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worldTSEM102: Religion and Politics in America

Background Reading
B315 2008

Battleground Religion 2 v.

  • Abortion, euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, homosexuality, Native American religious freedom, prayer in public schools, same-sex marriage, Islamic nationalism

Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion 2007

  • Also available online directly through TU Library Catalog > Click on  Find It to access full text
  • Topics such as: abortion; civil rights movement; religious right; lobbying, religious; homosexuality; freedom of religion; separation of church and state

Religion and Politics in America 4th ed. 2009

  • Textbook that covers relevant topics and provides additional sources
  • Look for a list of books and other resources at the end of each chapter under FURTHER READING and NOTES

Religion and the Law in America: An Encyclopedia of Personal Belief and Public Policy  2 v.   2007

  • Includes essays on church-state, prayer in schools, free exercise, Supreme court, and others
  • Focus is on court cases; subject index including topics like abortion, birth control, Bill of Rights, supreme court justices, presidents, Catholic Church, discrimination, education, evolution, first amendment, Salem Witch Trials, etc.

Sage Knowledge


Gale Virtual Reference Library

  • A collection of subject encyclopedias similar to Sage Knowledge
  • No need to select a particular encyclopedia, rather use the search box at the top of the screen
  • Look for articles in Encyclopedia of Contemporary Social Issues and Culture Wars: An Encyclopedia of Issues, Viewpoints, and Voices as they will help in the development of research questions

CQ Researcher is a magazine-type publication that provides background information on topics of wide interest

  • See articles on abortion, religion in schools, religious fundamentalism; religious right; government & religion; moral majority, stem cell research, gay rights, death penalty, terrorism, gun control

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R448 2003

Religion and American Cultures: An Encyclopedia of Traditions, Diversity, and Popular Expressions
   3 v.

  • See “Public Theologies and Political Culture”, pp. 479 ff.


Encyclopedia of the American Religious Experience  2 v.

  • See Part VIII: Religion and the Political and Social Order, pp.1369 ff.

C65 2000

Contemporary American Religion   2 v.

  • Church & state

A37 2009

African American Religious Cultures 2 v.

  • See “African American Religion and Politics”, pp.517 -531

H57 2009

Hispanic American Religious Cultures 2 v.

  • See “Political Involvement”, pp. 440- 447

B45 1998

Encyclopedia of American Women and Religion

  • See various issues such as abortion, birth control, biblical authority and women’s rights, equal rights amendment, etc.

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Films on Demand
is a research database that provides streaming video of films on many academic topics, including politics and religion

video See the help guide video: Finding Books with Cook OneSearch

You can use either Cook OneSearch or the Library/USMAI Catalog to find books.

Check the Library Catalog for books available at Cook Library. If you want a larger selection of books available in all of the University System of Maryland libraries, check the USMAI Catalog or if you prefer, try a search in Cook OneSearch.

  •  In the USMAI Catalog, try Subject Beginning with:

    • Religion and politics united states
    • Catholics political activity united states
    • Muslims political activity
    • Evangelicalism  political aspects united states
    • Religious right united states
    • Church and state united states

    In Cook OneSearch, select BOOKS and try:

    • African American politic* religio*
    • Hispanic American politic* religio*
    • Women politic* religio* united states
Magazine, Newspaper, & Journal Articles
video See the help guide videos: Scholarly vs. Popular: What's the Difference?, Finding Articles with Cook OneSearch and Finding Articles: Getting Started in EBSCO Databases

You can use Cook OneSearch or go directly to research databases such as Academic Search (and choose others) to find articles on your topic. The advanced search features of both are similar, but the research database search allows additional options for refining a search.

To search for articles that focus on politics/government and religion that are popular or scholarly, try a search that combines Academic Search, Social Sciences Abstracts, and SocINDEX.

  • You can most often use the same subject terms that you used to search for books in the USMAI Catalog
  • Begin with Academic Search > once in it, click on Choose Databases > select Social Sciences Abstracts, SocINDEX > click on OK
    • Click on Advanced Search > enter your keywords in the boxes
    • To limit your results to scholarly (peer-reviewed) articles, check the box on the left side of the search screen

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Polls & Surveys

Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

  • Conducts polls on social, political, and demographic trends including  religion, media, policy, and ethnicity

Public Religion Research Institute


Resources on Faith, Ethics, and Public Life [Berkley Center at Georgetown University]

  • "Overview of major religious traditions and their role in politics and society around the world" - from the website
  • Includes topics such as Faith in the 2012 Election - which includes subtopics such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and religious liberty
  • Gallup Center for Muslim Studies researches views of Muslims worldwide

ARDA: Association of Religion Data Archives

  • A collection of surveys, polls, and other data from national and international sources
  • See Quick Stats for U.S. Surveys to most requested data, including Politics
  • Click on Classic Topics for specific questions regarding attitudes about religion and politics
  • Browse the collection by Category, Alphabetically, or Most Popular

Gallup: Daily News, Polls, Public Opinion on government, Politics, Economics, Management


Roper Center Public Opinion Archives

  • Look at Topics at a Glance for statistics on various issues regarding: government; education; political parties; health; international affairs; media; personal characteristics, beliefs, and lifestyles; science & technology; and social
Citation Style Guides
  • Diana Hacker: Research and Documentation Online
    • Provides about 50 examples for citing sources in various formats, showing note and bibliographic style side-by-side
    • Use pop-up menu in middle of screen to locate specific examples
  • For style guides created by TU Librarians, click on Citing Sources
    • Cook Library short guides for in-text (parenthetical) citations and reference lists in various styles including APA, MLA, and Chicago

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