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Comparative Politics: Religion

Web Sites


World Religions


[Visited Jan'08] A seven-year-old project of the nonpartisan, nonprofit Pew Research Center, the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life conducts independent polling, research, media analysis, and information-sharing in four main areas as they relate to religion: politics, law, domestic policy, and world affairs. The Pew Forum's well-arranged Web site provides timely and authoritative content, including survey results, analyses of media coverage, and transcripts of interviews and discussions with scholars, politicians, journalists, and others. Beyond just standard text, the site also offers its content in many other user-friendly formats, including streaming audio and RSS feeds. At the time of review, the site highlighted a side-by-side comparison of presidential candidates' views on a host of issues (helpfully presented via a drop-down menu), an analysis of the American evangelical movement, and the results of Turkish public opinion polls regarding the US, Americans, and the "war on terror."

Well-researched, well-documented, balanced, and of greater depth than most alternatives, this site should be a favored destination for students, researchers, and others seeking to be well-informed regarding the subject matter. Especially useful for beginning research is Resource Pages, complete with extensive backgrounder that greatly resemble very timely encyclopedia articles on topics as diverse as "Intelligent Design," "Stem Cell Research," and the "Alito Nomination"; unfortunately, they are relatively few, though apparently growing in number. Particularly valuable for beginning and advanced researchers are detailed surveys, many hundreds of pages long, with PDF full text. Authoritative and objective information is often very difficult to find amid the high volume of partisan, sectarian, and/or intellectually impoverished material available online; this site serves as a free yet valuable resource for such information. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All collections; all levels. Outstanding.

--D. Orcutt, North Carolina State University
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