This issue of Focus highlights primary source materials and documentation of religion in the modern world, specifically Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Tibetan Buddhism. Here we present a wealth of material on the spread of religious thought in the modern world and about encounters between these great religious traditions.
Pertinent CRL holdings include the records of Christian missionaries to India, Africa, China, and Japan. The papers and reports of the Council for World Missions, Church Missionary Society, Woman’s Mission Society, American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, and other organizations reveal not only their religious aims but the civil institutions, such as schools and clinics, which they put in place. The reports are valuable portraits of non-Western societies as the missionaries found them, as well as mirrors of the interests and values of the missionaries, teachers, and medical workers themselves.
Dissertations from Israeli universities, recently acquired by CRL, reflect relatively recent work by Israeli and Arab scholars on Judaism and its role in the Middle East. The present issue also features the important work of the American Theological Libraries Association (ATLA) and Adam Matthew Publications, two organizations actively identifying—and preserving in microfilm and digital form—critical materials for research on the history of modern religion.