BB -- Religion; Religion and Society

Zeitschriften-Inhaltsdienst Theologie: indices theologici; ZID [Theology Periodicals Abstracting Service]. Universitätsbibliothek Tübingen, Theologische Abteilung. Tübingen: UB. ISSN 1436-2473. (UB Tübingen, Theologische Abt., Postfach 2620, D-72016 Tübingen) [99-1/4-132]

1999,2. 1 CD-ROM + Benutzerhandbuch [User Guide]. 8th ed. DM 350.00 (2 eds. per year)

A review of this CD-ROM appeared when it was first released in 1997 (RREA 3:125) and subsequently in 1998 (RREA 4:86). The journal article database for theology has been published at the University of Tübingen in one form or other since 1975. Its growth has been considerable: whereas in 1997 the first CD-ROM indexed 55,000 articles, the 1999, 2d edition under review lists 101,404. The content of 611 periodicals is indexed, as well as 8,000 articles from 400 festschriften. As in the past, users can still access this database with DOS or Windows 3.1. This latest version, however, is available in a Windows 95 (or higher) version with more functions than ever before. It is now possible to install only the search software on one's hard drive and retrieve the data directly from the CD-ROM.

The structure of the database has remained the same. The article entries are indexed by source, author, subject headings, classification (according to the RSWK or "Regeln für den Schlagwortkatalog," the German equivalent of Library of Congress Subject Headings), place of publication, country of publication, publisher, and year. The manual, in both English and German, is so clearly written that it is easy to learn even the more sophisticated searching techniques. A new feature this year is the use of clickable links within the entries. For example, a click on the author's name brings up other articles by that person, a click on a subject heading will bring up other articles on that topic. The source index can be used as a current contents feature by calling up the latest issue of a journal and scanning its table of contents. Downloading search results to a drive or diskette is also made easy.

For up-to-date coverage of the theological periodical literature, the Tübingen University Library now offers the contents feature of every (monthly) ZID issue on the web at <http://opac.ub.uni tuebingen.de/neuerwZID.htm. About 1,400 articles are indexed per month. There is also a fee-based document delivery feature, adding yet another dimension to the services provided by this library. The American Theological Library Association's Religion Index, which is considered the leading international database, is nicely complemented by the ZID with its deeper coverage of the central European periodical literature. Any theological library should provide access to both of these fine tools. [ar/hh]

Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche [Theology and Church Lexicon]. Founded by Michael Buchberger. Ed. Walter Kasper. 3d completely rev. ed. Freiburg [et al.]: Herder. 25 cm. DM 4,950.00 [99-1/4-133]

Vol. 1. A-Barcelona. 1993. 15 p., 1,406 cols. ISBN 3-451-22001-6: DM 450.00

Abkürzungsverzeichnis [Index of Abbreviations]. 1993. 72 p. ISBN 3-451-22022-9

Vol. 8. Pearson-Samuel. 1999. 14 p., 1,518 cols. ISBN 3-451-22008-3: DM 450.00

Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart: Handwörterbuch für Theologie und Religionswissenschaft [Religion in History and Today: Dictionary of Theology and the Scholarship of Religion]. Ed. Hans Dieter Betz. 4th completely rev. ed. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck. 27 cm. Parallel title: RGG4 [99-1/4-134]

Vol. 1. A-B. 1998. liv p., 1,936 cols. ISBN 3-16-146941-0: DM 348.00

The two German dictionaries of religion compared here, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche (henceforth referred to as LThK3) and Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart (RGG4) are now being published in their third and fourth editions, respectively. Their publishing history goes back to the beginning of the twentieth century, when both were much more clearly defined by their denominational philosophies. The new editions have adopted more of a "postmodern" openness, greater objectivity and a little more care in dealing with views outside of their own religions. The moralistic tone prevalent in the "middle" editions of the sixties has been abandoned as well.

Comparing the first volumes of the two titles, some differences are readily apparent. LThK3 appears to contain about twice as many articles. It offers better coverage of theology and church, saints and patriarchs, and also a larger number of quick facts: names of places, monasteries, hymns, historical Christian church figures. RGG4 casts its net wider, encompassing far more of the world's religions, and of course the traditional historical emphasis expressed in its title ("Geschichte") remains its strength.

Occasionally, the articles for the same term, such as "Abhängigkeit" (dependency) take totally different angles: RGG4 treats it as a theological concept and LThK3 emphasizes the drug dependency aspect. However, these differences play a secondary role in the practical evaluation of these two large dictionaries. The quality of the articles is very comparable, and in fact many in both works are written by the same experts.

Both works are a must for theological libraries, but the face of tighter budgets the choice would be between quick access to many facts (LThK3), which serves a reference department best, or a more in-depth treatment of biblical themes and deeper coverage of non-Christian religions (RGG4). One might also take the Catholic (LThK3) or Protestant (RGG4) backgrounds into account.

One more point worth mentioning: Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart is a particularly beautifully crafted work and publisher Mohr deserves recognition for placing value on ease of use and good readability in an age when encyclopedias and dictionaries, including the Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, have an increasingly technical format, based on the way they are produced. [ar/hh]

Evangelisches Kirchenlexikon: internationale theologische Enzyklopädie [Lexicon of the Protestant Church: International Theological Encyclopedia]. Ed. Erwin Fahlbusch. 3d rev. ed. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. 27 cm. ISBN 3-525-50144-7 (complete set): DM 1,498.00 [99-1/4-135]

Vol. 4. S-Z. 1996. xiv p., 1,332 cols. ISBN 3-525-50141-2: DM 298.00

Vol. 5. Register [Index]. 1997. xlvi p., 1,332 cols. ISBN 3-525-50142-0: DM 286.00

Volume 1 of the Evangelisches Kirchenlexikon (3d rev. ed.) appeared in 1986, its final volume ten years later in 1997. An index to the other four volumes, it starts out with a list of abbreviations and of contributors, with references to the volume and page where they occur, but surprisingly not to the article title. The indexes themselves are: (1) a biographical index, which is more than just an alphabetical list of names with page references; according to the publisher there are 350 biographical sketches among the 5,000 name entries. Because the four lexicon volumes contain no articles under personal names (for example, one won't find "Augustinus" but one will find Augustine's theology), the user will not get very far without the biographical index. (2) A subject and keyword index. The 10,000 terms in this true index include only the volume, page number and article heading in which they can be found. (3) A Church index, that lists 15,000 names of churches in the broadest sense (this number includes the see-references). [sh/hh]
  Theologische Realenzyklopädie [Theological Encyclopedia]. Ed. Horst Balz and Gerhard Müller. Berlin [et al.]: de Gruyter. 25 cm. [99-1/4-137]

Register Bd. 1/27 [Index to Vols. 1-27]. Ed. Michael Glatter and Claus-Jürgen Thornton. 1998. 504 p. ISBN 3-11-016088-9: DM 118.00

Lexicographical undertakings like this one have the advantage that subscribers know fairly well what they are letting themselves in for. Nonetheless, some large lexicographical undertakings, such as the Historisches Wörterbuch der Philosophie = Historical Dictionary of Philosophy, have quantitatively gone out of control. Though not to this extreme, the Theologische Realenzyklopädie (TRE) is also expanding more and more, and by volume 30 has only arrived at "Sch." The publishing house has used the long period of ongoing publication to offer other reference works that facilitate use of the TRE. Among these are a normative index to theological abbreviations (Internationales Abkürzungsverzeichnis für Theologie und Grenzgebiete [IATG2, now in its second edition]) and separate indices beyond the indexing offered in the individual volumes. One such cumulative and enhanced index was compiled for volumes 1-17; now such a cumulation has appeared for volumes 1-27. Its entry points are divided by biblical citations (name, place and subject) and by authors of articles. There is no doubt as to the usefulness of the index; it is a sensible addition for any library subscribing to the TRE. A cumulative index will yet be "newly compiled" for the full work. Three additional comments are in order: (1) the publishing house is stretching the subscription with its extra offerings, i.e., subscribers do not automatically receive the extra volumes; (2) for publication of such interim materials, the use of acid-free paper and half leather binding is an absolute waste; (3) optimal access to this gigantic encyclopedia, which will contain the quintessence of twentieth-century theology at its culmination, can only come about by electronic means--an electronic full-text database would be the better way by far. [ar/rdh]
  Dictionnaire de la théologie chrétienne [Dictionary of Christian Theology]. Paris: Encyclopædia Universalis; Albin Michel, 1998. 918 p. 21 cm. ( [Les dictionnaires] Encyclopædia universalis) ISBN 2-226-10091-1: FF 170.00 [99-1/4-138] With its Encyclopædia Universalis, the Albin Michel publishers have access to a qualitatively good lexical data-pool. The compilation of articles from it into separate subject volumes (the Dictionnaire de la théologie chrétienne is one of about twenty such works) is in principle a good idea, not for specialists but for the general public interested in a given discipline. It is from this understanding we should judge the work. The techniques of subject segregation result in the loss of related material, e.g., Anselm of Canterbury ends up in the volume for philosophy, while his student Anselm of Laon is found in this theological dictionary. Still, the index helps point to essential information in other volumes. The lexicon is better for connected readings within a broad context than it is for the depiction of details. There are inconsistencies: the Apocalyse of John is represented with its own article, while the books of the Old Testament can only be analyzed through the forty-six-column-long article under "Bible." Before jumping to critical verdicts, however, we should examine the quality of the texts, written in part by renowned scholars, and consider the volume less as a reference work for pinpointing precise data and more as a compendium of introductory readings into theological subjects. To that end, it matches its designated audience well. Specialized libraries that do not possess the Encyclopædia Universalis should acquire this relatively inexpensive reference volume to document French theology. [ar/rdh]
  Hildegard von Bingen: internationale wissenschaftliche Bibliographie [Hildegard von Bingen: International Scholarly Bibliography]. Ed. Marc-Aeilko Aris, utilizing the Hildegard-Bibliography by Werner Lauter. Mainz: Gesellschaft für Mittelrheinische Kirchengeschichte, 1998. 293 p. 25 cm. (Quellen und Abhandlungen zur mittelrheinischen Kirchengeschichte, 84) ISBN 3-929135-16-7: DM 78.00. (Bistumsarchiv Trier, Jesuitenstr. 13b, D-54290 Trier, fax [49 651] 7105-473) [99-1/4-140]

Hildegard von Bingen: internationale wissenschaftliche Bibliographie [Hildegard von Bingen: International Scholarly Bibliography]. Ed. Marc-Aeilko Aris, utilizing the Hildegard-Bibliography by Werner Lauter. Mainz: Gesellschaft für Mittelrheinische Kirchengeschichte, 1998. 1 CD-ROM. ISBN 3-929135-20-5: DM 50.00. (Bistumsarchiv Trier, Jesuitenstr. 13b, D-54290 Trier, fax [49 651] 7105-473) [99-1/4-141]

Both scholarly research and the popular awareness of Hildegard von Bingen have been increasing for some time, to the point that a wealth of publications has made a panoramic survey long overdue. A well designed snapshot of the literature is all the more welcome now, since the jubilee year of 1998--celebrating the 900th birthday of the abbess--brought another flood of titles with it. The library of the Diocese Seminary in Trier has been working to collect and make bibliographically accessible as much literature on Hildegard von Bingen as possible. This bibliography is based on Trier's special collection holdings and the two-volume Hildegard bibliography by Werner Lauter from the years 1970 and 1984. A commission of six editors has assembled its 3,009 numbered entries. Included, according to the foreword, are all scholarly investigations as well as titles that have otherwise had a significant impact. Entries from daily or ecclesiastical newspapers are only occasionally included. Most entries are not annotated. As might be expected, a majority of the entries refer to publications on "Life and Work." Here articles from encyclopedias and handbooks are included, as are perspectives from various scholarly disciplines such as musicology, medicine, and theology. The very appealing printed bibliography is not only available in book form, but also on a pleasantly inexpensive CD. This facilitates research precision and makes possible a compilation of titles that match the specific interests of the user. The editors have succeeded in creating a very useful tool. The continually growing database of Hildegard research is always available in Trier for those interested and could be published in the updated form of new CDs in the future with little expense. An Internet option would be desirable as well. [ch/rdh]
  Lexikon der antiken christlichen Literatur [Lexicon of Early Christian Literature]. Ed. Siegmar Döpp and Wilhelm Geerlings. Freiburg im Breisgau [et al.]: Herder, 1998. xvi, 652 p. 25 cm. ISBN 3-451-23786-5: DM 128.00 [99-1/4-143] The Lexikon der antiken christlichen Literatur (LACL) is considered by its editors to be a successor to the long-time exemplary text of patrology, the so-called Altaner (Bernhard Altaner, Patrologie: Leben, Schriften und Lehre der Kirchenväter, 1978; reprint 1993). Contrary to its model, though, LACL does not present information in a historical context, but in purely lexical form. The majority of the lexicon consists of alphabetically arranged articles on individual authors or anonymously recorded works, e.g., the apocrypha, and writings from the significant Gnostic library at Nag Hammadi (Egypt). The traditional time frames for the Church Fathers are observed, ending with Isidor of Seville in the Latin West (636) and John of Damascus in the Greek Orthodox East (750). The editors tried to include all Christian writers, even those who wrote in the Middle Eastern languages, and evidently they succeeded. The inclusion of poets, historians, and other authors not considered theologians per se is particularly welcome. Some overview articles on important genres of Christian literature are present, e.g., on letters, commentaries, etc. Unfortunately, an article on hagiography is missing. Subject themes are also considered to a small degree, e.g., liturgy, schooling, and languages. The editors rightly note in the foreword that in "today's scholarly world, no single researcher [is able] to attain a full grasp of the entirety of Christian literature." Correspondingly, more than one hundred scholars from the German-speaking world contributed signed articles to LACL. Despite the high number of contributors, this is a consistent and uniform--not to mention highly readable--reference work.

A comparison with articles in the Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche (see RREA 5:89) works to the advantage of LACL: authors and works are almost always treated in greater detail in the latter, and their entries offer substantially richer bibliographic data. The articles in both works are by different authors, so there is no repetition.

The LACL represents a comprehensive and highly current information source. It cannot fully replace a work like the Altaner, since readers with no special knowledge of patristics need to set an author in context with the aid of a more pervasive historical presentation. Hubertus R. Drobner's Lehrbuch der Patrologie (1994) gives that historical context for the most important authors but still cannot offer the completeness of Altaner's work. Taken together, LACL and Drobner's book offer their readers an orientation that leaves little to be desired. [ch/rdh]

Translationes patristicae graecae et latinae: Bibliographie der Übersetzungen altchristlicher Quellen [Translations of Greek and Latin Patristics: Bibliography of Translations of Early Christian Sources]. Adalbert Keller. Stuttgart: Hiersemann. 25 cm. ISBN 3-7772-9729-1 [99-1/4-144]

Part 1. A-H. 1997. xxxi, 454 p. ISBN 3-7772-9734-8: DM 440.00

The constantly diminishing command of ancient languages, even within universities, makes it necessary to provide better access to the writings of Greek and Latin authors in translation. A finder's guide to translations in major modern languages (German, English, French, Italian, Spanish and Catalan), as offered in this volume, is therefore most welcome. The bibliography lists independent works of early Christian authors who wrote in Greek and Latin. Excluded are most anonymous and fragmentary texts as well as works written by Christian authors in Middle Eastern languages. The patristic age follows the usual time limits, extending from the apostolic era (excluding the writings of the New Testament) to Isidor of Seville for the Latin West (636) and John of Damascus for the Greek Orthodox East (750).

The volume under consideration here (A-H) encompasses 220 authors. For the sake of greater thoroughness, also listed are editions of numerous authors and works for which there are no translations. Thus the volume offers much more than the title promises. On examination, a number of careless mistakes and gaps in coverage were identified, which will not be discussed here. Anyone searching for translations of patristic literature should not rely on this volume alone. Much supplemental information, not limited to German translations, for example, can be extracted from the Lexikon der antiken christlichen Literatur (see previous review). For German-language users, Norbert Ohler's Bibliographie ins Neuhochdeutsche übersetzter mittelalterlicher Quellen is still helpful.

This volume shows evidence of structural and typographic expense that must have been part of the reason for the lofty price. For a reference work dealing in the very active realm of translation (think of the series Fontes christiani, for instance), where entries will rapidly be superseded, perhaps a somewhat simpler format and a more affordable price--with the prospect of revisions and updates after not too long a time--would have made more sense. [ch/rdh]

Prachtkorane aus tausend Jahren: Handschriften aus dem Bestand der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek München [Beautiful Examples of the Koran from 1000 Years: Manuscripts from the Holdings of the Bavarian State Library in Munich]. Ed. Helga Rebhan and Winfried Riesterer for the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München. München: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, 1998. 75 p. ill. 24 cm. (Schatzkammer, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, 1998) ISBN 3-9802700-3-3; ISBN 3-447-04116-1 (Harrassowitz): DM 48.00 (Printed for the Bavarian State Library by Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden) [99-1/4-145] This excellent exhibition catalog documents thirty-five items from the Bavarian State Library's exceptional collection of manuscript versions of the Koran which were on display from October 7 to November 28, 1998. The color photographs are very good, and the exhibition provides an interesting cross-section of Islamic calligraphy and book arts from different centuries and countries. There are minor factual errors; for example, it is incorrect to refer to either a "gold Koran" or a "blue Koran," but this informative catalog belongs in any library collection that supports Islamic studies. [mee/ldl]
  Neues Lexikon des Judentums [New Lexicon of Judaism]. Ed. Julius H. Schoeps for the Moses Mendelssohn-Zentrum. Rev. ed. Gütersloh; München: Bertelsmann-Lexikon-Verlag, 1998. 896 p. ill. 23 cm. ISBN 3-577-10604-2: DM 78.00 [99-1/4-147] This work is a lightly revised version of the original 1992 edition (reviewed in RRE-Online 1995 and IFB 95-1-056). Only a small percentage of the entries has been updated and many of the illustrations in the original edition have been removed. The work still suffers from an uneven treatment of its subject matter, in particular its treatment of orthodox Judaism, and this new edition will appeal mainly to those who could not afford the 1992 edition. [sh/ldl]

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