Undergraduates in the Religious Studies Program; many faculty, graduate students and staff in other departments, including Philosophy, Classics, Medieval Studies, Near Eastern Studies, History, Government, Women's Studies, Art History, Comparative Literature, English, Anthropology, Natural Resources, Society for the Humanities and Cornell United Religious Work. Some topics studied recently include: women in the Catholic Church; 19th-century spiritualism; Christian fundamentalism; Bible as literature; the body of Christ.
Existing Collection Strength: ECS:3; Language: W
Particular strengths in church history, especially German regional history, Biblical studies, theology, history of missions, Afro-Brazilian religion, translations of Bible into vernacular languages, early Christian and medieval texts, monastic orders. Significant collections in Hinduism and Buddhism (see Area Studies section)
This fund supports general and comparative religious studies, focusing on religions of the Western world and Oceania (with the exception of Judaism, Islam, and Native American religion): i.e. Christianity, the religions of Classical Greece, Rome and pre-Christian Europe, and new religious movements. Religion in the Eastern world is supported by Wason, Echols, and South Asia curators. Principal subjects covered are: Biblical studies (Hebrew Bible generally supported by Jewish Studies Bibliographer); church history (Coptic and Orthodox Church collected at a 3 level); canon law (2-3 level); Christian theology; religion and society; religion and politics; church and social issues; women and religion; interfaith dialogue; religious ethics; Western mythology; atheism. Much of the historical material is acquired via monographic series. Interest in new religious movements and contemporary trends in religion requires purchase of some popular monographs and serials as primary materials. Much of this kind of material is available at the Alternatives Library.
Esoterica and the occult: This area is also supported by the Psychology bibliographer, various history funds (e.g. European witchcraft), Rare, and area bibliographers and curators. The Religion Bibliographer purchases these materials when there is an explicitly spiritual cast, e.g. meditation, contemporary spiritual life, neo-pagan religions, spiritualism, modern teachers, etc. Also movements such as Scientology, Eckankar, Theosophy, neo-shamanism (indigenous religion supported by Anthropology and area bibliographers and curators). The bulk of New Age and occult materials are selected at 1-2 level, except for historical treatments.
Subject Classes: BF(part), BL(excluding Asia), BP500+(Theosophy and new religions), BR-BX.
Geographic Areas Covered:
North and South America (the latter also supported by Ibero-American Bibliographer), Europe (Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union supported by Slavic Studies Bibliographer), Classical world (Ancient Near East and Egypt generally supported by Classics Bibliographer), Oceania. Collect in Western European languages, including original texts in Latin, Greek, Coptic, Syriac.
Indigenous religions of the Americas, Africa, Oceania and the Pacific; Asian religions; religious instruction and textbooks; theses; juvenile literature; polemics. Collected at a 2-3 level are devotional works, prayer books and liturgy, except for historical or literary works; works intended for the clergy; e.g. pastoral counseling, ministry, church administration; preaching and religious education; self-help books and inspirational literature except where there is special interest; Bibles, except important new translations; congregational histories (except regional); mission work collected at 2-3 level (also supported by area bibliographers and curators).