Dictionaries, Ecclesiastical and Theological
Dictionaries, Ecclesiastical and Theological.
Several of the works enumerated in the above article include ecclesiastical and theological topics, as well as Biblical; e.g. Richard, Dictionnaire Universel; Robinson, Theological, Biblical and Ecclesiastical Dictionary; Watson, Biblical and Theological Dictionary, etc. We add here a list of the most important general theological dictionaries.
BROUGHTON (THOMAS), Bibliotheca Historica Sacra, or an Historical Library of the principal matters relating to Religion (London, 1737, 2
vols. fol.); a work admirably done, on the whole, for that time. It has been largely used by succeeding editors of cyclopaedic works.
FERRARIS (F. LUCIUS), Prompta Bibliotheca, canonica, juridica, moralis, theologica, necnon ascetica, polemica, rubricistica, historica (Madrid, 1795, 10 vols. in 5, fol.; revised by the monks of Monte Cassino, Rome, 1844-5, 2 vols. 4to; new ed. by Migne, Paris, 8 vols. imp. 8vo, 1856-58), is a vast compendium of Roman Catholic theology, canon law, and of the other topics enumerated in the title. The abbe Migne's edition is the most useful, and the cheapest.
BUCK, Theological Dictionary, containing Definitions of all religious and ecclesiastical Terms, etc. (London, 1802, 2 vols. 8vo; many English and American editions; the best by E. Henderson, Lond. 1833 to 1854). This manual has been very widely circulated, and has well deserved its good repute, though superseded now by later and larger works.
BROWN (J. NEWTON), Encyclopaedia of Religious Knowledge, or Dictionary of the Bible, Theology, Religious Biography, all Religions, Ecclesiastical History, and Missions; containing Definitions of all religious Terms, and impartial Accounts of the principal Christian Denominations that have existed in the World from the Birth of Christ to the present Day (Brattleborough, 1835, royal 8vo; and in many editions since). This useful work has had perhaps a wider sale than any book of its class has ever reached. It has not the scientific character of more recent books, but at the time of its issue it was up to the wants of general readers, as well as of ministers in actual work. It has a Missionary Gazetteer at the end, prepared by the Rev. B. B. Edwards, and very full and accurate at the time of publication.
ASCHBACH (Roman Catholic), Ahgemeines Kirchen. Lexikon, oder alphabetisch geordnete Darstellung des Wissenswairdigsten aus der gesammten Theologie und ihren Huifswissenschaften (Frankfurt a. M., and Mainz, 1846-1850, 4 vols. 8vo). As the title states, this book aims at selections from the whole field of theological knowledge. It is very fair, on the whole; learned, generally accurate, and great skill in condensation is shown throughout the work.
WETZER und WELTE (Roman Catholic), Kirchen-Lexikon, oder Encyklopädie der katholischen Theologie und ihrer Hilfswissenschaften (Freiburg, 1848-56, 12 large vols. 8vo), is the most scientific and complete book of its class in Roman Catholic literature. The German Romanist theologians are, in general, far more learned and also more liberal than those of other countries, and this work is a valuable fruit of their industry and erudition. It covers, for Roman Catholic theology, the same field as that treated by Herzog for Protestant theology; and its editors excel in the cyclopaedic faculty, so that the length of its articles is better proportioned to their importance than is the case with its great Protestant compeer. Nevertheless, the work is still far behind Herzog in learning and completeness.
FARRAR (JOHN), An Ecclesiastical Dictionary, explanatory of the History, Antiquities, Heresies, Sects, and Religious Denominations of the Christian Church (Lond. 1853, 12mo, p. 560), is a compact manual, chiefly abridged from Bingham, Coleman, Riddle, and other writers on antiquities, with descriptions also of modern sects, denominations, and usages. It is very well prepared, and forms a useful hand-book, especially for general readers; the absence of references to authorities makes it less valuable for students.
EADIE (JOHN), Ecclesiastical Cyclopaedia, or Dictionary of Christian Antiquities and Sects (London, 1862, 12mo, 2d ed.). This work covers Theology, Patristics, Church History, Archaeology, etc. but, of course, in a brief and summary way. It draws largely from the Encyclopaedia Metropolitana (which belongs to the same publishers), but a great deal of valuable and recent matter has been added by Dr. Eadie.
HOOK, W. F., A Church Dictionary (sixth edition, London, 1852, 8vo; American edition, Philadelphia, 1854, 8vo). This is a compilation intended especially to set forth, for members of the Church of England, the "more important doctrines of the Church, and the fundamental verities of our religion." As an original authority it is of little value. Dr. Hook adopted (and acknowledged the adoption of) the title of Dr. Staunton's Church Dictionary, but he also "adopted," without acknowledgment of any kind, more than fifty pages of the matter of that excellent work.
STAUNTON, Dictionary of the Church (N. Y. 1839, 12mo), and, in enlarged form, An Ecclesiastical Dictionary (New York, 1864, 8vo), treats of the history, ritual, worship, discipline, ceremonies, and usages of the Church, from the point of view of the Protestant Episcopal Church. This work is careful, scholarly, and reliable within its sphere. It was largely used by Hook (see above).
EDEN (ROBERT), The Churchman's Theological Dictionary (3d edition, Lond. 1859), aims to give a "plain and simple explanation of theological and ecclesiastical terms, without entering into controversy;" and it accomplishes its aim admirably. In terseness and clearness of statement this little book is almost without a rival among brief dictionaries. It is written for:the Church of England, but its point of view is that of the so-called moderate Episcopalians.
HERZOG, Real-Encyklopädie für protestantische Theologie und Kirche, in Verbindung mit vielen protestantischen Theologen und Gelehrten herausgegeben von Dr. Herzog, ord. Prof. d. Theologie in Erlangen (Gotha, 1854-66, 18 vols. and 3 supplementary vols., with Index volume additional). This great work professes Go treat of all important subjects in the entire range of Protestant theological science in one alphabet. In scientific structure, as well as in extent of learning, this Cyclopaedia far surpasses all others in the same field. Its greatest fault is want of careful editorial supervision; each writer seems to have been allowed to treat his subject as he pleased, and to fill one page or ten, without sufficient reference to the comparative importance of the subjects discussed. Its deficiencies in English and American topics are very marked; but, with all drawbacks, the Real-Encyklopadie is a great treasury of theological and historical science, and must hold its place for many years as such. A condensed translation of the work was commenced in 1856 by the Rev. J. H. A. Bomberger, D.D., assisted by distinguished theologians of various denominations. Unfortunately, the publication was suspended at the 12th number (article Josiah).
A brief Theological and Biblical Dictionary, which is to embrace in 2 vols. the whole field of theology, was begun in Germany at the beginning of 1868 (Theologisches Univ.-Lex. Elberfeld, 1868). The names of the editor and contributors are not given. In its tendency it promises to be entirely objective.
In France, a compendious "Universal Dictionary of Ecclesiastical Science" (Dictionnaire Universel des Sciences Ecclesiastiaues, Tours, 1868), in 2 vols., has been published by abbe Glaire, well known by a number of exegetical works.
Besides the above, there are numerous hand-books. on special topics, arranged in alphabetical order, such as Fuhrmann, Handworterbuch der christlichen Religions- und Kirchengeschichte (Halle, 1826-29, 4 vols.
8vo); Siegel, Handbuch der christlich — kirchlichen Alterthimer (1836- 38, 4 vols. 8vo); Doering, Die gelehrten Theologen Deutschlands (Berlin, 1831-35, 4 vols. 8vo); Doering, Die deutschen Kanzdl-Redner (Berlin, 1830, 8vo); Bergier, Dictionnaire de Theologie (ed. by Gousset, Paris, 1854, 6 vols. 8vo); Newcomb, Cyclopedia of Missions (New York, 1854, 8vo); Jones, Christian Biography (Lond. 1829, 12mo); Jamieson, Cyclopoedia of Religious Biography (Lond. 1853,12mo); Hook, Ecclesiastical Biography (Lond. 1846-1852, 8 vols. 12mo); Cyclopaedia of Religious Denominations (Glasgow, 1852, 8vo), Martigny, Dictionnaire des Antiquites Chretiennes (Paris, 1865, large 8vo). The abbe Migne has published three series of the Encyclopedie Theologique; containing 165 volumes, and professing to treat of all subjects within the range of theological literature. Few of them are of scientific value, and the whole series is, perhaps, the least important and useful of Migne's great undertakings.