What is religious information literacy?

Religious information literacy is the intellectual foundation of faith formation. It is an integration of religious literacy and information literacy that offers people of faith a way to explore life’s questions and problems from a critically evaluative and faith-centered perspective (the two need not be mutually exclusive). Information, religious, biblical, and theological literacies all address the same fundamental issue: the importance of handling religious information adeptly.

The term religious information literacy, while less popular than the terms religious literacy and information literacy, has been used as early as 2011 by Lyndelle Gundon(1), and while having no formal definition available, is often hinted at in works concerning religious and theological literacies, as well as information literacy education within religious and theological environments.

In addition to the content-based (what one knows) perspective of religious, theological, and biblical literacies, religious information literacy focuses on the processes that encourage lifelong learning of that content.

Lyndelle Gunton, “Religious Information Literacy: Using Information to Learn in Church Community,” Australian Library Journal 60, no. 2 (May 2011): 155–164.


Currently Known Works Using the Term “Religious Information Literacy”

 Bruce, Christine, Lyndelle Gunton, and Ian Stoodley. “Experiencing Religious Information Literacy: Informed Learning in Church Communities.” The Australian Library Journal 61, no. 2 (May 2012): 119+.
Gunton, Lyndelle. “Religious Information Literacy: Using Information to Learn in Church Community.” Australian Library Journal 60, no. 2 (May 2011): 155–164.
Philip, Kathryn J. “Training for Religious Information Literacy and Community Dialogue: The Experience of WOREM Theological College, Southeast Nigeria,” 2013. http://library.ifla.org/125/.
(Originally posted here: http://www.biblioministry.org/myfaq/index.php?solution_id=1006)
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Rebecca is a theological librarian (M.Div., Eden Theological Seminary; M.A., I.S.L.T., University of Missouri - Columbia) from St. Louis, MO with an interest in the intersection of theological and religious literacies and metaliteracy in the lives of all people, especially those of faith. Some of her Big Life Questions are "How do people of faith explore their faith questions; how can I support that exploration with proven and emerging educational strategies, research processes, and quality resources; and so informed, decisively act as disciples of Jesus in the real world in which we live?"