Religious Studies Resource Guide

A Comprehensive Guide for Students and Teachers of Religious Studies

Introduction

Embarking on a journey of religious study can expand your spiritual, moral, cultural, and social boundaries. It also offers an opportunity for in-depth reflection on your belief system or the belief systems of other people in the world. On the other hand, if your job is teaching religious material to others, you actively contribute to the religious and spiritual literacy and development of young people or adults who are beginning to learn or wish to develop a deeper understanding about a specific religion. Whatever your role — student or teacher — this guide provides over 50 helpful links such as lesson plans, social connections, online classes, informative articles, study guides, and much more.

General Religious Studies Resources

This section provides general resources for the study of the world’s main religions today. Whether you need help defining a term or connecting with other people of faith, or you simply want the latest religious news, you can find a link here.

Glossary for the Study of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Each religion has its own set of terms that can help learners more readily comprehend it. This glossary offers terms for three different religions.

Religion and Ethics Newsweekly

Discover a departure from mainstream media with distinctive and front-line religious news coverage and analysis on both national and international levels.

10 Facts About Religion in America

Follow this link to learn about how often people share their faith, switch religions, or change their religious views.

Beliefnet

Learn about other faiths and connect with people in this immense and accepting online community. In addition, enjoy browsing religious articles, blogs, and a searchable prayer database.

Comparison of Religions

Check out this 15-slide PDF document from Pravin K. Shah of the Jain Study Center of North Carolina, which compares the major Eastern and Western religions of the world.

Religious Studies Teaching Resources

Teaching religion is just like teaching any other subject — you need to deliver factual and engaging material. Check out the resources below for religious lesson plans, teaching tools, videos, and more.

Jewish-Christian-Islamic Virtual Media Library

Find videos, lesson plans, website links, interactive timelines, and academic essays and articles relating to Judaism, Islam,and Christianity.

Religious Studies

From the University of Michigan comes this compilation of general and specific religion studies resources for teachers.

Theology Lesson Plans and Resources

Discover plenty of teaching resources and lesson plans for various world religions as well as a section devoted to Catholic education.

University of Notre Dame Recommended Websites for Teachers

Find links to a variety of blogs, teaching tools, and strategies for Catholic education teachers.

Eastern Religion Resources

Reading religious texts isn’t the only way to learn about Eastern religions. Browse the resources below to find online magazines, educational modules, book reviews, timelines, and study guides to help you learn more about Hinduism and Buddhism.

Hinduism Today

This online magazine has resources regarding the Hindu religion as well as videos and the latest news.

9 Basic Hindu Beliefs

The founder of Hinduism Today assembled these nine basic beliefs, which are shared by most Hindus as a summary of their faith.

Hindu Glossary

Follow this link to find a complete A to Z glossary of Hindu-related terms.

Hinduism 101: Learning About Hinduism Inside and Out

Discover free educational modules that help people understand Hinduism at their own pace.

The Buddhist Channel

Follow this link to a dedicated Buddhist news service with daily updates and in-depth coverage.

Daily Buddhism

Enjoy book reviews, podcasts, and more to learn all about Buddhism in plain English.

Mutually Sustaining Life: A Buddhist Call to a Troubled World

Rev. Dr. Kenneth Kenshin Tanaka teaches this 51-program series about the life of the Buddha and the fundamental teachings of Buddhism.

Buddhist Online Study Guide

Follow this link to discover educational material for all aspects of Buddhism, such as history and culture, the Buddhist world, and more.

Timeline of Buddhist History

A complete timeline detailing Buddhist history from the 6th century BCE to the 20th century.

Western Religion Resources

In this section, explore Western religions — Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Mormonism — via links to commentary, historical documents, articles, forums, and more.

Guide to Early Church Documents

Peruse this hypertext document that links to files about the early church, such as canonical documents, the writings of the Apostolic Fathers, and additional texts.

World Council of Churches

The WCC is an organized movement for Christian unity. It has member churches in more than 110 territories and countries throughout the world.

Christian Resources Today

Find plenty of resources related to Bible studies, Christian beliefs, and values.

Crosswalk.com

Visit this site for current and thought-provoking Bible-based content in the areas of faith, family, fun, and community.

Teachings of Islam

Dr. Mazhar Rishi of the Islamic Society of Chester County, Philadelphia, explains the fundamental teachings of Islam.

Islamic Association of North America

ISNA’s mission is to foster the development of the Muslim community while promoting and encouraging interfaith relations, civic engagement, and a better understanding of Islam.

Altafsir

This link takes you the most extensive online collection of Qur’anic commentary, translation, recitation, and other helpful resources.

Jewish Encyclopedia

Discover the unedited contents of the 12-volume Jewish Encyclopedia, originally published in the early 20th century, which includes over 15,000 articles and illustrations.

Ancient Jewish Accounts of Jesus

This site offers five links to different resources that tell of ancient accounts of Jesus.

Jews with Questions

Visit this forum full of discussions about Jewish life, beliefs, practice, and more, which is targeted at young orthodox Jews.

Partners in Torah

This free service will handpick a personal teacher who will study with you for a minimum of 30 minutes per week on topics of Jewish life.

Mormanity

Visit this blog maintained by Jeff Lindsay to find discussions of Mormons and their lives, issues related to the Book of Mormon, and other thought-provoking topics.

Love, Dating, Marriage, and Morality: The LDS Way

Do you have questions about the LDS approach to love, dating, marriage, or morality? If so, visit this site to see commonly asked questions and answers.

Ensign

Ensign is the official magazine for LDS individuals and families, which can be viewed online for free.

LDS Home Page

This page is most useful for basic information about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and its mission and purpose.

Resources for Reading and Understanding Religious Texts

In this section you’ll find resources for reading and understanding Western and Eastern religious texts, such as detailed study materials, online classes, and live, interactive presentations.

Study Materials for Catholics

Follow this link to find Catholic study materials mostly concerning the Old Testament of the Bible.

How to Read and Understand the English Standard Version of the Bible

Learn how to read and understand the ESV version of the Bible, which is a literal translation in contemporary English without compromising accuracy, excellence, or depth of meaning.

Three Simple Steps for Studying the Bible

Find out how to use observation, interpretation, and application to effectively study the Bible.

Bible Study Resources

Discover a collection of helpful Bible study tools that cover reading plans, indexing the Bible, studying with non-believers, and achieving daily quiet time.

Bible Study Tools

This link offers study tools like a searchable Bible in more than 30 different translations, daily readings, and more.

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide

This study guide for Mormon scriptures can be used for a home-study seminary program or incorporated into a daily seminary program.

The Book of Mormon Online

This reader-friendly online resource contains the full text of the Book of Mormon.

Glossary of Mormon Terms

A glossary of Mormon words and phrases, complete with extensive definitions and colorful pictures.

Book of Mormon Studies for Your First Time Through

Written by a mother for her 11-year-old son, this online book of Mormon studies may interest those who are unfamiliar with the Book of Mormon.

Introduction to the Study of the Qur’an

For students new to studying the Qur’an, this document explains how this religious text should be approached to avoid confusion.

Introduction to the Study of the Holy Quran

This 452-page guide offers informed commentary, which creates a good starting point for anyone who is serious about studying this ancient work.

Tanzil

Tanzil, which means “to send down,” is an international project that provides precise Qur’an text in Unicode for browsing, searching, and listening.

Talmud Study

From Jewish.TV comes “Talmud for Beginners,” a 13-lesson video course that covers the history of oral tradition, the structure of the Talmud, and more.

Torah Study

This link takes you to the Torah study area of My Jewish Learning, an educational and learning website about all things Jewish.

Web Yeshiva

Follow this link to find an interactive Torah study program that offers real-time, interactive classes taught by Rabbis and teachers, as well as archived videos of each class.

Sacred Texts: Buddhism

Find a large variety of Buddhist scriptures, books, and essays from the public domain. Most texts are written entirely in English.

Buddhist Studies

Here, you’ll find links to Buddhist scriptures, Guide to Tipitaka, Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma (Dharma) and more.

The Dharma

This webpage explains Buddhism and explores different Buddhist scriptures.

Sacred Texts: Hinduism

Visit this site’s archive of electronic Hinduism texts presented in English translation.

Hinduism Through Its Scriptures

This free course offered by Harvard University’s Online Learning portal introduces learners to passages from Hindu sacred texts with modern interpretations.

Hinduism

Learn about Hindu traditions via an online textbook called The Philosophy of Religion.