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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Religious Studies

Guide to library resources for the study of religion.

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Statistics on religion, like all statistics, require a critical eye. Most of the statistics are surveys of religious institutions themselves or surveys of individuals and their self-reported affiliations. Surveys of religious institutions are self-reporting and ]
Some organizations do not have numbers or do not share those numbers with the public. In the U.S., the last government-mandated count of religious organizations was in 1936.

Religious organizations might call themselves by a different name than they are generally known. Also, "religion" is a term imposed from the outside; it is not a first-person term of self-categorization. What religion is or isn't, and what practices and rituals constitute "religion" is culturally, geographically, and temporally dependent. For more, see JZ Smith's Religion, Religions, Religious in Critical Terms for Religious Study.


American Jewish Year Book is available through Ishare from 2013-2019. 

The Year Book of International Religious Demography is also available through Ishare or through InterLibrary Loan. 

After 2018 it is available as the Journal of Religion and Demography