papacy: An Encyclopedia.

The Catholic Encyclopedia.

The Catholic Encyclopedia.

New York: Encyclopedia Press, 1905-1922. 16 volumes + 2 supplements.
[Available online for free.]
[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 for some topics. In some articles the writers adopt an apologetic, even polemical, approach.

Encyclopedia of Christianity.

Encyclopedia of Christianity.

Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1999 – 2008. 5 volumes.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area – BR 95 .E8913 1999]
This work is the major English-language theological encyclopedia from a Protestant perspective. It emphasizes post-Reformation and particularly contemporary Christianity. The articles included are substantial but selective; there are many topics which are not addressed. Many of the articles are translated from the German Evangelisches Kirchenlexikon (Robarts 4th Floor Reference Area BR 95 .E92 1986).

Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought

Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy.

Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2007. 2 volumes.
[St. Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area BX 1753 .E595 2007]
A comprehensive and broad-ranging analysis of how the Catholic religious, moral, and intellectual tradition has and should shape society and social life.

Dictionnaire d'Histoire et de Geographie Ecclesiastiques.

Dictionnaire d'Histoire et de Géographie Ecclésiastiques.

Paris: Letouzey et Ané, 1912-present. 26 volumes (in progress).
[Available online for UofT use]
[Print version: St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area – BR 95 .D52 1912]
The most comprehensive reference work in Church history; mostly brief articles (with bibliographies) on terms, persons, places, events, and movements. Only complete as far as the letter "K".

One-volume Dictionaries - General

Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church.

The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church

Edited by F.L. Cross and E.A. Livingstone. 3rd edition revised. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
[Available online for UofT use.]
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area – BR 95 .O8 2005]
Brief, scholarly articles with bibliographies on over 6,000 topics. This dictionary is particularly good for identifying individuals and for historical topics.

The New SCM Dictionary of Church History.

The New SCM Dictionary of Church History.

Edited by Robert Benedetto. London: SCM Press, 2008.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area – BR 95 .N49 2008]
Also published under the title The New Westminster Dictionary of Church History, this work is very comparable to the Oxford Dictionary (above). Only volume 1 (early church to 1700) has been published so far.

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries - By Period

See also the separate Research Guide to Patristics.


Encyclopedia of the Early Church.

Encyclopedia of the Early Church.

Edited by Angelo Di Berardino. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. 2 volumes.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area – BR 66.5 .D5813 1992]
The most scholarly English-language dictionary of Christian antiquity with twice as many articles and a broader coverage than Everett Ferguson's Encyclopedia of Early Christianity The entries, ranging from one or two paragraphs to five or six pages in length, include substantial bibliographies of primary sources and major secondary works in English as well as in other Western European languages.

Encyclopedia of Early Christianity.

Encyclopedia of Early Christianity.

2nd edition by Everett Ferguson. New York: Garland, 1997. 2 volumes.
[Available online for UofT use]
[Print version: St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area – BR 162.2 .E53 1997]
A slightly more readable dictionary of Christian antiquity than Angelo Di Berardinos Encyclopedia of the Early Church. Specialists in patristics and early Christian history will find it useful for concise, accurate summaries, ready access to facts, and basic bibliographies.

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium.

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium.

New York: Oxford University Press, 1991. 3 volumes.
[Available online for UofT use]
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area – DF 521 .O93 1991]
Major survey articles as well as shorter articles on lesser topics covering the Byzantine Empire from the 4th to the 15th centuries.

Dictionary of the Middle Ages.

Dictionary of the Middle Ages.

New York: Charles Scribners' Sons, 1982-1989. 13 volumes.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area – D 114 .D5]
Articles (many of essay length) on all aspects of medieval scholarship. The Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages edited by Andre Vauchez is a much smaller work than the Dictionary of the Middle Ages but it is more up-to-date and available online for UofT use.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation.

Edited by Hans J. Hillerbrand. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. 4 volumes.
[Available online for UofT use.]
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area – BR 302.8 .O93 1996]
More than 1,200 scholarly articles. Many of the bibliographies are annotated and are divided into separate lists of primary and secondary sources.

Collections of Documents
Documents of the Christian Church.

Documents of the Christian Church.

Edited by Henry Bettenson. 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area – BR141 .D6 1999]
A highly selective collection of major Christian documents, including statements from popes, bishops, councils, and synods.

Readings in Church History.

Readings in Church History.

Edited by Colman J. Barry. Westminster, MD: Newman Press, 1965.
[St Michael's 3rd Floor – BQX 24 .R42]
Over 300 contemporary writings which illustrate the history of the Church (excluding America).

Internet Medieval Sourcebook.

Internet Medieval Sourcebook.

Edited by Hans J. Hillerbrand. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. 4 volumes.
[Available online for free.]
Primary sources arranged according to type, excerpts from other writings, and lives of the saints from ancient, medieval and Byzantine sources.

Atlases

In addition to maps, these works also include numerous illustrations which provide a graphical representation of the history of Christianity.


Atlas of the Christian Church.

Atlas of the Christian Church.

Edited by Henry Chadwick and G.R. Evans. New York: Facts on File, 1987.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area – BR 98 .A74 1987]

The Macmillan Atlas History of Christianity.

The Macmillan Atlas History of Christianity.

By Franklin H. Littell. New York: Macmillan, 1976.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area – G 1046 .E4 L5]

Atlas zur Kirchengeschichte: Die Christlichen Kirchen in Geschichte und Gegenwart.

Atlas zur Kirchengeschichte: Die Christlichen Kirchen in Geschichte und Gegenwart.

Edited by Jochen Martin. Freiburg: Herder, 1970.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area – BR 146.5 .J43]

Timelines
The Timetables of History.

The Timetables of History.

By Bernard Grun. 4th rev. ed. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005.
[Victoria Pratt Library – D11 .G78 2005]
[3rd edition: St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area – D 11 .G78 1991]
Contemporary names and events in various fields are presented in parallel columns (history, politics; literature, theater; religion, philosophy, learning; visual arts; music; science, technology, growth; daily life).

Tabulae fontium traditionis christianae.

Tabulae fontium traditionis christianae.

By J. Creusen and F. Van Eyen. Louvain: Editions du Museum Lessianum, 1926.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area – BQX 43 .C7]
Chronological tables showing in parallel columns the popes, councils, heresies, and major theologians of the Church. Do not be deterred by the Latin title of the work.

Chronological and Background Charts of Church History.

Chronological and Background Charts of Church History.

By Robert C. Walton. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1986.
[Regis/Emmanuel/Trinity Reference Area – BR 146 .W35 1985]
Over 80 charts for use by both students and teachers of church history "as a way to gain rapid access to basic information . . . and as a way of providing orderly categories into which that information may be placed."

General Histories

The following works are comprehensive histories and are recognized as standards in their field. Each volume includes excellent bibliographies which list the most important primary and secondary works.


History of the Church.

History of the Church.

Edited by Hubert Jedin and John Dolan. New York: Seabury Press, 1980. 10 volumes.
[St Michael's 3rd Floor – BR 145.2 .J413]

The Cambridge History of Christianity.

The Cambridge History of Christianity.

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006 - 2009. 9 volumes.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area – BR 145.3 .C35 2006]

The I.B. Tauris History of the Christian Church.

The I.B. Tauris History of the Christian Church.

New York: I.B. Tauris, 2007-present. 5 (of 7 projected) volumes published.
[St Michael's 3rd Floor – volumes have individual call numbers; check catalogue]

Biography

The Oxford Dictionary of Popes.

The Oxford Dictionary of Popes.

By J.N.D. Kelly. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
[Available online for UofT use.]
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area – BX 955.2 .K45 2005]
A chronological arrangement of concise biographies of the popes and major anti-popes. The bibliographies include primary sources as well as specialized and more general studies.

The Book of Saints.

The Book of Saints.

7th edition. New York: Continuum, 2002.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area – BX 4655 .B66 1989]
The most complete list of saints and blesseds in English. Very brief biographies including birth and death years and feast days.

Butler's Lives of the Saints.

Butler's Lives of the Saints.

New full ed. Edited by Paul Burns. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1995-1999. 12 volumes + 1 supplement.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area – BX 4654 .B8 1995]
The standard English-language reference work on the saints; biographies are arranged according to the feast day of the saint. This work provides the best brief biographies of the saints together with excellent bibliographies. The current edition includes many of those canonized or beatified in the last twenty years. The former edition edited by Herbert Thurston and Donald Attwater (St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area - BX 4654 .B8 1956) is still sometimes useful.

Dictionary of Catholic Biography.

Dictionary of Catholic Biography.

By John J. Delaney and James Edward Tobin. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1961.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area – BX 4651.2 .D52 1961]
A biographical dictionary of "outstanding Catholics from the time of the Apostles to the present day". Contains some 16,000 brief entries, many citing one or two sources.

Finding Journal Articles

Catholic Periodical and Literature Index.

Catholic Periodical and Literature Index.

[Available online (1981 - present) for UofT use]
[Print version (1930 - 1980): St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area – 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 with ATLASerials.

ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials.

[Available online (1981 - present) for UofT use]
Over one million bibliographic citations to journal articles, essays in books, and book reviews in the field of religion.

Historical Abstracts.

Historical Abstracts.

[Available online (1954 - present) for UofT use]
Index with abstracts to journal articles on historical topics from 1450 to the present (excluding North America).

Humanities Abstracts.

Humanities Abstracts.

[Available online (1994 - present) for UofT use]
Index with abstracts to over 400 humanities journals, including the most significant English-language history journals.

Bibliographies
Church History: An Introduction to Research, Reference Works, and Methods.

Church History: An Introduction to Research, Reference Works, and Methods.

By James E. Bradley and Richard A. Muller. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1995.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area – BR 138 .B69 1995]

The Early Church: An Annotated Bibliography of Literature in English.

The Early Church: An Annotated Bibliography of Literature in English.

By Thomas A. Robinson. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, 1993.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area – BR 162.2 .R63 1993]

Reformation Europe: A Guide to Research.

Reformation Europe: A Guide to Research.

By Steven Ozment. St. Louis, MS: Center for Reformation Research, 1982.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area – BR 305.2 .R39]

The Catholic Mobile: Church History.

The Catholic Mobile: Church History.

[Available online for free.]
Links to over ninety church history web sites.