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The Department of Religion offers the BA and MA (Plan A, thesis and Plan B, non-thesis) degrees, with areas of specialization in Asian and Polynesian religious traditions. In addition, faculty specialties include textual study, historical development, mysticism and ritual, and contemporary fieldwork studies. There is no emphasis on pastoral theology, pastoral study, devotional studies, or other subjects traditionally treated by theological or divinity schools.


Religion relies heavily on interdisciplinary materials from the humanities and social sciences. Interdisciplinary materials selected by the Religion selector include art, philosophy of religion, and specialized materials for the study of ethics. Requests for Asian, Pacific and Hawaiian materials are referred to the area collections.


Language: Texts and scholarly secondary works are collected in English and in French, German, Greek and Latin. Materials in Arabic and Hebrew have been acquired primarily as gifts. Primary and secondary texts in Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, Sanskrit, Prakrit, Pali and Hindi are also acquired.

Chronological: No limitations.

Geographic: United States, Western Europe, the Near East for Judaism and Islamic thought, Asia and the Pacific basin. Only selected secondary material is collected for Africa, areas of the modern Eastern Church, and Latin America.

Date of Publication: No limitations.

Types and Formats of Materials Collected: Primarily books and serials are collected. Dissertations are acquired on faculty request. All formats may be collected, including electronic, print, and microform. Microform may be acquired if print is not available. Audiovisual materials are acquired in consultation with faculty and the Wong AV Center.

Electronic Format: Electronic resources include indexes, databases, reference tools, e-books, and so forth. Networked electronic access is preferred for full text journal literature and for indexing and abstracting.

Treatment: Primary and critical works pertaining to western religious traditions and the Asian fields of Indian, Buddhist, Chinese, and Japanese religion, as well as material in support of comparative religious studies is acquired. All significant secondary works in English are actively sought. Works relating to Islam and Judaism and contemporary American and the continental European approach to historical and textual study are acquired. United States, United Nations and non-governmental agencies' publications, especially on civil rights, human rights, and development issues are collected. Pictorial treatments are not emphasized. Popular treatments and textbooks are generally not acquired.

Major Microform Holdings: The library subscribes to the Human Relations Area Files (HRAF); and the Asia Collection holds the United Presbyterian Mission reports and correspondence of its missions to Asia in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Compiled by: Ross Christensen

Date: June 2008

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