Brandel Library

Seminary Studies

General guide for Seminary students

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Beginning Your Research

  • It is often helpful to begin with specialized dictionaries and encyclopedias for brief overviews.
  • Reference work articles also provide key vocabulary, concepts, persons, events, and disputed issues.
  • They often include brief introductory bibliographies as well.
  • Consulting several reference works can fill in the points omitted in another article.
  • Multiple articles can provide multiple perspectives on the subject, especially on the disputed aspects.
  • The repetitions of the multiple reference works helpfully emphasize the most important elements.
  • The bibliographies will point toward the next step, finding the best primary and secondary sources.

More Specialized Reference Books

  • After consulting some of the basic dictionaries of theology, you may want to use one or more reference books that are in some way more focused, either on a time period or a faith tradition or religion or even on an individual, depending on the subject of your paper.
  • These additional resources will serve you in the same way as the more general dictionaries of theology, giving you overviews, perhaps more extensive and more in-depth, and further bibliographies.
    • Titles that appear re-appear in multiple bibliographies should be high priorities for your research.
  • The following are only samples of many such works available in Brandel Library.
  • Most are in the reference section
  • Some works of this nature are in the General collection and can circulate.