Reviews by Joseph Sollenberger
August 15, 2018  | 11:35 AM   |    Fantastic (5)
In the age of the internet, one may well wonder if a traditionally produced encyclopedia is justified. After all, Wikipedia is often thorough and is constantly updated; it is a wonderful resource. Why would one ever wish to purchase a tool designed for paper? Because, for some, it meets the Goldilocks principle.

The Encyclopedia of Christianity will probably be undersized for scholars needing monographs and journal articles for cutting edge information in their specialized fields, and it will ...
In the age of the internet, one may well wonder if a traditionally produced encyclopedia is justified. After all, Wikipedia is often thorough and is constantly updated; it is a wonderful resource. Why would one ever wish to purchase a tool designed for paper? Because, for some, it meets the Goldilocks principle.

The Encyclopedia of Christianity will probably be undersized for scholars needing monographs and journal articles for cutting edge information in their specialized fields, and it will probably be uncomfortable for many without some prior experience or taste for academic writing. For specialists seeking information in an area outside their own field, for students in earlier stages of their studies, and for individuals that are just as curious as George of the children’s books, this encyclopedia may be just right.

The articles are well written by scholars who know their subject well. This deep understanding is combined with a keen sense of how much detail is needed to provide the information for general understanding without skipping a necessary part of the story or overwhelming the reader with excessive detail. The included bibliographies will lead the seriously curious to other high quality resources. Since articles are written by a variety of individuals, the writing style will vary from one article to another, but the editors have kept control of the project and the writing is more level than one may expect. The encyclopedia has a definite tone that, for me, was just right.

With tagging and hyperlinking, the Accordance version is much more useful than the paper version, and is certainly something to have on a mobile device. After all, one never knows when a bout of curiosity will strike. Indeed, for me, an individual looking at a wide variety of topics in Christianity and other religions through non-specialist eyes, The Encyclopedia of Christianity published by Eerdmans is well justified because it fits me—just right.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]

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