The Encyclopedic Impulse in Religious Studies

Eric Ziolkowski


It is no mere coincidence that the ongoing revolution in information technology has coincided with an explosive increase of reference works, not the least in religious studies and biblical studies. The unprecedented production rate of such works today led one scholar to dub our times “a golden age of reference books,” resulting in the challenge of “oversupply.” This article reflects historically upon the basic impulse behind the conceptualizing, planning, and production of large encyclopedias in religious and biblical studies: the sense of information overload, and the desire to bring order to it.


Encyclopedias; Reference Works

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