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World Religions Online

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About This Database

An Unbiased, Comprehensive Guide to the World's Major Religions and Spiritual Traditions

From the beginnings of human history, societies and cultures have established themselves around religious and spiritual practices. Religion has affected decisions personal and political, local and global, and continues to play an important role in the lives of individuals and in the cultures of nations. With a dynamic new design, new features, and expanded coverage, World Religions Online explores religion and spirituality in an objective manner, from the ceremonies of the first practitioners to the elaborate rituals of today.

Ideal for research and study in the library, the classroom, or at home, our new, easy-to-navigate interface puts the information users need front and center. Topic Centers feature specially selected content on 15 of the world's religions and traditional spiritual practices, quickly guiding users to information on important topics, spiritual leaders, sacred texts, and holy days and festivals. A wealth of new content has been added. The new home page offers many ways to begin exploring the material, from videos and slideshows to sacred texts, sacred music, primary sources, a calendar of holidays and observances, and more.

Highlights:

  • Comprehensive Coverage: World Religions Online includes a treasure trove of articles—including more than 5,000 new articles on ancient religions/mythology and faith in America—tablet/mobile-friendly videos, and images on the beliefs, practices, and history of religions across the world, allowing users to delve deep into their topics.
  • Unique Topic Centers: The perfect starting point for research, World Religions Online's Topic Centers feature clearly organized, focused content on 15 living religions—including African Traditional Religion, Baha'i Faith, Buddhism, Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity, Confucianism, Daoism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Native American Religions, New Religious Movements, Protestantism, Shinto, Sikhism, and Zoroastrianism—with links to core essays, key primary sources, complete sacred texts, fact files, glossary terms, timelines, images, videos, and more.
  • Authoritative Content: Edited by academics and specialists from leading departments of religious studies, World Religions Online's content is information researchers can trust.
  • News Articles: World Religions Online's "Religion in the News" section features regularly updated news articles from World-Wide Religious News® to help users stay on top of the latest information.
  • Video Clips: World Religions Online features engaging tablet/mobile-friendly video clips that stimulate interest, provide convenient overviews and discussion-starter material, and bring to life spiritual traditions from around the world.
  • Image Slideshows: World Religions Online contains images—including full-color photographs—organized into informative slideshows that offer fascinating visual introductions to key topics and themes.
  • Primary Sources: World Religions Online includes hundreds of historical documents with introductory paragraphs that provide context and background to the sources—perfect for document-based learning and strengthening critical-thinking skills.
  • Sacred Texts: Ideal for users seeking a deeper understanding of the world's faiths, World Religions Online contains an eBook shelf of 100 complete sacred texts from the world's major religions. From the Bible and the Quran, to the Tibetan Book of the Dead and Daodejing, to Popol Vuh and the Táin bó Cuailnge, World Religions Online provides a truly global collection of some of the most influential religious writings and collections of mythology.
  • Sacred Music: World Religions Online features both audio and video clips of sacred music, allowing users to explore a key part of many religious observances. These recordings include:
    • "Amazing Grace," performed by Marion Williams
    • Chanting by Tibetan monks of the Gelugpa sect
    • Chants by Benedictine monks
    • Torah blessing
    • Hymn from the Resurrectional Apolytikia
    • Adhan prayer
    • Purusha Sukta, recited by Sri Venkata Sastry
    • "Saint Bamba," performed by Youssou N'Dour
    • "Troddin to Zion/I'm a Rastaman," performed by Morgan Heritage
  • Holidays and Observances Calendar: World Religions Online includes a calendar of holidays and observances from around the world and across faiths—a boon for researchers, educators planning topics for class discussion, and librarians organizing events.
  • Authoritative Source List: World Religions Online includes expertly researched and written content from a wealth of award-winning titles, including Facts On File's six-volume Encyclopedia of World Religions set and Wiley-Blackwell's critically acclaimed Companions to Religions series as well as thousands of additional entries.
  • Curriculum Tools: This section of World Religions Online features usage and research tips for students and educators, such as:
    • Tips for students on topics including analyzing primary sources, avoiding plagiarism, citing sources, completing a primary source worksheet, evaluating online sources, and writing a research paper
    • Educator tools, including advice on preventing plagiarism and teaching about religion

Features:

  • In-depth Suggested Reading articles with extensive background on relevant topics, plus biographies and entries on key topics and terms
  • Search by Common Core, national, state, provincial, International Baccalaureate Organization, and College Board AP standards to find correlating articles
  • Convenient A-to-Z topic lists that can be filtered by Topic Center
  • Tag "clouds" for all content, linking to related material
  • Search Assist technology
  • Real-time, searchable World-Wide Religious News® newsfeed
  • Share to Google Classroom tool
  • Save content directly to Google Drive
  • Google Sign-In, allowing users to easily access content with their Google credentials
  • Google Translate for 100+ languages
  • Dynamic citations in MLA, Chicago, and Harvard formats, with EasyBib export functionality
  • Ability for users to set preferences for default language, citation format, number of search results, and standards set for correlations
  • Persistent record links
  • List of contributors to the database
  • Read Aloud tool
  • Searchable Support Center with valuable help materials, how-to tips, tutorials, and live help chat.

--------- World Religions Online Facts On File 04/01/2011

"This polished and image-intensive resource will appeal to student researchers and general browsers alike. Whether looking for basic factual information for comparative purposes, conducting in-depth research, or searching for supplemental audio and video support material, users will appreciate the ease of access, breadth and depth of coverage, and high-quality visuals. Recommended for public libraries and collections that serve secondary and undergraduate students."


Booklist

"...very useful for students, teachers, and librarians. Young researchers can use it to find in-depth coverage or for quick facts."


American Reference Books Annual

"The site is appealing, interesting, and appears without bias...The information here is far superior to information one is likely to find on the free web...Recommended."


Library Media Connection

"...well-organized and intuitive for both novice and experienced researchers...a well conceived and executed resource, providing a wealth of basic information..."


Reference Reviews

"...the excellent image and video collections make World Religions Online a unique and valuable database for classroom teaching...Recommended."


Choice


18th Annual Best Educational Software Award (BESSIE)


- The ComputED Gazette

"Best Databases" in the "Best for High Schoolers" category


- Library Journal