Encyclopedia of American Religions (EAR)

Encyclopedia of American Religions (EAR) provides contact and descriptive information for North American religious groups in the U.S. and Canada -- from Adventists to Zen Buddhists. Also included are those groups that cannot be classified within any of the distinct religious families.

The remainder of this page is divided into the following sections:

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Section 1: Scope

Encyclopedia of American Religions (EAR) provides contact and descriptive information on religious organizations within North America, including individual churches, religious bodies, and spiritual groups.

Section 2: Method of Compilation

The information contained in the entries has been assembled from material obtained directly from the religious bodies listed. Each group was asked to update and return a revision form containing information on their organization, and the majority of organizations graciously complied. In some cases, follow-up telephone conversations were held. In addition, the resources of the American Religions Collection at the University of California Santa Barbara were also used.

Section 3: What You'll Find in an EAR Entry and Searchable Fields

Encyclopedia of American Religions (EAR) offers you a directory of religious bodies, providing full contact details and descriptions. The main method used to store entries is by organization name; however, there many ways to find entries, including by Keyword, or by some other specific field of data using Advanced Search (refer to the Corresponding Advanced Search Index(es) column in the table below).

When you search for entries, your search results will show the main fields of data, enough to give you a brief view of the organization listed. The full entry can be viewed on the entry display page by selecting the entry name from your results list.

Tip: The table below lists the kinds of information you will find in the entries in this eDirectory. Note that not all fields are present in every entry.

The Corresponding Advanced Search Index(es) column lists which Advanced Search index to use to search that field.

Field of Information Description Corresponding Advanced Search Index(es)
Organization Name and Acronym The official name of the organization and, if available, acronym. Name (ti)
Keyword (ke)
Address, City, State/Province, Zip/Postal Code, Country The organization's permanent mailing address. City (cc)
State (sc)
Zip (zc)
Country (cn)
Alternate Address Provides, if applicable, the address of an organization’s Canadian or international headquarters, or an address at which the organization may be contacted.  
Description A discussion of the organization’s history, beliefs, organization, and leaders, generally paraphrased from information obtained from the organization itself. This data preserves, as closely as possible, the original wording from a questionnaire response, website, etc., in order to avoid any misinterpretation of the organization’s beliefs, etc. Keyword (ke)
Membership Most recent statistics as reported by the group, including, as appropriate, number of members, centers, congregations, churches, and ministers. The geographic location of the various congregations, churches, or other groups may also be provided. If no membership statistics are provided, the phrase "not reported" appears. Employee Count (em)
Educational Facilities An alphabetical listing of post-secondary educational institutions sponsored and/or supported by the group. Each listing includes the city and state/province in which the institution is located.  
Publications Periodicals and newsletters issued by the group. Unless otherwise noted, publications are available from the address provided at the beginning of the entry.  
Sources Provides complete bibliographic citations, arranged alphabetically, of selected source materials used to develop the entry as well as sources for further reading. Web sites may also appear.  
Subject(s) Lists subject matter terms associated with the organization. Keyword (ke)
Remarks Includes additional information not applicable to the basic headings listed above. It could include comments or interpretation by those outside the organization.  
Section Broad category into which the organization is grouped. The Sections in EAR correspond to the major religious families. Two additional sections -- Unclassified Christian Churches and Unclassified Religious Groups -- include those groups that cannot be classified within any of the distinct religious families. Examples include: Adventist Family, Ancient Wisdom Family, Baptist Family, Eastern Liturgical Family, Lutheran Family, Middle Eastern Family, Spiritualist, Psychic, and New Age Family, Western Liturgical Family, and others. Section Heading (sh)
Keyword (ke)
Source Citation Bibliographic information, along with a How to Cite link.  
Gale Document Number Displays the document's unique identifying number.  

Section 4: Comments and Suggestions Welcome

Comments, suggestions, and information on new organizations or organizations not currently listed are welcomed. Please contact:

Project Editor
Encyclopedia of American Religions
Gale, Cengage Learning
27500 Drake Rd.
Farmington Hills, MI 48331-3535

Phone: (248) 699-4253
Toll-free: 800-877-GALE
Fax: (248) 699-8062

Visit us at www.gale.cengage.com.

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Related topics:

  • Welcome to Gale Directory Library
  • Product Overview
  • Acknowledgments
  • Advanced Search Indexes Based on the Publication(s) You Choose