American Religious Biography

In addition to the resources mentioned elsewhere in this guide, consider using the following resources to find biographical sketches of individuals playing a role in the religious life in the United States.

The biographical sources mentioned below are only a small number of those available. For more information, contact a research librarian.

General

American National Biography Online [Harvard Login]

Search for a specific name or choose "Occupations --> Religion and belief"  to locate religious leaders.

Oxford African American Studies Center [Harvard Login]

Search for a specific name or choose "Occupation --> Religion and Spirituality"  to locate biographical articles about religious leaders who shaped African American and African history and culture. 

African American biographical database: AABD [Harvard Login]

Includes both famous and everyday people. Search profiles by both occupation (e.g. religious worker, diviner, orator) and religious affiliation.

Specialized

Dictionary of American Religious Biography [Print Only]

Religious Leaders of America [Print Only]

African American Lives [Print Only]

African-American Religious Leaders [Print Only]

Biographical Dictionary of American Cult and Sect Leaders [Print Only]

Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions [Print Only]

Biographical Directory of Negro Ministers [Print Only]

Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia [Print Only]

Dictionary of American Catholic Biography [Print Only]

Encyclopedia of American Women and Religion [Print Only]

Dictionary of Christianity in America [Print Only]

Encyclopedia of Religion in the South [Print Only]

Encyclopedia of Religion in American Politics [Print Only]

Encyclopedia of American Religion and Politics [Print Only]

The New International Dictionary of Pentecostal Charismatic Movements [Print Only]

Orthodox Judaism in America: A Biographical Dictionary and Sourcebook [Print Only]

Conservative Judaism in America: A Biographical Dictionary and Sourcebook [Print Only]

Reform Judaism in America: A Biographical Dictionary and Sourcebook [Print Only]

The Religious Right: A Reference Handbook [Print Only]

Twentieth-Century Shapers of American Popular Religion [Print Only]

By Religious Tradition or Denomination

Subject Encyclopedias

These tradition-specific encyclopedias include articles about people and coverage is international.

Encyclopaedia Judaica [Harvard Login]

Encyclopaedia of Islam [Harvard Login] 

Encyclopedia of Buddhism [Harvard Login]

Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church [Harvard Login]

New Catholic Encyclopedia [Harvard Login]

Biographical Dictionaries

These biographical dictionaries cover leaders in specific religious traditions.  Coverage extends beyond the United States.

Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexicon [Harvard Login]

Dictionary of Catholic Biography [Print Only]

Twentieth Century Dictionary of Christian Biography [Print Only]

The Blackwell Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1730-1860 [Print Only]

Oxford Dictionary of Popes [Harvard Login]

Oxford Dictionary of Saints [Harvard Login]

The biographical sources mentioned here are only a small number of those available. For more information, contact a research librarian.