"What Has Straw in Common with Wheat?"
First Monday

"What Has Straw in Common with Wheat?": A Selective Review of Bibliographic Control in the Field of Homiletics by Chad P. Abel-Kops

Homiletics is a diverse field, drawing upon multiple resources within the seminary curriculum and serving a community that includes seminarians, faculty, ministers, and laypeople. Bibliographic control in the field of homiletics has a long history in America and extends beyond cataloging monographs to encompass abstracting and indexing services as well as Web sites in the larger electronic world. Specifically, work done at the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) is discussed in this paper, and the ATLA Religion Database is evaluated. The debate between using controlled vocabulary versus natural language and keyword searching is also presented. Unmet needs among homiletics bibliographers are listed, and reasons for the lack of interest in bibliographic control among preachers while preparing sermons are considered.

A noted dictionary defines homiletics in a relatively simple fashion as "the art of preaching" [1]. An art, rather than a science, raises more difficulties in the classification of its literature. Still, there is a great need to make the effort towards proper organization in any field, and bibliographers of homiletics may even interpret a divine endorsement of their profession in these words spoken to the Hebrew prophet Jeremiah: "Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? says the Lord" [2]. Separating the relevant wheat from the "sheer quantity" of straw is a never ending task, but its neglect, as Ronald Hagler aptly warns, "is the greatest barrier to direct access" [3].

This essay will focus on the field of homiletics in America, especially within the mainline Protestant tradition, which can trace its beginnings to the New England settlers in the 17th century. The invention of the printing press two centuries before had increased the need for bibliographic control across Europe, and when printing arrived with the settlers in America, that same need followed. The first homiletical textbooks came from the printing of sermons, and young ministers "turned to these ordination sermons to supplement their apprenticeships with working pastors" [4]. The first libraries in America were theological libraries, stemming from the work in England of an Anglican minister named Thomas Bray and his Society for the Propagation of the Gospel [5]. By the early 19th century, homiletics was transformed into a formal academic discipline with the establishment of seminaries and divinity schools across America [6].

To be sure, homiletics struggled to define itself within the seminary curriculum, as scholars returning from study in Europe did not see it on the same caliber as Biblical criticism or systematic theology. The fear was (and some would argue still is) that homiletics waters down the scientific research of the latter disciplines. The status of homiletics within the academy was strengthened in 1871 with the endowment of the Lyman Beecher lectures on preaching at Yale Divinity School [7]. A yearly series, it has helped bridge the gap between theory and practice in theological education, bringing active preachers back to the academy and active scholars back to the pulpit.

At the same time, the profession of librarianship in America was solidified by the founding of the American Library Association in 1876. Melvil Dewey took a leading role in the organization, as well as help start the first graduate school in librarianship at Columbia in 1887 [8]. All this coincided with the development of his classification scheme, a landmark event in the history of American bibliographic control. The Library of Congress (LC) scheme soon followed, and with it, the emergence of the LC subject headings list, one of the most widely used controlled vocabularies in libraries today [9].

Those interested in the field of homiletics have, since its inception, been confronted by issues in bibliographic control, issues multiplied with the addition of the electronic world. Because homiletics uses research from the other disciplines in the seminary curriculum besides its own, searching several indexes, each with its potentially unique controlled vocabulary, is a given. The need for cooperation among theological libraries and the desire to comprehensively index such literature led to the founding of the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) in 1947 [10].

Due to lack of funding, indexing was a small project for the ATLA in the beginning and rested on the tenacious volunteerism of member libraries. By 1953, the Index to Religious Periodical Literature (IRPL) was completed, covering 31 titles from the years 1949-1952. The editors gave witness to the labor of indexing, "Work[ing] day and night averaging about four or five hours sleep for a number of weeks to complete all the necessary proof reading and often trouble shooting ahead of the typists ... in time to deliver copy to a printer with cheap prices before the printer went out of business!" [11]. Their efforts paid off, and within five years, the ATLA received grants from the Lilly and Rockefeller Foundations to continue the work with full time professionals [12]. Future support would come from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as money generated from the sale of the index [13].

Aided by computers, the ATLA began the construction of a comprehensive religion database in the 1970s which would pull together records from four of its products: Religion Index One: Periodicals (formerly known as the IRPL), Religion Index Two: Multi-Author Works, Index to Book Reviews in Religion, and Research in Ministry (an index to Doctor of Ministry [D.Min.] reports and theses). The computer, like other innovations in bibliographic control, brought with it good and bad points. G. Fay Dickerson, chief indexer for the ATLA from 1960-1983, explained in a retrospective essay, "Obvious advantages of the computer include its capability for exploding material, then sorting it. Its demand for absolute consistency to predetermined forms is both freeing and limiting. Communication with the big, dumb machine is often frustrating, but usually we succeed in outwitting it" [14]. She went on to comment that balancing time spent between actual indexing of materials and fixing technological glitches is difficult. In 1981, the ATLA took their database online with BRS Information Technologies, and, in 1986, Dialog was added [15]. By 2000, the ATLA had agreements with four other platforms: Ebsco, FirstSearch, Ovid, and SilverPlatter.

The user community in homiletics is diverse: seminarians, faculty, ministers, and laypeople. While the first two groups share an immediate interest in bibliographic control for library research, the last two groups typically have not. Undoubtedly, the Web has helped universalize this interest, as bibliographic control is no longer confined within the library's doors. Many churches now have Web sites, and many ministers now post their weekly sermons for the congregation to read. Other sites that collect sermons by author, topic, or scriptural references are growing, performing the function that print journals in homiletics have had in the past. An open question remains whether the Web will ever replace the physical library (or church!) for those interested in preaching. As a New York Times reporter has described the possibilities of the Web for bibliographic control in general, "[T]he new effort to build an electronic library is not about reading at all. It is about the power of electronic searching" [16].

The largest advantage of online databases to their manual predecessors is speed. One can quickly ascertain if the library has a given item or if one's search needs to be refined. In the manual environment, multiple subject headings and authority control proved challenging, since every change required a new edition or supplement to the index. With keyword searching and Boolean logic, the user's search possibilities increase and are not beholden to the bias of the indexer. Marcia Bates, professor at UCLA, reveals a dirty little secret about indexing: "The average likelihood that any two people will use the same term for a concept or book, or that a searcher and an information system will use the same term for a concept, is in the range of ten to twenty percent" [17]. Her colleague at UCLA, Christine Borgman, buttresses this argument with the following observation, "Experts plan their searches, and they reformulate them when too many, too few, or the wrong matches are retrieved. Novices, in contrast, often are stymied by unsuccessful searches. They abandon searches rather than reformulate them, and they show little evidence of planning or strategic actions" [18].

In this context, keyword searching is not worse, but equal to, and perhaps better, than relying on a controlled vocabulary. Jennifer Rowley quotes from a study done in 1972 comparing controlled versus uncontrolled languages: "The uncontrolled languages tested performed overall just as well as the controlled languages by providing a consistently good retrieval effectiveness and efficiency performance that was never as bad as the worst controlled language, nor as good as the best, and in no case were these differences statistically significant" [19]. Of course, if indexes could anticipate every nuance of language, adjusting their files accordingly, keyword searching would indeed pale in comparison. Complete precision would be achieved, and users would never have reason again to complain about things hidden. But, the reality is that indexers are people too, making subjective judgments everyday that are inherently biased and lacking in comprehensiveness. There is simply not enough time in the day for exhaustivity, as Ake Koel, former head of technical services at Yale, points out, "An accomplished cataloger [or, in this case, indexer] is likely to complete the description of a work in rather short a time, perhaps 10 to 15 minutes. However, five to ten times as much time is spent ... on authority work" [20].

More often than not, users build their searches in a database from previous searches, tailor their searches by guessing, retrieving some hits, then guessing again as their minds refine the topic under investigation. An insightful example of problems with controlled vocabulary is given in Patrick Wilson's 1968 essay on bibliographic control, Two Kinds of Power. He describes looking for anything on "the history of the use of the stirrup." He starts with the Library of Congress subject headings of "Harnesses and accessories of horses" and "Horsemanship." Not fitting his topic exactly, he expands his search by guessing, going as far as the history of France in the eighth century, when stirrups were supposedly introduced. Finally, he locates a book which discusses his topic exactly, though looking under the assigned subject headings in the catalog never reveals such. He explains: "Lynn White, Jr., Medieval Technology and Social Change (Oxford, 1962), contains one chapter (of its total of three) on 'stirrup, mounted shock combat, feudalism, and chivalry,' of which a large part discusses the history of the use of the stirrup. [LC] assigned the subject headings 'Civilization, medieval' and 'Technology and civilization' to the book and suggested the Dewey number 901.92, Medieval civilization" [21].

It seems apparent that a majority of library users don't already know what they are searching for or where to find it when they start searching an index in printed or electronic form. And, they aren't eager to practice complex searching techniques that even librarians spend years acquiring. According to Matthew Koll, research fellow at America Online, speaking at the 1999 meeting of the American Society for Information Science in Washington DC:

"Searching is like finding a needle in a haystack, but not all searches are the same. "Finding a needle in a haystack" can mean:

a known needle in a known haystack;
a known needle in an unknown haystack;
an unknown needle in an unknown haystack;
any needle in a haystack;
the sharpest needle in a haystack;
most of the sharpest needles in a haystack;
all the needles in a haystack;
affirmation of no needles in the haystack;
thinks like needles in any haystack;
let me know whenever a new needle shows up;
where are the haystacks?; and,
needles, haystacks - whatever" [22].

"For profit" search engines on the Web are aggressively experimenting with unusual manipulations of data (e.g., natural language processing) to compensate for that final plea, "whatever." Preliminary reports indicate success. Mary Ellen Bates, speaking at the 2000 Special Libraries Association conference in Philadelphia, cited a study which showed "82% of people using search engines found the information they were looking for most or all of the time" [23]. Debate over relevance aside, Bates concluded: "We are competing with search results that are 'good enough' for most people" [24].

The ATLA Religion Database is by far the most comprehensive electronic resource for the academic study of religion and its subfields, such as homiletics. Since research in homiletics intersects with Biblical criticism, systematic theology, church history, and religious education, it is a common choice for users to begin searching. The entire database is professionally indexed by full-time staff of the ATLA, and "the typical ATLA indexer has two graduate degrees in religion or library science and more than seven years of experience in indexing and editing" [25]. Each record contains terms from the ATLA Thesaurus - terms on all aspects of religion which "follow Library of Congress subject headings practice and may be single-word or multi-word terms" [26]. More than 600 journals are currently covered, and over 35 languages are represented by these titles. By one count, however, homiletical journals (i.e., homiletics being the primary subject) are underrepresented. With 21 journal titles from two research guides provided by the Vanderbilt Divinity School Library, only 11 matches were found [27]. Why this is so will be discussed in more detail later, but one editor at the ATLA did comment, "The reason for this [under indexing] has to do with the nature of the primary audience that these research tools are trying to address. As the audience broadens to include more clergy and ministerial candidates, it will undoubtedly affect the content of the indexing" [28].

As stated above, searching in the ATLA Religion Database can be accomplished through several different platforms; the following example was made via Ovid. The article searched for was "Interpreting the Bible amid cultural change" (Theology Today, July 1997, pp. 200-211) by Brevard Childs, an Old Testament scholar at Yale Divinity School. The first screen that came up asked for a keyword or phrase, but the top toolbar did allow changing the search to an author search. "Childs, Brevard" was put in and selected after a list of possible matches appeared. Over 90 records came up, so the search was further limited to articles only in English and published between 1994 and 2000. The search narrowed to 13 records, of which the fifth record was the right one.

Pulling up that record, it was helpful to see that a bracketed subtitle (i.e., not originally appearing in the document) had been added by the indexer identifying the article as "Cheney lecture, Yale Univ, O 8 1996." (The Cheney lectures, much like the Beecher lectures, are devoted to the study of practical/pastoral theology.) Interestingly, going back to the main search page and typing in "Cheney" as a keyword produced one hit, and this record was it! Unfortunately, the subject headings listed (derived from the ATLA Thesaurus) were only half accurate: Bible - authority, Bible - cultural relations, Culture and Christianity, and Paradigms. The article was about different understandings of the Bible from one generation to the next. Therefore, "Bible - authority" was appropriate, but when clicking on "Bible - cultural relations" or "Culture and Christianity," articles about missionaries and mission work came up. "Paradigms" was an acceptable term, as Childs drew his thesis from Thomas Kuhn's notion of "paradigm shifts" in scientific thought. Descriptively, the record was above average with the bracketed subtitle giving an extra access point, but was below average in analyzing the article's content. On this dilemma in indexing, Helen Tibbo of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill notes: "Unlike terminological problems, which may be overcome with a variety of search strategies and techniques, omissions and errors in content representation are often invisible, and at times, impossible to circumvent" [29].

What about not being comfortable using the system itself? The Ovid platform was not easy to understand. Opening the main search page with a keyword field alone and little explanation gave the impression of using the Google search engine and hitting the key "I'm feeling lucky!" In order to input an author, title, or subject, another screen had to be opened. Furthermore, above the keyword field on the main search page, there was a box already checked off, "map term to subject heading." The page did not say what that meant, but, if the box remained checked, the keyword would only be searched among the subject headings, and if not matched, would result in no hits. The question then becomes, will the user try again for round two if this element is not properly understood? In the evaluation of indexes, even in the electronic world, F.W. Lancaster of the University of Illinois cites an important observation made by E.G. Azgaldov in 1969: "The most efficient printed index will be a failure with the users if its convenience parameter [ease of use and up-to-date] is low, and vice versa, an index that is simple and easy to use will gain wide popularity even if its retrieval performance is not very high" [30].

Because the ATLA Religion Database does not contain many abstracts (and does not for Childs' article in particular), Old Testament Abstracts, produced by the Catholic Biblical Association, provided an example. The CD-ROM version was used, covering 200 journals and containing records from the beginning of the publication in 1978 [31]. Abstracts are not done by professional abstractors, but by volunteer scholars. Using this CD-ROM was much easier compared to Ovid, and all fields available for searching were displayed on the main page. Combining the author and title fields as one search produced a direct hit. The record, however, was another disappointment. The two subject categories listed were overly broad: "literary forms" and "techniques & methods of study." The abstract was better, written indicatively and discipline-oriented. It was uncritical and used Childs' own words. Not being from a professional abstractor, some sentences did not flow well and left out specific themes such as "Thomas Kuhn" and "paradigms" which would be helpful in keyword searching. This also might explain why the subject categories were not more specific, if they were applied on the basis of the abstract's, rather than the article's, content [32]. The record gave evidence to Lancaster's fear, "Despite the need for brevity, abstracts should be self-contained; a major purpose of the abstract is defeated if a reader needs to consult the original to understand the abstract!" [33].

There are numerous other indexing and abstracting services available for the study of homiletics. New Testament Abstracts is comparable to Old Testament Abstracts, relying on volunteer scholars to write abstracts, covering over 500 journals, and is available in a CD-ROM version [34]. Religious and Theological Abstracts on CD-ROM covers many of the same titles as the ATLA Religion Database, but is valuable since the latter primarily serves as an indexing tool [35]. Lacking professional abstractors too, its deficiency is in the style and length variations among the abstracts. Case in point: Charles Rice, "Preaching at weddings" [36], was abstracted in less than thirty words, "Notes the openness to preaching of young American couples on their wedding day. Considers what is distinctive about the wedding homily, and what resources are at hand." Is it only about young American couples? What kind of resources are at hand? Conversely, the same volunteer scholar (noted by his initials at the end of the record) abstracted another article more thoroughly. See Kilian McDonnell, "Theological presuppositions in our preaching about the Spirit" [37], which was abstracted using over forty words: "Elucidates various presuppositions to preaching about the Spirit, by situating pneumatology in its primary context, indicating in what sense the redemptive economy is directed toward imparting the Spirit as a goal, and how Christ differs from the Spirit. Considers the equality, centrality, divinization, and sociopolitical role of the Spirit." Not only is the second abstract longer in word count, but most importantly, better follows the definition of an abstract as a reliable substitute for the article in question or as a significant barometer on whether to read the article in full.

Resources on the Web for the study of homiletics have exploded in the last five years. As mentioned previously, full texts of sermons are readily accessible via church and parachurch Web sites. Theological libraries have not neglected these resources, and several online bibliographies have already been prepared and are updated continuously. Two of the most substantial are provided by the Vanderbilt Divinity School Library in Nashville, Tennessee (http://divinity.lib.vanderbilt.edu/bibs/homiletics.htm) and the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana (http://www.wabashcenter.wabash.edu/Internet/preach.htm).

To begin with, the Vanderbilt guide, written by Robert R. Howard, homiletics bibliographer, is organized into seven categories: reference, textbooks, monographs, collections of essays, preaching in non-Christian religions, journals, and online sites treating preaching. In his introduction, Howard admits the limitations, "Only substantial monograph treatments will be listed under each category; for good or ill, no reference will be made to journal articles or chapters of books." He continues, "Due to the riotously ephemeral nature of the Web ... this bibliography will suffer ever-increasing obsolescence. Therefore regular revisions will be made ... [and] your suggestions are not only welcomed, but eagerly sought ... ." While annotations are not provided for the print resources (presumably due to the existence of descriptive records in the library catalog), several annotations do follow the links to the Web sites, including the Wabash Center guide. It is clear that maintaining a bibliography of Web resources is a daunting task, as a link to sermons preached at the Duke University Chapel revealed that the sermons would no longer be available due to copyright restrictions. Nevertheless, Howard's bibliography has garnered valuable attention, and " ... homiletics professors have told me that they no longer provide bibliographies for their students; they just point them to my online bib" [38].

The Wabash Center guide, compiled by Charles Bellinger, head librarian at Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University, is specifically centered around Web resources. It is organized into six categories: syllabi, e-texts, e-journals, Web sites, bibliographies, and listservs. The first category, syllabi, link users to courses taught at Yale Divinity School, Virginia Theological Seminary, Waterloo Lutheran Seminary (Ontario, Canada), and Bangor (Maine) Theological Seminary. The second category on e-texts link users to the Christian Classics Ethereal Library (http://www.ccel.org), which contains many patristic sermons; sermon collections for Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, and Charles Spurgeon at separate Web addresses; and sermons given by members of the Seekers Church in Washington D.C. (http://www.seekerschurch.org). Among the other categories, "Web sites" contains the largest set of links, including one to the Vanderbilt guide described above. Moreover, Bellinger provides helpful annotations with each link, quoting from the Web site itself as well as making his own judgments in bold type with either "< Top Site" or "< NB." Finally, like Howard's bibliography, his e-mail address is listed on multiple pages, and comments are encouraged.

Surfing the Web yields numerous other results, all pertinent to the study of sermons and homiletics. Using the keyword "sermons" in Google, Web sites of note range from Pastor's Pointers: Christian Sermon, Worship & Bible Site (Minnesota United Methodist Annual Conference, http://www.mumac.org/ppcss.html) to Sermon Central: Your Sermon Resource Center (http://sermoncentral.com). While the former is a site chiefly interested in recommending other sites (over 250 strong!), the latter exemplifies just how diverse searching can be. At Sermon Central, a sermon can be retrieved through Scripture reference (Old or New Testament), keyword, author/contributor, and denominational background. Soon topic searches will be offered, though other Web sites already have that option or are completely devoted to a topic, such as Children's Sermons. Individual church Web sites are now legion. Two other examples besides the Seekers Church above are Washington National Cathedral (http://www.cathedral.org/cathedral) and National Presbyterian Church, also in Washington (http://www.natpresch.org). At the Cathedral, recent sermons are available online in full text or via Real Audio. At NPC, not only is there a link to recent sermons in full text, but the following week's sermon topic is listed with a link to the Bible verses upon which the sermon will be based (available in ten languages at http://bible.gospelcom.net).

For all the work that has been done in organizing resources and constructing tools for the study of homiletics, much work remains. Librarianship is a profession known for its careful planning and judiciousness. Nevertheless, digital technology and interconnection via the Internet are changing the image of the traditional library quite rapidly. Indeed, Robert Berring of the University of California at Berkeley begins his 1995 essay, "Future librarians," with these important words, "The paradigm of information is changing. Western culture is shifting from a paradigm built around the icon of the book to one built around digital information" [39]. C.D. Hurt adds, on the future of libraries, "Your user will be my user. As libraries become digitized and virtual, then the concept of user may also become more virtual" [40].

Robert Howard of Vanderbilt Divinity School knows this quite well, based on the positive comments he has received from outside the local community. Because of it, identifying unmet needs for the study of homiletics is a top priority. He believes there are seven key deficiencies at the present time:

  1. "a yearly bibliography of everything published [in all formats] concerning preaching, along the lines of the two volume Recent Homiletical Thought (Abingdon, 1967; Baker, 1983);
  2. an occasional review of international trends in preaching, homiletics, and homiletic pedagogy, similar to ... several articles in the recent Concise Encyclopedia of Preaching (1995);
  3. a single volume presenting a "snapshot" of the current state of preaching, equivalent to the superb, but long forgotten work from the hand of Yale's Lewis O. Brastow, entitled The Modern Pulpit: A Study of Homiletic Sources and Characteristics [1906];
  4. an annual collection of a dozen or two of the best articles on the craft ... - inexpensive paperback editions which would make the best of recent ventures available to the student and pastor;
  5. an updated encyclopedia of homiletics on CD-ROM, including text [as well as] audio and video segments to illustrate whatever topic is under discussion;
  6. a comprehensive Web site devoted to the academic study of preaching, not just links helpful to active pastors; [and]
  7. a database of sermons in print, audio, video (indexed by scripture, topic, homiletic category, etc.) to establish a baseline to investigate the shape of preaching actually going on these days - not just those sermons which happen to get into print" [41].

How will these unmet needs be met? Only through the continued implementation of standards and increased cooperation among libraries of various specialties. Unlike laws, standards are voluntary agreements used to facilitate communication by the portability of data and the interoperability of systems. To that end, bibliographic control in the late 20th century has greatly benefited from the use of such standards as MARC and the Z39.50 protocol [42]. But, the 21st century has begun, and a new generation of standards is emerging. The ATLA is currently spearheading the ATLAS project, designed to digitize fifty years worth of fifty journals in religion using Extensible Markup Language [XML]. The focus is on users, returning to Cutter's paramount concern in the fourth edition of his Rules for a Dictionary Catalog, "The convenience of the public is always to be set before the ease of the cataloger" [43]. Moreover, Paul Evan Peters expands on Cutter's remark, "Our facility with the human question will determine whether networked information resources and services will become esoteric tools used by limited populations for narrow purposes, or will instead become 'fields of dreams' for which the guiding principle will be: 'If we build them, the users will come'" [44]. A positive response to this network will ultimately be where bibliographic control finds its justification in the 21st century.

In conclusion, will the primary audience of clergy and ministerial candidates be served by these future innovations? Another essential reason bibliographers face unmet needs and gaps in the study of homiletics has to do with our user community's desire to "go it alone." That is, preachers, unlike traditional scholars, are pushed to develop sermons from their heart and mind with inspiration solely from God. There is a tendency to shy away from sharing or admitting that one got the idea elsewhere. On the other hand, William Willimon, Dean of the Duke University Chapel, has written to his colleagues, "Creativity, particularly Christian creativity, is not a lonely, heroic, individualistic achievement ... You and I never work alone as preachers. Our weekly encounter with scripture reminds the whole church of our dependence upon those who have lived and thought this faith before us" [45]. To that end, Robert Howard echoes the Hebrew prophet Jeremiah in giving advice to the next generation of theological bibliographers: "We must have the capacity to separate the wheat from the chaff [or, straw] - not to discard the chaff, for it, too, can yield instructive insight. But the key will be to be able to understand what is wheat or chaff - and why" [46]. Harry Baker Adams, who delivered the Beecher lectures at Yale Divinity School in 1995, sums it up well:

"Preaching would be so much easier if the preacher could be concerned only with the head, with the understanding. But the preacher's mandate is to witness to the whole person, to be concerned with the heart and the will as well as the mind ... . For when by the grace of God the sermon brings light to a perplexed person, brings peace to a frightened person, the preacher rejoices ... . [W]hen persons reveal that through the sermon they have been helped to grow in faith, that they have been strengthened for the challenges they face, that they have found a new depth in their relationship with God, that they have been enabled to forgive someone who has wronged them, that they have been moved by compassion to be a volunteer, the preacher knows profound joy" [47]. End of article


About the Author

Chad P. Abel-Kops works for the Serial Record Division at the Library of Congress. He has a M.A. in Religion from Yale University, where he was awarded the Charles S. Mersick Prize for effective public address, especially in preaching. He is finishing a M.S. in Library Science from Catholic University of America. His previous essays on cataloging and theological education have appeared in Catholic Library World and Re:generation Quarterly.
E-mail: abelkops@att.net



1. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 1993.

2. Jeremiah 23:28 RSV.

3. Hagler (1997), p. 95.

4. Wardlaw (1995), p. 244.

5. Rubin (2000), p. 220.

6. Massa (1995), p. 256.

7. Ibid.

8. Rubin (2000), pp. 356, 358.

9. Ibid., pp. 175-177, 181-182.

10. O'Brien and O'Brien (1996), p. 5.

11. Ibid., p. 6.

12. Ibid., pp. 8-9.

13. Ibid., p. 14.

14. Dickerson (1980), p. 177.

15. Hurd (1989), pp. 2-3.

16. Guernsey (2000).

17. Bates (1989), p. 409.

18. Borgman (2000), p.141.

19. Rowley (1994), p. 112.

20. Koel (1981), p. 222.

21. Wilson (1968), pp. 103-105.

22. Koll (2000).

23. Eberhart (2000), p. 29.

24. Ibid.

25. http://www.atla.com/products/rdb/00rdb.html

26. Hurd (1989), pp. 3-4.

27. http://divinity.lib.vanderbilt.edu/liturgy.html and http://divinity.lib.vanderbilt.edu/bibs/homiletics.htm versus http://www.atla.com/products/titles/titles_rdb.html

28. Hudgens (2000).

29. Tibbo (1992), p. 35.

30. Lancaster (1998), p. 149.

31. Kepple and Muether (1991), p. 103.

32. Cf., Tibbo (1992), p. 35.

33. Lancaster (1998), p. 108.

34. Kepple and Muether (1991), p. 108.

35. Ibid., p. 64.

36. Sewanee Theological Review, volume 41, number 3 (1998), pp. 228-240.

37. Theological Studies, volume 59, number 2 (1998), pp. 219-235.

38. Howard (2000b).

39. Berring (1995), p. 94.

40. Hurt (1997), p. 102.

41. Howard (2000a).

42. The ATLA Religion Database is also produced in MARC for loading directly into OPACs.

43. Cutter (1904), p. 6; my emphasis.

44. Peters (1992), pp. 52-53.

45. Willimon (1997), p. 16.

46. Howard (2000a).

47. Adams (1996), pp. 73, 115-116.



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Editorial history

Paper received 8 June 2001; accepted 1 July 2001.

Contents Index

Copyright ©2001, First Monday

"What Has Straw in Common with Wheat?": A Selective Review of Bibliographic Control in the Field of Homiletics by Chad P. Abel-Kops
First Monday, volume 6, number 7 (July 2001),
URL: http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue6_7/abel/index.html

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