Religion and Food 2012

Course Web Page - Susan Hill

Finding Books


Some subject headings to try include:

  • Fasts and feasts
  • Food
  • Food habits
  • Food in the Bible
  • Food -- History
  • Food -- Religious aspects
  • Gluttony
  • Lord's Supper
  • Ramadan
  • Sacrament
  • Sacred meals

Try adding these subheadings:

  • Dietary laws (for example, Jews -- Dietary laws)
  • Religious aspects--Christianity (for example, Food--Religious aspects--Christianity)
  • Moral and ethical aspects
  • Symbolic aspects

To search for a specific food or ingredient:

  • xxx
  • xxx -- History 
  • xxx -- Folklore 
  • xxx and aspects

where xxx represents the food or ingredient of interest, for example:

  • Bread
  • Bread -- History
  • Bread -- Folklore
  • Bread and aspects
  • Grain
  • Wheat -- History

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias--Religion

  • Jones, L. (Ed.). (2005). The Encyclopedia of Religion. (2nd ed.). Detroit: Macmillan.
    • UNI Reference BL 31 E46 2005
    • Available online through Gale Virtual Reference Library
    • Over 3,000 articles in 15 volumes on all areas of religious studies. Bibliographies provided at the end of most articles. Consult the index in volume 15 using the name of the religion (e.g., "Christianity") to identify articles discussing topics from that perspective. Additional subject headings include consecration, fasting, food, diet, and dietary laws.
  • Smith, J.Z. (Ed.). (1995). The HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion. San Francisco: Harper San Francisco.
    • UNI Reference BL 31 H37 1995
    • Covers all world religions with concise definitions of terms and concepts. Major religions discussed in lengthier articles.
  • Melton, J.G. (2003). Encyclopedia of American Religions. (7th ed.) Detroit: Gale.
    • Available online via Gale Virtual Reference Library
    • Provides current and historical information of religious and spiritual groups in the United States  and Canada, including churches, denominations, sects, and cults. The fifth edition, published in 1996, is available at UNI Reference BL 2525 M449 1996.
  • Mead, F.S., and Hill, S. S. (2001). Handbook of Denominations in the United States. (11th ed.). Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press.
    • UNI Reference BL 2525 M425 2001
    • Information about religious organizations having at least 5,000 members in the United States and stemming from the "Abrahamic-monotheistic tradition."
  • Queen, E. L., II, Prothero, S. R., & Shattuck, G. H., Jr. (2001). Encyclopedia of American Religious History (Rev. ed.). New York: Facts on File.
    • UNI Reference BL 2525 Q44 2001
    • Examines the beliefs, practices, people, and places of religions practiced in the United States from a historical perspective. Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism are among the religious traditions included.
  • Barrett, D. B., Kurian, G. T., & Johnson, T. M. (2001). World Christian Encyclopedia:
    A Comparative Survey of Churches and Religions in the Modern World
    (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.
    • UNI Reference BR 157 W67 2001
    • Volume one of this 2-volume set contains a country-by-country description of life, liberty, religions, Christianity, and churches in each country.
  • Neusner, J., Avery-Peck, A.J., & Green, W.S. (Eds.). (1999). The Encyclopedia of Judaism. New York: Continuum.
    • UNI Reference BM 50 E632 1999 4 volumes
  • Werblowsky, R.J.Z., & Wigoder, G. (Eds.). (1997). The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion. New York: Oxford University Press.
    • UNI Reference BM 50 O94 1997
  • Hirschfelder, A., & Molin, P. (2000). Encyclopedia of Native American Religions (Updated ed.). New York: Facts on File.
    • UNI Reference E 98 R3H73 2000
  • Lyon, W.S. (1998). Encyclopedia of Native American Healing. New York: W.W. Norton.
    • UNI Reference E 98 N4L96 1998
  • Gill, S.D., & Sullivan, I.F. (1992). Dictionary of Native American Mythology. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.
    • UNI Reference E 98 R3G46 1992

Encyclopedias & Dictionaries--Ethics

  • Becker, L. C., & Becker, C. B. (Eds.). (2001). Encyclopedia of Ethics (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.
    • UNI Reference BJ 63 E45 2001
    • This three-volume set defines and discusses ethical theory, applied ethics, and ethical issues. The signed entries typically are at least 5 pages and end with a bibliography of key works on the concept. The encyclopedia includes biographical entries on individuals who have made significant contributions to ethical theory. By using the subject index at the end of the third volume you will find where information on famine, food, hedonism, hunger, purity, and other topics may be found.
  • Terkel, S. N., & Duval, R. S. (Eds.). (1999). Encyclopedia of Ethics. New York: Facts on File.
    • UNI Reference BJ 63 E46 1999
    • A one-volume encyclopedia with brief entries defining ethical concepts.
  • Singer, P. (Ed.). (1991). A Companion to Ethics. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Reference.
    • UNI Reference BJ 1012 C62 1991
    • Forty-seven essays on the origins of ethics, the ethical traditions, "theories about how we ought to live," and arguments about specific ethical issues.
  • Childress, J. F., & Macquarrie, J. (Eds.). (1986). The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Ethics. Philadelphia: Westminster Press.
    • UNI Reference BJ 1199 W47 1986
    • Short essays on ethical concepts (e.g., gluttony); Biblical ethics; theological ethics; philosophical traditions in ethics (e.g., Aristotelian ethics); psychological, sociological, and political concepts important in Christian ethics; and other major topics in Christian ethical debate as well as major non-Christian religious traditions in ethics.

Sacred Texts

  • UNISTAR (Books & More)
    • search by title search using the name of the sacred text of interest
  • Internet Sacred Text Archive
    "The largest freely available archive of online books about religion, mythology, folkore and the esoteric on the Internet"
    Includes sacred texts from various religious traditinos including Baha', Buddhism, Christianity, Jainism, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Mormonism, Paganism, Shinto, Sikhism, Taoism, and Zoroastrianism.



  • Bible Gateway (maintained by Gospel Communications)
    • A tool for reading and researching Biblical scripture online. You may search by Biblical passage or keyword or use the topical index.  Thirty-three English-language versions of the Bible are searchable and the site provides access to the Bible in numerous other languages.
  • (maintained by
    • From the Crosswalk home page, click on Bible Study Tools under the Resources list to search twenty versions of the Bible in English. An option given in the dropdown selection window is Strong's Versions which accesses Strong's concordances (KJV or NAS) with commentary notes.
  • Kohlenberger, J. R., III. (1991). The NRSV Concordance Unabridged: Including the Apocryphal and Deuterocanonical Books. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
    • UNI Reference BS 425 K645 1991
    • Indexes all 906,953 words of the NSRV and provides the context line. There is a separate section for articles, conjunctions, particles prepositions, and pronouns; context lines are not given for these.
  • Strong, J. (1984). The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Nashville: T. Nelson.
    • UNI Reference BS 425 S8 1984
    • Concordance to the King James Version. Following the concordance there is a "Key Verse Comparison Chart" which lists more than 1,800 Bible verses as they appear in the King James Version, New American Standard Version, the New International Version, the Revised Standard Version, and Today's English Version. The volume also includes dictionaries of the Hebrew Bible and of the Greek Testament.



  • Torah (Project Genesis)


  • Katz, S.H., & Weaver, W.W. (Eds.). (2003). Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. New York: Scribner.
    • UNI Reference GT 2850 E53 2003 3 volumes also available online via Gale Virtual Reference Library
    • Essays on food, how it is procured, stored, distributed, prepared, and consumed. Articles on festivals and feasts in countries and regions of the world and on world religions and their food customs are included, for example, Shrove Tuesday, Kwanzaa, and Passover.
  • Davidson, A. (1999). The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    • UNI Reference TX 349 D38 1999
    • Describes food and religious, cultural, and social practices related to food. Entries include Buddhism and food, feasts, Jewish dietary laws, and Muslims and food.
  • Gall, T.L. (Ed.). (1998). Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life. Detroit, MI: Gale.
    • UNI Reference GN 333 W67 1998 4 volumes
    • Organized by continent, volume 1 covers African countries, 2: the Americas, 3: Asia and Oceania, and 4: Europe.
  • Ensminger, A.H., Ensminger, M.E., et al. (1994). Foods & Nutrition Encyclopedia (2nd ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
    • UNI Reference TX 349 F575 1994
    • Consult the table “Living Religions of the World and the Diet Prescribed by Each” on pages 1914-1920 in volume 2 for information on foods prohibited and encouraged by major religions.
  • Smith, A.F. (Ed.). (2004). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    • UNI Reference TX 349 E45 2004 2 volumes
    • Essays on the history of American food, from the pre-Columbian era to the early 21st century. The contributions of ethnic, religious, cultural, and racial groups to American culinary life are explored in essays such as Jewish dietary laws and Native American foods—Spiritual and social connections. Also includes essays focused on a specific food, such as corn.
  • Gay, K., & Gay, M. K. (1996). Encyclopedia of North American Eating & Drinking Traditions, Customs, & Rituals. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.
    • UNI Reference GT 2853 U5G39 1996
  • Root, W.L. (1980). Food, an Authoritative and Visual History and Dictionary of the Foods of the World. New York: Simon and Schuster.
    • UNI Stacks TX 349 R58
    • Descriptions and commentaries about foods from around the world. Most of the entries are accompanied by illustrations of the foods.

Finding Articles

  • Academic OneFile
    • Rod Library Databases A-Z
    • A source for general interest magazine articles and peer-reviewed, full-text scholarly articles, including coverage of religion and theology adn foods.  The Subject Guide Search enables you to search for a topic of interest and to search the "subdivisions" or sub-topics classified under the broader topic, for example, Food--Religious aspects Or, you  may search by keyword and limit results by year or to full text or to refereed publications.   
  • Academic Search Elite
    • Rod Library Databases A-Z
    • Indexes the contents of almost 3,000 popular interest magazines and scholarly journals from every academic discipline; provides the full-text of articles from more than 1,200.
  • ATLA Religion Database with ATLAS Serials
    • Rod Library Databases A-Z
    • Indexes over 600 religion and theology journals, over 150,000 essays in multi-author books, and over 350,000 book reviews. It also includes links to the full text of approximately 50 significant scholarly journals in religion, from volume 1 of the title (some dating back to 1949). Created by the American Theological Association. ATLAS journals represent a wide selection of Christian traditions including Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Evangelical, and Pentecostal), Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shinto, Taoism, Confucianism, and other religious traditions.
  • Abstracts in Anthropolgy
    • Rod Library Databases A-Z
    • Indexes current anthropological topics from several hundred scholarly journals and other publications.  Topics within cultural and physical anthropology as well as archeaology are covered. 
  • Philosopher's Index
    • Rod Library Databases A-Z
    • Indexes and abstracts journal articles in philosophy and related disciplines. Also indexes books. Covers ethics, aesthetics, social philosophy, political philosophy, epistemology, and metaphysic logic as well as material on the philosophy of law, religion, science, history, education, and language. Some sample headings are: consumption, ethics, food, genetically-modified, gluttony, hunger, ritual, and virtue.
  • googlescholar
    • “A simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature.”
    • Click on Find it! @ UNI to learn if Rod Library has the article, book, or other resource.
  • PsycINFO 1872 to the present
    • Rod Library Databases A-Z
    • Published by the American Psychological Association, this comprehensive psychology database indexes and abstracts articles from nearly 2,500 journals in psychology and from the related disciplines of psychiatry, medicine, education, social work, law, criminology, social science, and organizational behavior. Also indexes and summarizes book chapters, books, technical reports, and dissertations. Use the Thesaurus tab to identify appropriate subject headings. Updated weekly.
  • PsycARTICLES 1985 to the present
    • Rod Library Databases A-Z
    • Provides access to the full-text (with images) of articles appearing in the journals published by the American Psychological Association, the Canadian Psychological Association, and Hogrefe & Huber. All material, except ads and editorial board lists, are accessible.  Represents a subset of the journals indexed by PsycINFO.
  • Project Muse
    • Rod Library Databases A-Z
    • Full-text access to over 300 scholarly journals from 120 publishers. Known for its coverage of the humanities, journals in religion, philosophy, literature & criticism, history, visual and performing arts, cultural studies, and gender studies are among those indexed.
    • Rod Library Databases A-Z
    • Full-text access to scholarly journals in African American studies, anthropology, Middle East studies, philosophy, political science, sociology, and other humanities and social sciences.

Additional Help


Created: 14 September 2012 B. Weeg