Great Books 203

by HUSKEY_JE — last modified 2016-04-28T16:30:24-04:00

Great Books 203

By Julie Huskey and Amy Gratz

This guide contains resources that should help you complete assignments in this course, but you may also want to look at information on the main subject pages for Christianity, Great Books, and Philosophy. Also, don't hesitate to contact Amy Gratz (contact information at right) or Julie Huskey ( if you have any questions!

Because research in great books benefits from books and journal articles, you will want to search the library catalog and some of the databases suggested below.

You’ll notice that many of Mercer Libraries’ books on theology and the Bible are in the Swilley (Atlanta) library. Just select the “request” button (usually second from left) and it can be delivered to you in a few days.


General Resources

Many of the guides in Tarver’s “Guides and Tutorials” section will be helpful; consider “How to write an Annotated Bibliography”.


Citing Sources - use the OWL at Purdue guide on MLA for most sources.  The sections on citation styles for the Bible and for translated books (see the examples below, from the MLA : Books page) are especially helpful.


Bible: Give the name of the specific edition you are using, any editor(s) associated with it, followed by the publication information. Remember that your in-text (parenthetical citation) should include the name of the specific edition of the Bible, followed by an abbreviation of the book, the chapter and verse(s):

The New Jerusalem Bible. Ed. Susan Jones. New York: Doubleday, 1985. Print.


Translated books: Add "Trans."—the abbreviation for translated by—and follow with the name(s) of the translator(s):


Foucault, Michel. Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason. Trans. Richard Howard. New York: Vintage-Random House, 1988. Print.


A note on search terms

Most library catalogs use Library of Congress headings for names and subjects, and name headings for historical figures can be confusing. Most catalogs have cross-references to help; however, it’s good to know the “official” version of names for the authors you are researching.

For instance:

Augustine, Saint, Bishop of Hippo

Maimonides, Moses, 1135-1204

Thomas, Aquinas, Saint, 1225-1274


Headings for individual books of the Bible may follow either the old pattern:

Bible. (N.T.) (Name of book) or Bible. (O.T.) (Name of book)

or the new pattern:

Bible. (Name of book)

Works about an entire section of the Bible should have the heading “Bible. Old Testament” or “Bible, New Testament.”

Databases are often more forgiving in the use of search terms, but you still may have to experiment. (If your search strategy doesn't seem to be working, reference librarians are happy to help.)



ATLA Religion with ATLA Serials  — Contains citations from over 1430 sources published from 1949 to the present. Material covered includes journal articles, essays in multi-author works and book reviews. Some journal articles are available in full-text.

MLA International Bibliography — Index of literature, languages, linguistics, literary theory and criticism, dramatic arts, and folklore from over 4,400 journals and serials, as well as books, essay collections, working papers, proceedings, dissertations, and bibliographies. Some full-text.

New Testament Abstracts -- Contains more than 33,000 article abstracts, 1,200 review abstracts, 12,600 book abstracts, and 50 software abstracts. Additional 2,150 articles from more than 500 periodicals in numerous languages are selected for inclusion annually

Old Testament Abstracts  — A product of a partnership between ATLA and the Catholic Biblical Association. The database features indexing and abstracts for journal articles, monographs, multi-author works, and software related to Old Testament studies. Content from over 450 journals is covered. All abstracts are in English, regardless of the language of the original work. Topics covered include antiquities, archaeology, biblical theology, philology and much more.

JSTOR — An online archive containing back issues of scholarly journals in many disciplines. [It can be one of the more difficult databases to search, but it often has articles not available elsewhere.]

Literary Reference Center — Includes more than 10,000 plot summaries, synopses and work overviews; articles of literary criticism; author biographies; full text of over 300 literary journals; book reviews; 25,000 classic and contemporary poems; 11,000 classic and contemporary short stories; full text of over 7,500 classic novels; author interviews; and over 1,000 images of key literary figures.

Religion & Philosophy Collection  — With more than 243 full-text journals, this collection covers topics in spiritual, ethical, philosophical, cultural, and historical aspects of the world's major religions.

Don’t forget the general databases, Academic Search Complete and Research Library; they have broad collections of sources, and they are easier to search than some of the specialized databases. Keep in mind, however, that they have a tremendous number of non-scholarly items, so you will definitely want to select the “scholarly/peer reviewed” option.