One technique that can prove extremely valuable when starting research in a new area or on a topic you are not familiar with is to locate some authoritative overviews of the topic. Reference books can be extremely valuable in this respect.
Many reference books are subject specific encyclopedias that contain scholarly essays on a wide range of topics within a specific discipline. Below are some examples of these sources that are related to issues surrounding religious freedom.
- Encyclopedia of religious freedom / Catharine Cookson, editor.
New York : Routledge, 2003
Location: MAIN Reference (Non-circulating) Call number: 323.44203 E56
This work includes a wide range of essays on topics related to religious freedom. Included are essays on subjects ranging from Baptist Dissenters in Virginia, Church and State in Modern Europe, Islamic Empire, Medieval, and Law, Disorder, and Religious Freedom.
- Religious freedom in the world / edited by Paul A. Marshall.
Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ; [Washington, DC] : Published in cooperation with Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute, 2008
Location: MAIN Library Call number: L 323.44209 R382
In addition to several essays on various topics related to religious freedom around the world an overviews of religious freedom in 101 countries this work includes appendices that chart individual countries freedom of religion "scores" and government favoritism of religion.
- Encyclopedia of American civil liberties / Paul Finkelman, editor.
New York : Routledge, 2006
Location: MAIN Reference (Non-circulating) Call number: 342.73085 E56
Provides several essays related to religious freedom and provides an overview of Lynch v. Donnelly.
- Encyclopedia of religion [electronic resource] / Lindsay Jones, editor in chief.
Detroit : Macmillan Reference USA, 2005
Location: MAIN Reference (Encyclopedia case) (Non-circulating) Call number: 200.321 E56 2005
Also available online.
Provides essays on numerous topics related to religious freedom including Law, Religion, and Human Rights, Politics and religion, and Law, Religion, and Human Morality.
- Contemporary American religion / Wade Clark Roof, editor in chief.
New York : Macmillan Reference USA, 2000
Location: MAIN Reference (Non-circulating) Call number: 200.97303 C761
Provides a brief entry on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Included in the bibliography for this entry is a reference to articles in various law reviews including "Requiem for Religious Freedom?" in the University of Arkansas Little Rock Law Journal, Volume 20, 1998; 555-812. This citation is actually for an entire issue of the law journal containing several articles on the topic.
- Encyclopedia of American civil rights and liberties / edited by Otis H. Stephens, Jr., John M. Scheb II, Kara E. Stooksbury.
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2006
Location: MAIN Reference (Non-circulating) Call number: 342.73085 E563
Includes essays on the Freedom of Religion and the Official Endorsement of Religion.
Bibliographies provide a list of sources on particular topics and can be valuable in assisting in the location of sources and in verifying that you have not overlooked important sources.
- Church and state in historical perspective : a critical assessment and annotated bibliography / James E. Wood, Jr.
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2005
Location: MAIN Reference (Non-circulating) Call number: 016.3221 W876ch
In addition to a bibliographic survey of this area this work contains several overview essays which may also prove useful:
- Religion and the State in the Ancient World
- Religion and the State in the Biblical World
- Christianity and the State
- Religion and the State in Other Religions
- Religion and the Secular State
- Religion in International Affairs and Interfaith Relations
- Church and state in postwar eastern Europe : a bibliographical survey / compiled by Paul Mojzes ; G.E. Gorman, advisory editor.
New York : Greenwood Press, 1987
Location: MAIN Reference (Non-circulating) Call number:016.3221 C561
Provides numerous citations, broken down by country, to works concerning Religion in the eastern European states as well as citations to works providing a broader overview of the whole region. Covers the period from 1946 to the early 1980s.
- Church and state in the modern world : a critical assessment and annotated bibliography / James E. Wood, Jr.
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2005
Location: MAIN Reference (Non-circulating) Call number:016.3221 W876c
This bibliography includes several entries under Religious Freedom.
- Church and state in America : a bibliographical guide / edited by John F. Wilson.
New York : Greenwood Press, 1986-1987
Location: MAIN Reference (Non-circulating) Call number: 016.3221 C5612
This work includes several scholarly essays focusing on Church - State issues and Religion and Law.