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Theology Sources & Texts  

A guide to theology resources, many in the reference collection, at Veech Library, Cathollic Institute of Sydney
Last Updated: May 24, 2011 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Getting Started Print Page

Sources for Catholic Teaching

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Post-Synodal apostolic exhortation : Sacramentum Caritatis / of the Holy Father Benedict XVI to the bishops, clergy, consecrated persons and the lay faithful on the Eucharist as the source and summit of the Church’s life and mission. - Catholic Church. Pope (2005- : Benedict XVI)
Call Number: Main - 238.4 BEN16
ISBN: 9781921032370
2007. Contents: Part I: The Eucharist: a mystery to be believed -- The blessed Trinity and the Eucharist -- The Eucharist: Jesus the true sacrificial lamb -- The Holy Spirit and the Eucharist -- The Eucharist and the Church -- The Eucharist and the Sacraments -- The Eucharist and Eschatology -- The Eucharist and the Virgin May -- Part II: The Eucharist: A mystery to be celebrated -- The Eucharistic celebration: The work of "Christus Totus" -- Ars Celebrandi -- The structure of the Eucharistic celebration -- Actuosa Participatio -- Interior participation in the celebration -- Adoration and Eucharistic devotion -- Part III: The Eucharist: a mystery to be lived -- The Eucharist form of the Christian life -- The Eucharist: a mystery to be proclaimed -- The Eucharist: a mystery to be offered to the world.

Catechism of the Catholic Church. - Catholic Church. .
Call Number: Reference - R253.2/UNI/2000 ; Main - 253.2/UNI/2000 ; Stack - ACH/253.2/UNI/2000
2000. 2nd pocket ed. Revised in accordance with the official Latin text promulgated by Pope John Paul II" -- t.p. "Second edition for Australia and New Zealand" - verso

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Compendium of the social doctrine of the church - Catholic Church. Pontificium Consilium de Iustitia et Pace .
Call Number: Reference - R243.01/COM ; Main - 243.01/COM
ISBN: 1876295961
Australian ed. 2005. Includes Papal Encyclicals.

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Vatican Council II Constitutions decrees declarations - Flannery, Austin, editor
Call Number: Reference - R266.2/VAT2/1996 ; Main - 266.2/VAT2/1996
ISBN: 0918344379
1996. Basic sixteen documents of Vatican Council II on Catholic church doctrine and teaching.

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A concise guide to the documents of Vatican II - Hahnenberg, Edward P.
Call Number: Main - 266.2 VAT2 HAH
ISBN: 9780867165524
2007. Do196ctrines emanating from the second council of the Vatican, 1962-1965.

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The teaching of the Catholic Church : a new catechism of Christian doctrine - McCabe, Herbert.
Call Number: Main - 253.2 MCC a
ISBN: 0232524009
2000. New ed. Catholic church catechism and doctrine. Part 1: The Redemption. Part 2: The Church. Part 3: Life in the Spirit.

Decrees of the ecumenical councils - Tanner, Norman P., editor
Call Number: Reference - R266.2/TAN
2 vols. 1990. Contains the original text with a facing English translation of all the decrees of all the twenty one general councils, from the council of Nicaea I in 325 to Vatican II in 1962-1965. The text of the decrees of the ecumenical councils of the Catholic Church appears in Latin or Greek with an English translation. There are ten valuable indexes in volume 2: chronological, biblical passages, councils, magisterium, fathers and the early church, canon law, liturgical books, proper names, authors, subjects. This is the best translation of this material available. (McIntosh)


About this Guide

This guide will help new theology students begin their studies. It includes topics such as:

  • Essential theological reference books.
  • Listings of recommended journals useful in the study of theology.
  • Internet sites helpful in studying theology are listed
  • Classification numbers for various areas within theology are listed

This guide was prepared by the library staff of the Veech Library, Catholic Institute of Studies. Please feel free to consult us on any aspect of your work—we're here to help!

In this guide, clicking on a title links you to the library catalogue.  Some links replace the page of the guide, so to return to the guide, click on the back button.  Other links will appear on a new page which can be removed by clicking on the white X in the red box in the top right hand corner of the screen. 

Some call numbers for books listed include the year of publication, so the year is not given separately at the beginning of the annotation.  Bibliographies are mentioned only if they are of ten or more pages in length.  Depicted covers are taken from a subscription site  or Amazon if available.


Starting Points - Introductory Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Bibliographies, Handbooks etc

There are various introductory books which open up the topic for beginners, introduce some aspects of theology or the work of theologians, or give an overview of the main themes of theology.  Such books relate to both Catholic and Protestant theology.  Some useful books are as follows:

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Handbook of Catholic theology - Beinert, Wolfgang & Fiorenza, Francis Schussler, editors
Call Number: Reference - R230.033/BEI/1995
ISBN: 0824514238
The English version of Lexikon der katholischen Dogmatik (1987), this resource concentrates on Roman Catholic systemic theology. A dictionary arrangement includes substantial articles, by leading theologians, ranging from 'absolutism' to 'worldview'. Each article is divided into five sections: biblical background, history of theology, church teaching, ecumenical perspectives and systemic reflections. Numerous tables and charts help crystallise the text. Bibliographies refer mainly to English works and there is a subject index. An objective introduction to the basic categories and topics in Catholic theology.(McIntosh)

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Companion encyclopedia of theology - Byrne, Peter and Houlden, Leslie, editors
Call Number: Reference - R230.03/COM
ISBN: 0415064473
An international team of forty-eight theologians and practitioners contribute essays reflecting the present state of theology in its Western academic context. They do this within six divisions: the Hebrew and Christian Bible, the tradition, the contribution of philosophy, spirituality, contemporary ethics and ... issues in present-day theological construction.(McIntosh).

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The Oxford dictionary of the Christian Church - Cross, F. L.., editor
Call Number: Reference - R203 OXF 2005
ISBN: 9780192802903
For many years the standard English language reference work for church history. Particular emphasis is on Western Europe, especially Great Britain, and on Anglican and Catholic churches. Valuable for bibliographic coverage of both primary and secondary sources (McIntosh)

The craft of theology - Dulles, Avery
Call Number: Reserve - Theology - 230.072/DUL
1992. History and doctrine of theology.

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The encyclopedia of Christianity - Fahlbusch, Erwin et al, editors
Call Number: Reference - R/203/FAH
ISBN: 9780802824134
5 vols. 1999-2008.

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Systematic theology : Roman Catholic perspectives - Fiorenza, Francis Schüssler and Galvin, John P., editors.
Call Number: On Order
ISBN: 9780800662912
Older editions found at Main - 230 FIO. This one is the 2nd ed. 2010.

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Theology : a very short introduction - Ford, David
Call Number: Main - 230 FOR
ISBN: 0192853848
2000 ed. This short introduction aims to provide both believers and non- believers with a balanced survey of the central questions of contemporary theology. David Ford’s interrogative approach draws the reader into considering the principles underlying religious belief, including the centrality of salvation to most major religions, the concept of God in ancient, modern and postmodern contexts, the challenge posed to theology by prayer and worship, and the issue of sin and evil. He also proves the nature.

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History of theology
Call Number: Main - 230.9/HIS/1 & Main - 230.9/HIS/III
ISBN: 9780814659151
1996-2008. Vol. 1 edited by Angelo Di Berardino and Basil Studer ; translated by Matthew J. O’Connell -- Vol. 2 edited by Giulio D’Onofrio ; translated by Matthew J. O’Connell -- Vol. 3 edited by Giulio D’Onofrio ; translated by Matthew J. O’Connell. Incomplete contents:I. The patristic period -- II. The middle ages -- III. The renaissance. Vol II not yet published. Cover design is similar with an image of St Teresa of Avila on the cover of vol III.

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Encyclopedia of Christian theology - Lacoste, Jean-Yves editor.
Call Number: Reference - R230.03/LAC
ISBN: 1579582508
3 vols. 2004.

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An introduction to Catholic theology - Lennan, Richard, editor
Call Number: Reserve - Theology - 230.1/LEN & Stack - Australian Catholic Documentation Centre - ACH 231.0 LEN
ISBN: 9780809138081
Articles in this book are written by the CIS faculty.

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New Catholic encyclopedia - Marthaler, Berard L., editor
Call Number: Reference - R203.2 NEW 2002
ISBN: 0787640042
2nd ed. It contains some 17,000 signed articles, each with a bibliography. The N.C.E. covers not just Catholic topics but many general subjects from a Catholic point of view. Over 4,800 scholars contributed to the work. The articles are "uniformly excellent, both in scholarship and readability. There are fine articles (with)... an especially complete coverage of Scholastic philosophy. The many Biblical articles, … make up a complete Biblical encyclopedia" (Library Journal, XCII [April 15, 1967], p. 1618). Respected for its scholarship, its comprehensive coverage and genuine openness, it is an essential resource for all things Catholic (McIntosh)

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The HarperCollins encyclopedia of Catholicism - McBrien, Richard P., general editor
Call Number: Reference - R203.2/HAR
ISBN: 0060653388
1995. A compendium of Catholic belief and practice which offers an authoritative guide to the people, doctrines, history, worship, art, spirituality, literature, theological developments and changes which have shaped the Catholic Church over almost two millenia. There are feature length entries on major doctrines, figures and issues.McIntosh)

Catholicism - McBrien, Richard P.
Call Number: Main - 231.5 MCB 1994 A
New edition. 1994. Contents: Foreword / Theodore M. Hesburgh -- Introduction. 1. What is Catholicism? -- 2. Faith and its outcomes : theology, doctrine, discipleship -- PART 1. Human existence. PART 2. God. PART 3. PART 4. The church. PART 5. The sacraments. PART 6. Christian morality. PART 7. Christian spirituality. Conclusion. 32. Catholicism : a synthesis -- Appendix -- Discussion questions -- Glossary -- Indexes. The author "intends this book as a bridge between the Church of yesterday and the Church of today" (Preface). In seven parts and thirty two chapters, McBrien attempts to present almost a summa theologica of contemporary Catholic theology, but always in relation to the roots of Catholicism and frequent references to texts and documents. (McCabe)

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Christian theology : an introduction - McGrath, Alister E.
Call Number: Reserve - Theology - 230.02 MCG 2007
ISBN: 9781405153607
Contents: Part 1. Landmarks, periods, themes, and personalities of Christian theology. Introduction -- 1. The patristic period, c.100-c.700 -- 2. The Middle Ages and the Renaissance, c.700-c.1500 -- 3. The age of Reformation, c.1500-c.1750 -- 4. The modern period, c.1750-the present -- Part 2. Sources and methods 5. Getting started : preliminaries -- 6. The sources of theology -- 7. Knowledge of God : natural and revealed -- 8. Philiosophy and theology : introducing a dialogue -- Part 3. Christian theology 9. The doctrine of God -- 10. The doctrine of the Trinity -- 11. The doctrine of the person of Christ -- 12. Faith and history : the Christological agenda of modernity -- 13. The doctrine of salvation in Christ -- 14. The doctrines of human nature, sin and grace -- 15. The doctrine of the church -- 16. The doctrine of the sacraments -- 17. Christianity and the world religions -- 18. The last things : the Christian hope -- Glossary of theological terms.

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The Blackwell encyclopedia of modern Christian thought - McGrath, Alister, editor
Call Number: Reference - R230.93/McG
ISBN: 9780631198963
1993 ed. Covers theology from the dawn of the Enlightenment to the present. Substantial essays on central themes, articles on philosophical movements as well as the leading branches of the sciences. Major denominations of the church and influential theologians feature prominently. The work is ecumenical; the predominant ethos tending toward theological conservatism (McIntosh)

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Introducing contemporary theologies : the what and the who of theology today - Ormerod, Neil.
Call Number: Main - 230.93 ORM 1997
ISBN: 1570751390
The author is a former theology lecturer at CIS.
Previous edition is also available at 230.93 ORM.

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A new dictionary of Christian theology - Richardson, Alan and Bowden, John .
Call Number: Reference - R230.03/RIC
ISBN: 0334022088
1983 ed. This is a comprehensive, ecumenical work which describes developments in theological thinking since the Enlightenment. Includes material on political and feminist theology, cultural relativism and religious pluralism. An excellent place to go for concise definitions and for the clarification of theological themes and questions.(McIntosh)

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Reference & Information Services

Theological Areas & Shelf Numbers


Natural Theology


Systematic Theology


Development of Doctrine




History of Doctrinal Theology


Fundamental Theology


Church Apologetics


Sources of Revelation






Holy Spirit


Creation & Man














Moral Theology


Christian Sociology


Devotions & Prayer




Pastoral Theology




Canon Law


Official Church Documents


Note of Thanks

Thanks go to Pitts Theological Library for allowing the use of their guide 'Theological Research for Beginners' as a starting point for this guide.


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