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So far, we’ve covered general knowledge and philosophy in our tour of the library. Today, we’re going to look at the 200s, which contain the religion books!

200 (Religion)

Starting at the very beginning, we have all the general religion books. These are titles that don’t necessarily cover a particular religion (although you’ll find comparative religions here), books that address more than one religion, books about the concept of religion (but without targeting one religion over another), etc. These books are your overviews, your basics, your catch-all. And you’ll find some really interesting stuff in this classification. Of course, if you’re looking for something about a specific faith system, you’ll have to go a little further into the 200s.

210 (Philosophy and Theory of Religion)

Class 210 is for Philosophy and Theory of Religion, which includes topics such as the concept of God (pantheism, monotheism, agnosticism); the existence of God; creation; humankind; and the meeting of science and religion.

220 (The Bible)

Now, the DDS takes us into a more specific direction. This class covers Holy Scripture for the Judaeo-Christian tradition, from the Old Testament to the New Testament, commentary, and the apocrypha.

230 (Christian Doctrine)

As I mentioned in my original post, the MDS is very Christian-centered. Classification 230 provides Christian texts on God (such as ways of knowing God, the Trinity, and Christ); salvation and grace; the saints; death, the last judgement, and apologetics.

240 (Christian Moral and Devotional Theology)

We continue on with our study of Christianity with moral and devotional theology. This section includes studies of sin vs. virtue, how to conduct oneself, and how to handle moral issues. Devotional literature can also be found in this section, with books of prayer and meditation for a variety of occasions. You can also find books about Christian experiences and guides to Christian life. Religious fiction and poetry used to be shelved in this section, as well (under class 244 and 245, respectively), but are now interfiled with the rest of the fiction and poetry in the 800s or in Fiction, depending on how your library works.

250 (Local Church, Homiletics, and Religious Orders)

The 250s have books about preaching and sermons (homiletics), pastoral work, running a parish, and an extensive section dedicated to different religious orders, such as the Jesuits, the Franciscans, and the Benedictines. Other ministries and church work can be included in this classification.

260 (Christian Social and Ecclesiastical Theology)

The heading for this section is just a fancy way of saying that the 260s are dedicated to “Church and Church Work”. From the role of the Church in society to Church government, and form religious holidays and observances to public worship, the sacraments, missionaries, religious associations, religious education, and spiritual renewal, you can find it all here.

270 (History, Geographic Treatment, and Biography of Christianity)

The 270s look at the history of the Church across the world, the histories of specific religious organizations, persecutions, controversies, and heresies.

280 (Denominations)

This is the place to learn specifics about various branches of Christianity, whether you’re curious about the early Church, Catholics, Anglicans, Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, Orthodox, etc. With the number of separate Protestant denominations numbering in the thousands, interested readers will never want for a new topic to read about.

290 (Other Religions)

As I mentioned already, classification 200 gets a bit sticky, since 70% of it is dedicated exclusively to Christianity. Not including 200-229, 290 is the only other section that is dedicated to non-Christian religions. 290 covers everything from Greco-Roman mythology to Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism, as well as some of the more obscure faith traditions. Basically, if it’s not Christianity, you can find it somewhere in the 290s.


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