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Ngā Whakapono Beliefs

General books of interest

When one religion isn't enough : the lives of spiritually fluid people, by Duane Bidwell.
We often assume religious and spiritual identity are pure, static, and singular. But some people regularly cross religious boundaries. This book explores the lives of spiritually fluid people, revealing that while some chose multiple religious belonging, many more inherit it. For many North Americans, the complicated legacies of colonialism are part of their family story, and they may consider themselves both Christian and Hindu, or Buddhist, or Yoruban, or one of the many other religions native to colonized lands. ... other people are born into religiously mixed families. ...Bidwell explores how people come to claim and be claimed by multiple religious traditions, how spiritually fluid people engage radically opposed truth claims, and what this growing population tells us about change within our communities." (Catalogue)

Zealot : a book about cults, by Jo Thornely.
" Whatever the reason people join cults, once people are in, it's usually very difficult for them to leave. Cults have ways of making their followers do loopy, dangerous stuff to prove their loyalty, and in return they get a chance to feel secure within the cult's embrace, with an added bonus of being utterly terrified of the outside world. This book is a wide-sweeping look at cults around the world." (Catalogue)

Spiritual science : why science needs spirituality to make sense of the world, by Steve Taylor.
"In our culture, it's often assumed that there are two ways of interpreting the world: in a rational scientific way, or an irrational religious way. This book shows that there is a third alternative: a spiritual, or "panpsychist" view of reality that transcends both conventional science and religion, and answers many of the riddles that neither can explain. Steve Taylor puts forward the evidence for a spiritual view of reality, drawing on the insights of philosophers, physicists, mystics, as well as spiritual traditions and indigenous cultures. He systematically shows how a 'panspiritist' view can explain many puzzling aspects of science and the world, including evolution and the origins of life, and a wide range of other phenomena such as quantum physics, the placebo effect, precognition and neuroplasticity." (Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverLiving with the gods : on beliefs and peoples, by Neil MacGregor.
"Acclaimed art historian McGregor explores the relationship between faith and society. It examines mankind's beliefs not from the perspective of institutional religions but according to how shared narratives have shaped societies--and what happens when different narratives run up against each other." (drawn from the Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverReligion 101 : from Allah to Zen Buddhism : an exploration of the key people, practices, and beliefs that have shaped the religions of the world, by Peter Archer, MA, MLitt.
"Written in easy-to-understand language, Religion 101 offers a fascinating - and memorable - glimpse at the sacred stories, traditions, and doctrines that have influenced today's most popular religions. From Jesus and the Four Noble Truths to the Buddhist Wheel of Existence, this book provides you with thought-provoking insight into the customs and beliefs of common faiths like Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam. ... So whether you're looking to unravel the mysteries of existence and meaning, or just want to find out what Kabbalah is all about, Religion 101 has all the answers - even the ones you didn't know you were looking for."--Page 4 of cover.


Yes! we have downloadable ebooks. Overdrive Ebooks is a free service.

Under the label "Browse Ebook Nonfiction" choose the Religion and spirituality heading to find books.
Recent titles include :
The Talmud : a biography, by Harry Freedman.
The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls : Their Significance For Understanding the Bible, Judaism, Jesus, and Christianity, by James VanderKam.
God or Godless? One Atheist. One Christian : Twenty Controversial Questions, by John W. Loftus.

Useful Dewey numbers

Subject: Dewey number:
African religions 299.6
Anglican church 283
Atheism 211
Bahai faith 297.93
Bible 220 - 229
Black Muslim movement 305.896073
Buddhism 294.3
Catholic church 282
Classical (Greek & Roman) religion 292
Hinduisim 294.5
Islam 297
Judaism 296
Methodist church 287
Moonies 289.9
Mormon church 289.3
Native American religions 299.7
New Age religions 299.93
Presbyterian church 285
Quakers 289.6
Shinto 299.56
Sikhism 294.6
Sociology of religion 306.6
Sufism 297.4
Taoism 299.514
Wicca 299.94
Zen Buddhism 294.3927

Useful websites

This is a starting list of general religion-based internet websites of interest. For websites on specific religions, please see the religion specific pages.

  • Adherents.com
    Holds statistics on world religious affiliation, including famous adherents, religious references in fiction, films, etc.
  • BBC: Religion & Ethics
    Contains a number of general interest sections relating to various world religions and ethics. Listen to broadcasts of the BBC's many programs devoted to exploring various religions, such as Missionaries. Equally compelling are the fractious message boards. The site is rounded out by an interactive multi faith calendar, which shows the religious festivals and celebrations of eight world faiths.
  • Beliefnet
    Contains a wide variety of discussion on spiritual matters, including quizzes, social and poltical issues, and reviews.
  • Freedom From Religion Foundation
    Maintains the protection of the constitutional principle of separation of state from church.
  • Holidays and Observances
    Contains information about major religious holidays around the world.
  • New Zealand Religious History Bibliography
    Compiled by Peter Lineham. (Also contains chapters of his publications)
  • Religion Online
    Holds full texts by recognized religious scholars - more than 1,800 articles and chapters. Topics include Old and New Testament, Theology, Ethics, History and Sociology of Religions, Comparative Religion, Religious Communication, Pastoral Care, Counselling, Homiletics, Worship, Missions and Religious Education
  • Sacred Text Archive
    Includes texts of nearly a thousand of the core texts of religion, mythology, and folklore.
  • The Revealer
    It can be difficult to sift and winnow through the myriad of material offered on the web. Jointly sponsored by the New York University Department of Journalism and New York University's Center for Religion and Media.
  • Symbols
    The use of symbolism in the world's major religions.
  • Virtual religion index
    Designed to advance research in matters of religion

Contact Us:

first names of people who maintain pageInterested in finding out more about what the library holds on beliefs? Found a topical online resource you'd like to share? Contact us at enquiries@wcl.govt.nz. We'd love to hear from you!

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