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Background sources, like encyclopedias, dictionaries, and guides help you to learn more about a topic. They can also help you to define or narrow down your topic for your research. Most of the entries are written by subject experts, and many also have bibliographies where you can find further information and broaden your search.
Gale Virtual Reference Library: Religion
You can search multiple online encyclopedias in this database, including Encyclopaedia Judaica, Encyclopedia of Islam and the Modern World, Encyclopedia of Buddhism, and the New Catholic Encyclopedia.
Oxford Reference Online: Religion
Search multiple online encyclopedias and dictionaries such as A Dictionary of Buddhism, A Dictionary of Atheism, Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, and the Oxford Dictionary of Islam.