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Christianity and World Religions: Keywords for Searching

A guide that serves as a brief introduction to several world religions. It is intended to whet your appetite for further study and to help you understand the religious beliefs of others in today's global society.

Keyword Examples

Areas Covered

Traditions: Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Taoism, African Religions, American Indian Religions, Paganism, Folk Religions; New Religions

Subjects: Bible, archaeology, and antiquities; human culture and society; church history, missions, and ecumenism; comparative religion, world religions and religious studies; theology, philosophy, and ethics; a specific country or region; global; diversity; 

Below are a few examples of how to construct search phrases.  Search phrases are in bold, with explanations bulleted.

hinduism and renunciation   

  • searches for the keywords "hinduism" and "renunciation"

jewish civilization    

  • searches for the phrase "jewish civilization"

"Tibetan Book of the Dead" (with quotes it searches it as a phrase)

hinduism and india   

  • searches for both "hinduism" and "india"

christianity and gnosticism    

  • searches for "christianity" and "gnosticism"

buddha or buddhism

       searches for both "Buddha" or "Buddhism

Buddha or Guatama

buddhism and japan    


        Islam not Sunni

hindu*    (sometimes Hindu?)

        searches for "hindu", "hinduism", "hindustan", "hindus"

sacred texts

        vedas or epics or upanishads

more:  Islam and Crusades; Buddhism and Chritianity; Chrisitanity and other religions; and Marxism; 

misc. topics

        death, afterlife, soul, tenets, world view, initiation, rites, beliefs, creation stories, myths, priinciples, ceremonies, funeral rites, marriage, teachings, interpretations,stereotypes



Searchable 'concepts'; spokespeople/founders

(Religions) (Founders) (Ultimate Reality)
Bahai Abraham Allah
Buddhism Bahaullah Brahman
Christian Buddha Christ
Confucianism Confucius God
Hindu Jesus Kali
Islam Krishna Kami
Jain LaoTzu Nirvana
Jew Mahavira Shiva
Muslim Moses Tao
Parsi Muhammad
Shinto Nanak
Sikh Zarathustra

(Places of Worship) (Leaders' Title) (Scriptures)

Ashram Guru AdiGranth
Church Minister Bible
Gurdwara Monk Gathas
Mosque Mullah Koran
Synagogue Nun Sutra
Temple Priest TaoTeChing
Rabbi Torah
Swami Upanishads

The words are oriented horizontally, vertically and diagon

By Religion - see subtabs above

Spelling Variations

In searching databases you need to be aware of variations in the spelling of words, especially those transliterated from other writing systems. Here are a few examples:

  • koran or quran
  • vishnu or visnu
  • moslem or muslim