I often say that if I headed back to college today, I would major in comparative religions rather than political science. That is because religious actors and institutions are playing an influential role in every region of the world...
The Atla Websites on Religion (WOR) LibGuide is a growing, selective, annotated collection of web resources for the study of religion.
The intended audience could broadly be defined as 'anyone interested in religion and theology'—but more specifically—'librarians serving students and researchers in the fields of theology and religion.'
The site began as a list of annotated links created by Charles Bellinger in the late 1990s at the Wabash Center. The "Internet Guide to Religion" (known simply as "The Internet Guide") became nearly exhaustive and perhaps exhausting, given that it covered links to websites, syllabi, texts, journals, bibliographies, liturgies, reference resources, and software. The site morphed from a list into a database, and helped ease the exhaustive nature of the content! Atla began hosting the site in 2018 at http://wor.atla.com, but links had not been maintained consistently since 2014, and many links were lost to the æther.
Much has changed online since the Internet Guide was first created. With the increasing demand for open access materials in the scholarly realm, the guide was showing its age. The Atla WOR LibGuide brings many of the resources linked to a new platform familiar to librarians (and researchers)—Springshare's LibGuides. The WOR LibGuide does not contain everything in the old guide. Gone are the syllabi, and the websites of individual scholars. The site has been trimmed considerably, but more attention has been paid to "open access" scholarly materials - including books and journals.
Now, the WOR guide will grow in usefulness as more Atla members sharpen the content and extend the reach of topics covered.
A few features have been added to aid the librarian or researcher in finding material beyond the reach of the guide:
Wikipedia Links - Where appropriate separate boxes are added to each page with links to appropriate Wikipedia pages. In the case of very broad subjects, the main article is presented along with links to "categories" (lists of related articles), and if available, "portals" (which serve as guides in their own right). NOTE: The inclusion of Wikipedia material is not an endorsement of the content of each article. Rather, the articles can provide helpful "launching points" for further resources (especially in the "References" and "External Links" section of each article).
The Pluralism Project - For pages on world religions, links have been provided to The Pluralism Project, highlighting the main page, notable links, bibliographies, and directories of religious centers.
Open Access Books - In some cases, links to published open access books have been highlighted. The books featured are merely a sample of materials on a particular topic—with an emphasis on items published in the last thirty years from scholarly publishers. The books featured are by no means an exhaustive list of everything available. To find more, it is worth searching the "open access aggregators."
Open Access Aggregators - At the bottom of each page is a 'gallery' of "Open Access Aggregators". These online catalogs, databases, and indexes pull together scholarly open access materials, including books, journals, articles, dissertations and theses, and institutional repositories. It is well worth searching these individual resources for materials related to your particular topic. Each of these aggregators is described on the Open Access Aggregators page (under the About tab). Of particular note is the Open Access Digital Theological Library (OADTL), which pulls together much of the data from the other aggregators listed and presents the material in an interface similar to any other library catalog.
Other Guides - Significant guides and portals that point to password-protected resources will also be listed, as these introduce the user to the full range of both open and closed(?) access materials.
Connect with librarians dedicated to the study of religion and theology on a global scale!