Seven Deadly Sins

Course Web Page - Susan Hill

Finding Books


Some subject headings to try include:

  • Deadly sins
  • Envy
  • Lust
  • Sin, Mortal
  • Anger
  • Gluttony
  • Pride and vanity
  • Sin
  • Avarice
  • Laziness
  • Sadness      

If you are finding non-philosophical works, try adding these subheadings:

  • Religious aspects--Christianity (for example, Anger--Religious aspects--Christianity)
  • Moral and ethical aspects (for example, Envy--Moral and ethical aspects)

Also try:
Deadly sins in XXX (for example, Deadly sins in Literature)

Those interested in the portrayal of the deadly sins in art may wish to consult discussions of the works by these artists (as well as others):

  • Hieronymous Bosch
  • David
  • Pieter Breugel
  • Donizetti
  • Paul Cadmus
  • Luca Penni

You may wish to research medieval wall paintings and English parish churches.

For portrayals of the virtues in 19th century American art, try:

  • Eakins
  • Homer

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias--Religion

Eliade, M. (Ed.). (1987). The Encyclopedia of Religion.
New York: Macmillan.
UNI Reference BL 31 E46 1987
Over 3,000 articles in 16 volumes on all areas of religious studies. Bibliographies provided at the end of most articles. Consult the index in volume 16 under "Christianity" to identify articles discussing topics from Christian perspectives.

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. (1996). Encyclopedia of American Religions (5th ed.)
Detroit: Gale.
UNI Reference BL 2525 M449 1996
Provides current and historical information of religious and spiritual groups in the United States and Canada, including churches, denominations, sects, and cults. Consult the subject and master indexes at the end of the volume.

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.

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 capital sins, Christian ethics, envy, greed, guilt & shame, materialism, Roman ethics, 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. Consult the index to learn that several essays treat the concept of sin, e.g., the essays on medieval ethics, Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam. Particular sins are discussed as well.

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. Entries include sin, free will & determinism, law & gospel, as well as entries under each of the deadly sins.

Bible Concordances

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. Nineteen 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.

Additional Reference Resources

Aharoni, Y., Rainey, A. F., Avi-Yonah, M., & Safrai, Z. (2002). The Carta Bible Atlas. (4th ed.).
Jerusalem: Carta.
UNI Map Reference G 2230 A2 2002

Pritchard, J. B. (Ed.). (1987). The Harper Atlas of the Bible.
New York: Harper & Row.
UNI Map Reference G 2230 H47 1987

Grove Art Online
Offers authoritative information on all aspects of world art by providing access to the entire text of The Dictionary of Art (1996, 34 volumes, edited by Jane Turner) and to The Oxford Companion to Western Art (2001). Contains over 45,000 essays and 1,500 thumbnail art images and line drawings displayed in the text.

Turner, J. (Ed.). (1996). The Dictionary of Art.
New York: Grove's Dictionaries.
UNI Art & Music Reference N 31 D5 1996
The following two volumes discuss artistic works according to the civilizations that produced them and consider each work in roughly chronological order. Excellent reproductions of art pieces. Indexes at the end of each:

Janson, H. W., & Janson, A. F. (2004). History of Art: The Western Tradition. (Rev. 6th ed.).
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice-Hall.
UNI Art & Music Reference N 5300 J3 2004

Kleiner, F.S., Mamiya, C.J., & Tansey, R. G. (Eds.). (2001). Gardner's Art through the Ages. (11th ed.).
Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace College Publishers.
UNI Art & Music Reference N 5300 G25 2001

Grove Music Online

Sadie, S. (Ed.). (2001). The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. (2nd ed.).
New York: Grove's Dictionaries.
UNI Art & Music Reference MF 100 N48 2001

Finding Articles

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.

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, gluttony, laziness, sloth, vice, and virtue.

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 2,000 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 from the 53 journals covered. Represents a subset of the journals indexed by PsycINFO.

Art Abstracts 1984 to the present
Rod Library Databases A-Z
This database indexes and abstracts articles from more than 300 art periodicals published throughout the world. It also indexes reproductions of works that appear in these periodicals. Began in 1929 as Art Index, which is available in Art & Music Index at N 1 A4355, and is useful for its historical coverage.

International Index to the Performing Arts (IIPA)
Rod Library Databases A-Z
Indexes journals in dance, film, drama, television, the arts and entertainment industry, stagecraft, magic, musical theatre, and performance art. Abstracts are provided for every citation from 1998 to the present.

Project Muse
Rod Library Databases A-Z
Full-text access to almost 250 scholarly journals from 40 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

Research Guide in General Religion (Yale University Library)

Research Guide for Christianity (Yale University Divinity School Library)

Theology & Religion (Libraries -- Loyola University Chicago)