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New Twentieth-Century Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge.

This is a revised edition of the Twentieth-Century Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, compiled and edited by Lefferts A. Loetscher in 1955, which was itself an update and supplement to the Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (1886). The publisher claims on the book jacket that approximately two-thirds of the 2,100 articles "are new, and the bibliographies and articles retained from the 1955 edition have been updated and supplemented." Not only is the emphasis and perspective predominantly on Christianity, it is also "more consistently and intentionally evangelical in viewpoint and interests than was the 1955 edition, although the word 'evangelical' is here used in a broad sense, and not all the contributors consider themselves evangelical" (preface).

Within the defined scope limited to the twentieth century, the volume is manifestly rich in its coverage of theology and ethics, biblical studies, church history, ministry, religious and international movements, philosophical trends, denominations and world confessional bodies, ecclesiastical terms and titles, comparative religion, and Christianity in the non-Western world. Many articles include bibliography, but no photographs, maps, or illustrations are included.

There is much of interest and value here for mission scholars, including articles on EFMA, IFMA, Lausanne Committee, interfaith relations, International Missionary Council and its conferences at Jerusalem (1928) and Tambaram (1938), promotion of missions, missions to North American Indians, missions to Jews and Muslims, universalism, and the World Council of Churches. The large number of short biographical articles (including many from the 1955 edition) is particularly useful for reference. At $39.95 for 900 pages with 2,100 articles covering the field of "religious knowledge," this is definitely a "best buy" for the library of an active scholar or a local church.

Gerald H. Anderson is Director of the Overseas Ministries Study Center, New Haven, Connecticut, and Editor of the International Bulletin of Missionary Research.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Overseas Ministries Study Center
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Anderson, Gerald H.
Publication:International Bulletin of Missionary Research
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Apr 1, 1993
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