Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions, 9th Edition

  • GVRL Version
  • Dr. J. Gordon Melton
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 1414462654
  • ISBN-13: 9781414462653
  • DDC: 200.973
  • Grade Level Range: 9th Grade - College Senior
  • 1720 Pages | eBook
  • Previous Editions: 2009
  • Original Copyright 2017 | Published/Released October 2016
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 2017

  • Price:  Sign in for price



This unique reference work provides students and the general public alike with coverage of more than 2,300 North American religious groups in the U.S. and Canada -- from Adventists to Zen Buddhists. The culmination of more than forty years of research, the information is presented in 26 chapters, each of which focuses on a different religious family. Each chapter includes an overview of the family's history, followed by directory entries on specific groups within that family. The directory entries provide factual information including, when available, rubrics for membership figures, educational facilities, and periodicals. This ninth edition of Melton’s Encyclopedia of American Religions is an enormous leap forward for a title already acclaimed for its unique coverage. This edition is now two volumes instead of one, reflecting the expanded coverage of Canadian religion. Volume 1 covers the U.S., and Volume 2 covers Canada; both volumes include the same chapters for easy comparison between U.S. and Canadian religious expression. The Canadian volume also includes the Defunct Appendix (for all the religious groups that no longer exist), an alphabetical listing of all religious groups, a geographic listing for an additional way to search the content, and a subject index.

Features and Benefits

  • The uniqueness of the content cannot be overstated; no other source on the market provides such comprehensive and detailed information on religious groups in North America.
  • 26 chapters on major religious families, each with an introductory essay followed by directory entries.
  • Over 2,300 entries for existing religious groups, and over 800 defunct groups listed.
  • New Alphabetical Listing of Organizations joins the Defunct Organizations, Geographical Listing of Organizations, and Index to give the readers multiple ways to access the content.
  • Nearly 40 statistical tables and maps draw on the latest census by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies.
  • Chapter chronologies provide an "at a glance" view of the development of each religious family in history.

What's New

  • This edition expands the work to two volumes, reflecting increased Canadian coverage.
  • The set is extensively updated from the previous edition, with almost twice as many new entries added and twice as many existing entries verified or updated.
  • This edition now includes an Alphabetical Listing of Organizations to give users a new way to search the content.
  • The inclusion of unique entry numbers for each religious group in this edition also makes the content easier to access.

Alternate Formats

  • Casebound Edition

    ISBN-10: 1414406878 | ISBN-13: 9781414406879


"Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions has been a staple in religious reference for more than 30 years. The oversized, one-volume eighth edition of 2009 has been substantially updated and split in two. The much larger volume 1 is devoted to the U.S.; volume 2, almost entirely to Canada. In total, more than 2,300 religious entities receive entries, 380 of which are brand new. Nearly 90-percent of the content of the 2009 edition has been revised or updated. . . Simply put, the Encyclopedia of American Religions continues to have no serious rivals when it comes to scope and authority."

— American Reference Books Annual

"The work remains a worthwhile addition to all academic or public library reference collections."


This work continues to deserve its place as one of the standard reference tools found in all public and academic library collections. No other work exists that provides such comprehensive coverage of active and defunct religious groups in North America than this resource.

— John R. Burch. Jr.

Table of Contents

1. Interfaith and Ecumenical Family of Organizations.
2. Western Liturgical Family, Part I: The Western Catholic Tradition.
3. Western Liturgical Family, Part II: Anglicanism.
4. Eastern Liturgical Family.
5. Lutheran Family.
6. Reformed-Presbyterian Family.
7. Pietist-Methodist Family.
8. Holiness Family.
9. Pentecostal Family.
10. European Free Church Family.
11. Baptist Family.
12. Independent Fundamentalist Family.
13. Adventist Family.
14. Liberal Family.
15. Latter-day Saints Family.
16. Communal Family.
17. Western Esoteric Family I: Ancient Wisdom.
18. Western Esoteric Family II: Spiritualism and New Age.
19. Western Esoteric Family III: Magick.
20. Western Esoteric Family IV: Christian Science-Metaphysical.
21. Middle Eastern Family, Part I: Judaism.
22. Middle Eastern Family, Part II: Islam, Zoroastrianism, Baha'i.
23. Eastern Family, Part I: Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism.
24. Eastern Family, Part II: Buddhism, Shinto, Japanese New Religions.
25. Unclassified Christian Churches.
26. Unclassified Religious Groups.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Dr. J. Gordon Melton

Dr. J. Gordon Melton has been studying America's religious landscape for more than forty years. A graduate of Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, with a Ph.D. from Northwestern University in the History and Literature of Religions, Dr. Melton is nationally recognized as a leading authority on religion, particularly the newer, small groups. For more than twenty-five years, he served as the director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion based in Santa Barbara, California, and as a research specialist with the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara. In 2011 the institute moved to Woodway, Texas, and he became the Distinguished Professor of American Religious History at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He has authored a number of articles, textbooks, and reference works on American religion.