Free Online Resources for the Study of Religion

****** RESOURCES BY TYPE ****** 


·       Collections of Works


OpenAccess Digital Theological Library

The OADTL is owned and operated by the Digital Theological Library, a non-profit corporation in support of religious studies education. Library.  Theology and Ecumenism section includes more than 2 million documents on theology, intercultural and interreligious dialogue, ethics, and ecumenism in World Christianity. Results of sample search for “church social justice Philippines”.   

Atla Digital Library. Links to religion and theology-related digital collection.  

HathiTrust. A partnership of academic institutions, offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world. Most books in HathiTrust are published before 1923, but not all – e.g. The church in Southeast Asia by Winburn T. Thomas and Rajah B. Manikam, published 1956.  

Princeton Theological SeminaryTheological Commons

Digital library of around 110,000 books and periodicals on theology and religion, mostly published before 1923, but not all – e.g. God Hidden and Revealed by John Dillenberger, published in 1953.

Christian Classics Ethereal Library

Classic Christian texts, including Patristic writings, various versions of the Bible, hymns, denominational works, reference works, and theological texts. It is possible to browse the CCEL by subject.

Online Books from the University ofPennsylvania.   Listing over 3 million free books on                  the Web.

 ·    Online Texts on Specific Subject Areas

Baptist Studies Online

Bibliotheca Religiosa Intra Text

Religious texts from Christianity (including the categories of Bible, Catholicism, the Vatican, Orthodox Christianity, Patristics, Reformation), Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam.

Early Christian Writings

Early Church Texts

ETANA: Electronic Tools and Ancient NearEastern Archives

Portal to resources on the ancient Near East including digital “core texts” published before 1925.  

Gnostic Society Library

Internet Medieval Sourcebook

Internet Sacred Text Archive

Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University.  All of Jonathan Edwards' writings available               electronically.

Wesley Center Online

 ·       Reference works

 Catholic Encyclopedia

Encyclopedia Britannica

Encyclopedia of Religion and Society

Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary ofBiblical Theology

Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia

International Standard BibleEncyclopedia (ISBE) Online

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia ofReligious Knowledge


·    Journal articles / online journals

 Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).  

Free, full text, quality scholarly journals in all languages and subjects, including theology and religious studies.

Electronic Journals Library: Theologyand Religious Studies

Google Scholar

Google's search engine for scholarly literature. It provides access to books, journal articles, and citations.


Provides access to article citations. Some articles are available full text for free, others for a fee.


·       Image resources

 Art in the Christian Tradition Database

Atla Cooperative Digital Resources Initiative

Repository of digital resources contributed by member libraries of the American Theological Library Association (Atla).

International Mission PhotographyArchive

Historical images from Protestant and Catholic missionary collections during the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century.

Pitts Theology Library Digital ImageArchive

More than 60,000 images of biblical illustrations, portraits of religious leaders, printers' devices, engravings of church buildings, and other theological topics.




·       Biblical Studies


Bible Research: Reference Materials forStudents of Scripture

Bible Study Tools Bible Study Online

Biblical Studies on the Web

The Five Gospel Parallels

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia(ISBE)

Into his own: perspective on the worldof Jesus

New Testament Gateway

The Paul page: dedicated to the newperspective on Paul

Synoptic Gospels Primer: parallel texts in Matthew, Mark &Luke

World Wide Study Bible


·    Early Christianity / Patristics

 Early Church Texts

Provides access to primary texts from the 1st to the 5th century of the church. Texts have online dictionary links, English translations, and notes.

Early Christian Writings.  Christian texts from the 1st to the early 3rd centuries.

Christian Classics Ethereal Library

The Early Church Fathers section of the CCEL site provides English translations of the Church Fathers from the Ante-Nicene and Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers series.


·    Ethics

 Counter balance Interactive Library

Extensive resources on a number of ethical issues, including the evolution/creation controversy, biomedical ethics and more.


Developed with an initial focus on bioethics, the EthicShare collection features scholarly articles, books, archival and digital objects, popular press literature, dissertations, and commission reports, as well as blogs and other sources.

Global digital library on ethics providing users free access to full text versions of about 200 journals and more than a million documents in the field of applied ethics.


·    Theology

Bibliotheca religiosa IntraText

Full-text digital library including many primary text theological writings.

Calvinism Resources Database

Catholic Encyclopedia

This is an older work (1908) but provides searchable articles online and may be useful for historical materials.

Center for Barth Studies

A clearinghouse for Barth scholarship and activities, its program includes conferences, research opportunities, discussion

groups, and publications.

Center for Reformed Theology & Apologetics

Includes numerous historic church documents: creeds, confessions, catechisms, Calvin's Institutes, etc.

Christian Classics Ethereal Library

Computer-Assisted Theology.  Annotated list of Internet resources relating to theological                   studies.

Corpus Thomisticum

Includes: a full edition of the complete works of St. Thomas; a bibliography covering all the studies on Aquinas and his doctrine; an index of the main tools of Thomistic research; and; a digital edition of the main manuscripts of Aquinas' works.

Institute for Theology and Peace

A research institution of the Catholic Church established by the Catholic Military Chaplaincy. The emphasis of research and documentation is on the political and social debate on questions of peace from a theological-ethical point of view.

New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia ofReligious Knowledge

The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University

The Tertullian Project

Wesley Center Online


·    World Christianity and Missions


Historical mission periodicals online

Historical missions annual reports online

International Bulletin of MissionResearch

International Mission Photography Archive.  Photographs contributed by                                            numerous repositories of mission archives.

Boston University School of TheologyHistory of Missiology

Biographical material about missionaries and classic writings in the history of Protestant mission thought.

Missionary E-Texts Archives

An electronic repository of historical texts by, about and for missionaries.

Edinburgh 2010: Resources. Photos, papers, books, and articles related to Edinburgh 1910                      and the centenary celebration. 

World Missionary Conference, 1910,Edinburgh - Volumes 1 -9

Project Canterbury

Anglican history; includes digitized texts re. missions and index to Episcopal Church periodical Spirit of Missions

The Vinton Books

Biographical information about American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions missionaries - see also the Congregational Library's Obituary Database.


Biographical Dictionary of ChineseChristianity

China Inland Mission

China Mission History Digital ArchiveWhitworth University site includes                             digitized photographs, bibliography.

Chinese Christian Texts Database

Primary and secondary sources concerning the cultural contacts between China and Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (from 1582 to ca. 1840)

Directories of Protestant missionaries in China: 1874, 1881, 1884, 1902, 1904, 1905, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1916, 1936, 1940.

London Missionary Society Collection ofChinese Books.  Digitized by National Library                 of  Australia

The Mission Work of the Presbyterian Church in theUnited States in China, 1867-1952 by James E. Bear

Western Medicine in China Project

Archive guides, primary sources, digitized materials gathered by Luce-funded project at IUPUI

Chinese Christian Posters.   Project of Boston University Center for Global Christianity                             and Mission


Journeys and Encounters: Religion,Society and the Basel Mission in North Karnataka 1837-1852. Translations and summaries from published materials in German, by Jennifer and Paul Jenkins


Online Archive Korean Christianity. Project of Sung Deuk Oak, UCLA


Christianity in Taiwan. Site of John Lai

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