Religion Resources – who believes what, how many of them are there, and where?

At Columbia, as well as on the web at large, there are some great resources for religion reporting. Here are some good places to get started…

For statistical and survey data on religion in the United States, the Association of Religion Data Archives, a free website, is an excellent place to begin, with estimates on numbers of adherents and even an interactive mapping component which displays data by county or metropolitan area. (TIP: Try the Sitemap link for an overview of the contents of the website, and click on Related Sites for other websites to explore.)

Another free, and quite unique, resource for religion research on the web is This site consists of a collection of citations related to religion adherent statistics, and religious geography citations, from thousands of published sources. While not as easy to use as the ARDA site, is noteworthy for the range and scope of data, and the fact that it includes information on non-U.S. religions.

At Columbia, the ATLA Religion Database (access restricted to current Columbia affiliates) enables you to search citations from scholarly religion journals and books. Some sources are available in full text via the ATLA database, while others may be accessed by following the e-Link (which automatically locates online journal availability in other databases).

Finally, there are two noteworthy seminary libraries at which Columbia students, faculty and staff have access and borrowing privilieges. The Burke Library of the Union Theological Seminary is the largest theological library in the western hemisphere. Its holdings are included in CLIO. The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary, first founded in 1893, holds a large general collection of Jewish studies publications, as well as special collections and rare items. Its catalog is ALEPH.