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Dictionaries and Encyclopedias 1

Handbooks and Guides 3
Summaries and Collections 4
Histories 4
Finding More Resources 5


The New Dictionary of Catholic Spirituality. Edited by Michael
Downey. Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical, 1993.
[St. Michaels 1st Floor Reference Area BX 2350.65 .N49]

Over 300 articles with bibliographies on Catholic spiritual concepts
and schools (but not individual writers).

The New Westminster Dictionary of Christian Spirituality. Edited
by Philip Sheldrake. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster J ohn Knox,
[St. Michaels 1st Floor Reference Area BV 4488 .N49 2005]

Lengthy articles on themes, movements, regions, and periods in Christian spirituality but not
biographies of individual persons. Also includes a section of short essays on the relationships
between spirituality and other disciplines (e.g. culture, history, psychology, science).

The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Spirituality. Edited by Gordon S. Wakefield. Philadelphia:
Westminster Press, 1983.
[St. Michaels 1st Floor Reference Area BV 4488 .W47 1983]

This older work is still useful, since its replacement has a thoroughly different editorial stance. It
includes articles on spiritual schools, writers, and themes. The Catholic tradition is well
represented along with Orthodoxy, Protestantism, and to a lesser extent non-Christian religions.

Catholic Spirituality from A to Z: An Inspirational Dictionary. Susan Muto. Ann Arbor, Mich.:
Servant Publications, 2000.
[St. Michaels 1st Floor Reference Area BX2350.65 .M88 2000]

Brief articles on concepts, traditions, saints, and periods all chosen and written by a major scholar
of formative spirituality. There are no bibliographies, but, as the subtitle indicates, the articles are
nonetheless inspirational.

Experiences with God: A Dictionary of Spirituality. Columba Cary-Elwes. London: Sheed & Ward,
[St. Michaels 1st Floor Reference Area BX 2350.2 .C67 1986]

A similar work to that by Susan Muto above. Some articles include bibliographic references.

Research Guide to
Catholic Spirituality

John M. Kelly Library
University of St. Michaels College
Dictionary of Catholic Devotions. Michael Walsh. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993.
[St. Michaels 1st Floor Reference Area BX 2350.2 .W34 1993]

A dictionary emphasizing the practice of individual piety, with articles on various shrines,
devotions, sodalities, and confraternities.

Encyclopedia of Religious and Spiritual Development. Edited by Elizabeth M. Dowling and W.
George Scarlett. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 2006.
[St. Michaels 1st Floor Reference Area BV 4571.3 .E53 2006]

An inter-faith encyclopedia with lengthy articles (including bibliographies) about spiritual
concepts, leaders, practices, and traditions.

An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Mysticism and the Mystery Religions. By J ohn Ferguson. London:
Thames & Hudson, 1976.
[Trinity Reference Area BL 31 .F47]

Includes articles on persons and topics from Christianity as well as non-Christian religions.
Articles range from one line to a page. A fine one-volume work for the non-expert.

New Catholic Encyclopedia. 2nd edition. Washington, D.C.: Gale, 2003. 15 volumes.
[Available online for UofT use:]
[St. Michaels 1st Floor Reference Area BX 841 .N44 2003]

The major English-language encyclopedia on Catholic topics, this work contains some 17,000
articles, each with a bibliography. There is an article entitled Spirituality, Christian (History of)
which identifies major spiritual masters and schools for each of which there is an article in the
encyclopedia. Unfortunately many of the articles in the 2003/online edition are reprints from the
1967 edition without any updating.

The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Encyclopedia Press, 19051922. 16 volumes +2 supplements.
[Available online:]
[St. Michaels 1st Floor Reference Area BX 841 .C25 1907]

For over fifty years this work was the chief source of information on the Catholic Church in
English-speaking countries. Owing to its length (it has almost twice as many words as the New
Catholic Encyclopedia) and its emphasis on historical articles, it is still useful.

Dictionnaire de spiritualit asctique et mystique: doctrine et histoire. Paris: Beauchesne, 1932
1996. 17 volumes.
[St. Michaels 1st Floor Reference Area BX 841 .D67 1932]

The most comprehensive reference work in the field with long, signed articles covering concepts of
spiritual theology and explaining their origin and development through the centuries with frequent
references to sources. In French.

Dizionario di Mistica. Edited by L. Borriello et al. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1998.
[St. Michaels 1st Floor Reference Area BV 5082.2 .D59 1998]

Over 600 articles on mystics and spiritual themes. In Italian.

The Blackwell Companion to Christian Spirituality. Edited by Arthur Holder. Oxford: Blackwell,
[St. Michaels 3rd Floor BV 4501.3 .B535 2005]

Introductory essays on the scriptural background and historical development of Christian
spirituality, as well as the interplay between spirituality and other theological and social science

The Cambridge Companion to Christian Mysticism. Edited by Amy Hollywood and Patricia Z.
Beckman. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
[St. Michaels 3rd Floor BV 5082.3 .C35 2012]

Introductory essays on Western Christian mysticism with an emphasis on the third to the
seventeenth centuries.

The Spiritual Life: A Treatise on Ascetical and Mystical Theology. By Adolphe Tanquerey.
Westminster, Md.: Newman, 1932.
[St. Michaels 1st Floor Reference Area BV 5032 .T3513 1932]

A handbook covering the general principles of the spiritual life and each of its three stages as
conceived in the traditional manner (purgative, illuminative, unitive). Excellent bibliographies.

A Practical Guide to Spiritual Reading. By Susan Muto. Revised edition. Petersham, Mass.: St.
Bedes, 1994.
[St. Michael's 3rd Floor BX 2350.2 .M884 1994]

A guide for reading programs for individuals and groups. Suggested readings on specific topics
(e.g. the desert experience) from Scripture, spiritual classics, and modern spiritual works.

Western Mysticism: A Guide to the Basic Works. By Mary Ann Bowman. Chicago: American Library
Association, 1978.
[St. Michael's 3rd Floor BV5082.2 .B68 1978]

A selective bibliography of primary and secondary sources on mystics and mysticism suitable for
the general reader. Arranged chronologically.


Masterpieces of Catholic Literature in Summary Form. By Frank N. Magill. New York: Salem,
[St. Michaels 1st Floor Reference Area BX 885 .M2 1965]

Four to five page summaries of over 300 major Catholic works, including historical, philosophical,
theological, spiritual, and devotional literature.

The Treasury of Catholic Wisdom. Edited by J ohn A. Hardon. New York: Doubleday, 1987.
[St. Michaels 1st Floor Reference Area BX 885 .T73 1987]

An anthology of outstanding Catholic literature from the first century to modern times. Lengthy
excerpts from the writings of mystics, theologians, and poets.

Encyclopedia of Catholic Literature. Edited by Mary R. Reichardt. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood,
2004. 2 volumes.
[St. Michaels 1st Floor Reference Area PN 485 .E53 2004]

Chapters on almost eighty major pieces of Catholic literature. Each chapter includes a biography
of the author, a plot summary, an essay on major themes, and an essay on the critical reception of
the work.

Masterplots II: Christian Literature. Edited by J ohn K. Roth. Pasadena, Calif.: Salem, 2007. 4
[St. Michaels 1st Floor Reference Area BR 117 .M15 2008]

Three to five page summaries of over 500 pieces of Christian literature both fiction and non-
fiction. Includes classic and contemporary works from a variety of Christian traditions.

Christian Spirituality: The Classics. Edited by Arthur Holder. London: Routledge, 2010.
[St. Michael's 3rd Floor BV 4501.3 .C496 2010]

Brief synopses and criticism of thirty major works from the second to the twentieth century.


Each of these works is a chronological presentation of the development of Christian spirituality from
the early Church to modern times.

Christian Spirituality: An Introduction to the Heritage. Charles J . Healey. New York: Alba House,
[St. Michael's 3rd Floor BV 4501.2 .H43 1999]

The Presence of God: A History of Western Christian Mysticism. By Bernard McGinn. New York:
Crossroad, 1992 2005. 4 volumes.
[St. Michael's 3rd Floor BV 5077 .E85 M34]

The Study of Spirituality. Edited by Cheslyn J ones et al. New York: SPCK, 1986.
[St. Michael's 3rd Floor BV 4501.2 .S87 1986]

History of Christian Spirituality. By Louis Bouyer and others. New York: Seabury, 1963 1969. 3
[St. Michael's 3rd Floor BV 4490 .H513 1963]

Some Schools of Catholic Spirituality. By J ean Gautier. New York: Descle, 1959.
[St. Michael's 3rd Floor - BQT 2163 .G3 E5]

Christian Spirituality. By Pierre Pourat. Westminster, Maryland: Newman, 1953 1955. 4 volumes.
[St. Michael's 3rd Floor BV 5021 .P5813 1953]


Bibliographia internationalis spiritualitatis.
[St. Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area BX 2350.2 .B52 (1966 present)]

An annual list of books and articles in the field of Catholic spirituality. The most recent volume
lists almost 8,000 items. No annotations.

Catholic Periodical and Literature Index (CPLI).
[Available online (1981 present) for UofT use:]
[Print version (1930 1980): St. Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area AI 3 .C3]

Over 200,000 bibliographic citations to Catholic books, book reviews, and journal articles from
more than 160 Catholic magazines. A much larger number of articles on historical topics will be
found in the older volumes of the print version.

ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials.
[Available online (1949 present) for UofT use:]

Over one million bibliographic citations to journal articles, essays in books, and book reviews in
the field of religion.

It is possible to search the ATLA Religion Database and the Catholic Periodical and Literature Index
at the same time: when you are using one or the other index, click on the blue Choose Databases tab
at the top of the webpage, place checkmarks against both indexes, and then click on the Continue

This research guide is maintained by Noel S. McFerran ( It was last updated November 2013.