2008 Catholic Press Association Award Winner!
Students enrolled in undergraduate theology and religious studies courses are frequently confronted with the daunting task of mastering new and unfamiliar terminology. While some textbooks include glossaries to aid the introductory student, many educators assign classroom texts that assume students' prior knowledge of key terms. Having ready access to a wide variety of definitions in a single, compact volume is especially important in our multicultural and religiously plural world.
Spanning the gamut from "Aaron" to "Zwingli," this dictionary includes nearly 3,000 entries written by about sixty authors, all of whom are specialists in their various theological and religious disciplines. The editors have designed the dictionary especially to aid the introductory-level student with instant access to definitions of terms likely to be encountered in—but not to substitute for—classroom presentations or reading assignments.
Designed as a supplement for student coursework, An Introductory Dictionary of Theology and Religious Studies is also a useful resource for catechesis or religious education, for those pursuing interfaith or interreligious dialogue, and for those whose duties require communication with persons from diverse religious traditions.
Orlando O. Espín is Professor of Systematic Theology at the University of San Diego, where he also directs the Center for the Study of Latino/a Catholicism.
James B. Nickoloff is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is the editor of Gustavo Gutierrez: Essential Writings.
[T]his is an easy to use, non-technical work with entries on practically every topic one can think of in the area of theology and religious studies. Entries are short and to the point, accurate, and they are followed by a good number of cross-references for more background or depth.
Catholic Library World
[T]his dictionary delivers on its promise: it is an introductory teaching tool. At the same time, it is scholarly and trustworthy.
Catholic Books Review
While the dictionary is intended for students, its value goes beyond the classroom. Professors and librarians will find it a useful tool in a personal reference collection. Even parish libraries and catechesis classes will find it valuable. . . . Theology and Religious Studies have long been kept separate as two distinct academic disciplines, but this work acknowledges a relationship between the two fields. In a sense, this dictionary attempts to bridge the gap between the two, providing theologians with historical context and background, and giving religious studies students a deeper understanding of theological concepts.
With over 3,000 alphabetically arranged entries written by more than 60 authors, this single-volume work is ambitious in scope. . . . the work does an admirable job of covering topics outside the scope of Catholic theology and practice.
For undergraduate students this is a very valuable volume published at a reasonable price.
This is a project that has long been needed and will be well-received . . .
Catholic Books Review
With well over two thousand entries, this major dictionary serves a distinct niche: to offer basic definitions of key terms, figures, and events in the study of Christian theology and world religions. . . . it is highly recommended for college students taking religious studies courses, and an absolute must for college and university libraries.
Religious Studies Review
This is a most comprehensive dictionary that covers the major concepts in religious studies and themes within theology. It is interfaith with its broad, yet in depth, sweep of Christianity and other religious. At the same time, it provides biographical data on some of the most pioneering voices in the academic study of religion. It is a text that is immediately accessible in its use and understandable in its content. Keep this book on your desk whether you are a beginner or a seasoned scholar of the craft.
Dwight N. Hopkins, author of Being Human: Race, Culture, and Religion
Outstanding for the range of topics covered and the quality of essays and brief entries, this is a splendid reference tool! The volume will be useful to students of literature and history as well as religion and theology. Notable for wide-ranging coverage by experts who are also experienced teachers, the entries are commendably clear and helpfully cross-referenced. Students should be encouraged to look here first for accurate information on Mary Daly, the Dalai Lama, the dar al-Salam, and Pope Damasus I, to mention some representative topics. This book is a `must' for every reference collection and humanities professor's office!
Anne E. Patrick, William H. Laird Professor of Religion and the Liberal Arts, Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota
In scope and quality An Introductory Dictionary of Theology and Religious Studies is unmatched by any recent publication of its kind. The combination of Theology and Religious Studies is a unique and timely contribution to these two academic fields, for too long kept apart. The entries are succinct but provide accurate and up-to-date information on the subject matter they deal with. This dictionary is a must-have not only for libraries but also for students of theology and religious studies and people interested in these fields who will have at their finger tips a rich treasure-cove of needed information. We are in great debt to the two general editors and all the contributors who have labored long and hard to produce this dictionary.
Peter C. Phan, Ph.D., Ignacio Ellacuria Chair of Catholic Social Thought, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.