Library of Religion

Publisher: Liberal Arts Press

Years: 1952-1958

Related Series: American Heritage Series, Library of Liberal Arts

The first volume published by the Liberal Arts Press is noted as forthcoming in the Spring Book Index, 1952 at 161 PW 586 (Jan. 26, 1952). It's doubtful that numbers 6 and 8 were ever published, especially because numbers 1-4, 5, and 7 were later reprinted in the Library of Liberal Arts series by Bobbs-Merrill as titles LLA 133-138.

More Information

The ACLS Newsletter 31 (1948/49?):

The recently published Buddhism: A Religion of Infinite Compassion is the first of a series bearing the general title, The Library of Religion. Plans for the “Library” were instituted by the ACLS Committee on the History of Religions, which has selected subjects, authors and editors, and with the assistance of an Editorial Board will continue to supervise the preparation of the volumes. The purpose of the “Library” is to make available in reasonable compass and at reasonable prices selections in new or old translation from the more significant sacred texts of the world to which the student and lay reader have no easy access or none at all.

The ACLS Newsletter 47 (1962):

. . . A second major publication program was a series of readers from the classics of religious literatures of the world. In 1946 the committee addressed inquiries to educational institutions in the United States and Canada asking what the greatest persisting scholarly needs for the proper presentation of the history of religions in the classroom. Although the stipulations in the replies were various, one thing stood out as something the committee could attempt to do something about. That was the preparation of volumes of selections from the literatures of non-Christian religions. The committee, therefore, began to plan for a series of readers, in English, which when published could be sold at prices within the reach of the average student, notably the graduate student. Lack of funds slowed the commencement of publication. Another deterrent was the problem of obtaining the services of competent scholars, particularly because ability to translate from original sources would be required in some cases. Eventually, in 1950, a grant from the Hazen Foundation made it possible to complete arrangements with the Liberal Arts Press for the publication of a series of works which became known as The Library of Religion. (The Liberal Arts Press was subsequently absorbed by the Bobbs-Merrill Company.)