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Theology and Religion Subject Guide: Home

Subject Guide - help and guidance on finding resources in your subject area

 Welcome to the Theology and Religion Subject Guide

   Use this Subject LibGuide to help you make the most of the library and information resources and services.

New to the University?  Explore the Getting Started with the Library guide to learn all about the Library basics. 

Finding resources for your assignments Theology Y1 - ATLA worksheet


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Connect to the platform with your Exeter IT login, and create a free account to save and organise journals and articles.

Find out more


LibKey green teardrop icon

Use LibKey to help you get access to full text articles. 

Click the LibKey icon above to add the extension to your web browser. Select 'University of Exeter' as your institution and login using your Exeter IT login when prompted. 

Reading for leisure

Take a break from your recommended academic reading and explore e-books and audiobooks on the Libby app.


More information can be found on the Libby guide.

Library Search

Search across the print and online collections for books, chapters, articles, journals and lots more. 

For more in depth research in databases and archives, use the A-Z Databases List.

Where to start your search

It can be overwhelming when beginning research for an assignment or research project. There is so much information out there, it can be hard to know where to start.

A Google search can help you find lots of information quickly but the quality of that information will vary greatly.

Use the following tabs to help you begin looking for information on a topic using quality, scholarly resources.

Begin with an overview or introduction to the topic. 

Reference works, such as dictionaries and encyclopedias, can provide short summaries, useful when you are just starting your research and need a broad overview.

Use introductory works such as those listed below to help develop your understanding of a topic or research area.

The next step is to look deeper into the topic with a book or e-book.

The best way to see what is available is to search via Library Search, but you can see some of the e-book collections listed below, which contain a large number of books relating to theology and religion:

When you want to research a topic in depth, get some criticism or commentary on a concept, or complete a literature review, then you will need to look at the academic journal articles. Use these resources below.

Support guides for these resources can be found in the 'Help materials: databases' tab. 

You can find the full list of resources available to you in the A-Z Databases list. See the help materials: A-Z Databases tab for help using this.

These are the three key databases for Theology and Religion:

Use the following databases for broader research, as they cover multiple subject areas:

Use the Databases A-Z List to access all the resources available to you.

You can browse by subject (e.g. Theology) or type (e.g.Journals, News, Archives etc.) or search to find your required resource.

ATLA Religion Database

Année Philologique: Guide to searching


Web of Science:  Guide to searching

I'm looking for...

You have online access to hundreds of online books.  Use Library Search to search by topic to discover relevant content.  


Print Books

The Forum Library print books are arranged in Dewey Decimal Classification order.  This means that books on similar topics are grouped together.  Find out more with our Classmarks  guide.

The vast majority of our journal articles are available in digital format, although we do keep older print journals in the Forum Library.

Our journal databases may offer full text access or abstracts only, or sometimes a mixture of both.

  • Full text access allows you to view or download the entire journal article from that database.
  • Abstract only access provides a summary of the content of a journal article and in many cases, links out to full-text sources held digitally in our collections.

Many of our databases fully index their content, by organising them under various subjects. This helps ensure that all potentially relevant articles are captured when searches are carried out.

Use Library Search to find Journal Titles and articles that relate to your research/study area.

For targeted searching, select a research database and explore the published literature in your field. Key databases are flagged above, in the academic journal articles section.

Use the video below to help you with searching for articles on the ATLA Religion database.

You can search ATLA Religion Database for articles and books on specific chapters and verses in the Bible.

There are two ways of doing this; either by using the Scriptures or Indexes on the top menu. Using ATLA's index is the more precise way of searching.



 Select Scriptures from the top menu in ATLA:




And then choose from the list.


Click on Genesis to see articles on the whole of Genesis, or alternatively click Expand and choose a particular chapter and verse. 





Your selection will be added to the search box as below. Click on Search to retrieve the results.


The second way of looking for research material about a particular piece of scripture is to use ATLA's index. This is a more precise way of searching - you'll retrieve fewer results.


Go to Indexes on the top menu, and then choose Bible Citation from the 'Browse an index' drop down menu.








Enter Genesis 1 into the Browse for box, and then select the relevant passage (some may overlap - select all that apply), and click on add.

This will be added to the search box. Click on Search




You can then view your search results:


Primary sources are documents which were created during particular historical periods, as opposed to secondary sources, which are written at a later date about particular historical periods.

Examples of primary sources are Government publications,  newspapers, photographs, original art work, diaries, interviews, memoirs, letters, manuscripts, business records, court cases, census data, speeches.

Find out more on the Primary Sources LibGuide.


  • News sources can be invaluable research resources. 
  • They provide contemporaneous accounts of events as they emerge and unfold, affording a snapshot of developments at a point in time.
  • You can engage in historical research by tracing commentary on issues over time, to identify and track changing political, economic and social trends. 
  • The availability of news resources online allows for very effective and comprehensive searching, in a way that was impossible with print or microfilm / microfiche editions of the newspapers 

Find out more on the News LibGuide 

Online tutorials

Effective Searching & Referencing

It is important to plan your search strategy, and manage your search results so that you get the most from your online searching.

Keep a record of all the material you need to cite in your assignments, papers, projects etc. 

Use the Search Techniques and Referencing guidance to assist you.

  • It is  easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer breadth of information available to you.  
  • Invest time in planning an effective online search strategy so that you can quickly and easily discover relevant and high quality information. 


As you search you need to keep track of all the material you will be using in your academic work so that you can cite and reference it appropriately.

Top Tip

Always check your module handbook for specific departmental guidance on the style required for your assessed works and dissertations.  Check with your personal tutor or dissertation supervisor if you need clarification.

For more guidance take a look at:

Find out more about the skills support available to help you develop a range of study skills including essay writing, referencing, critical reading and getting the most out of lectures.

Study Skills Support

Sage Research Methods Online (SRMO) is a great resource to use when you are planning and conducting your research. 

It is targeted at social science researchers but is useful across all subject areas as it covers key research methodology topics that are applicable across the research spectrum.

Sage have produced a comprehensive LibGuide to help you get the best from the resource.

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