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Law & Religion: Books

Subjects: Law

Finding ebooks and books in the Bodleian Law Library

Use the tabs above to understand how the Law Bod's collection is arranged. There is an Enquiry Desk on Level 2, just as you enter the main Reading Room: please do come and have a word if you are having any difficulty in using the library..

Help with finding books

The Law Library's collection is fully catalogued on SOLO, Oxford  University's online resource discovery tool.

Suggested subject searches to use in SOLO include

Religion and state
Church and state

Legal polycentricity
Religious pluralism
Religious tolerance
Religious minorities -- Legal status, laws, etc
Cults -- Law and legislation

Religious institutions -- Law and legislation

Discrimination -- law and legislation
Religious discrimination -- Law and legislation
Religion in the workplace   Law  and  legislation 

Equality -- Religious Aspects
Cultural pluralism -- Great Britain

Hate speech
Hate crime

Comparative religious law

Freedom of religion (International law)
Freedom of religion -- History 

For those wishing to learn more about using searches, we recommend the following:

When you are studying English law, most of the books of interest to you will be shelved on Level 2, the entrance level to the Law Bod.

KD450 Law of Church of England

KM58 Church and state
KM206 Freedom of religion

KN215 Charity law (Holders of an Oxford SSO in search of the current edition of Tudor on Charities are reminded that it is available via Westlaw books)

For the history of religious law in England, both before and after the reformation, the page in our Legal History guide may help get your research started.

The Law Library divides its current collections for jurisdictions across 3 levels. Each of these floors is connected by both stairs and a lift. There are reader spaces on each floor, but we are happy for you to take books from one floor to another.

Level 2
This is the entrance level to the library. It has the books relating to the law of other UK jurisdictions,and the following common law jurisdictions: Australia, Canada, the Channel Islands, Ireland, Isle of Man, NZ and USA. The shelf arrangement is explained in more detail below

Level 3 
This is one floor above the entrance level to the library. Here you willl find the collection for the European jurisdictions, arranged alphabetically by the English name of the nation. This is where to find, for example, the following book

Level 1 
This is one floor below the entrance level to the library. Here the remaining jurisdictions are arranged, alphabetically by the English name of the nation. This is where to find, for example, the print copy of the following book

Level 2: KB to KN Subject arrangement further explained

The books relating to the law of the following jurisdictions -  all UK jurisdictions, Australia, Canada, Channel Islands, Ireland, Isle of Man, NZ and USA - are shelved according to a subject classification first, then by jurisdiction.
Key shelf marks for this topic will be
KM58 is the shelf mark for Church and State
KM206 for books on Freedom of religion
With in each subject the books relating to our home jurisdiction (England & Wales/UK) are shelved first. Then any books on that topic from the other jurisdiction follow grouped again by their jurisdiction. In most instances the shelf marks indicate these "foreign" jurisdictions with the addition of a geographic indicator in the third line of the shelf mark as follows

A8 or AUS    Australia
C1 or CAN    Canada
G8 or GUE    Guernsey
I5 or IRL    Ireland
I7 or IOM    Isle of Man
J2 or JER    Jersey
N4 or NZL    New Zealand
N8 or NIR    Northern Ireland
S3 or SCT    Scotland
U4 or USA    United States
W1 or WLS    Wales

On Level 2, the level at which you enter the Law Library, are the open shelf collections of books with shelf marks beginning General, Cw Gen and KB.  This is where you will find comparative studies, and works surveying the response to legal problems in two or more jurisdictions. 

If all the countries being compared are (or were) members of the Commonwealth, the book should have a shelf mark beginning Cw Gen. 

Please ask at the Enquiry Desk on Level 2 if you are having difficulty finding your way round our collection.

Looking for a Reading List title?
When you search SOLO for books on your Reading List you may find that the location is shown as Law Library Reserve Collection. The Reserve Collection is also on Level 2 but are shelved in a discrete run. Please ask at the Enquiry Desk for directions when you are next in the Law Library.
Note.  The books in the Reserve Collection are available to all categories of readers (not just those on the particular course),
European law books in the Reserve Collection have shelf marks beginning KW.

Principal collection

The current collection of books on European Union law is shelved on Level 3, one floor above the level at which you enter the library. The floor is accessible via either stairs or the lift.

The books have shelf marks beginning Euro Comm. There is is no subject classification within the collection, the books being arranged alphabetically by the first names author/editor/

The principal collection of legal philosophy/jurisprudence books are also shelved on  Level 2, the level at which you enter the Law Library.  An area of the open shelf collection has books with shelf marks beginning Jurisp.  Within this section the books are arranged by the last name of author or editor.

As the Law Library moves to the Moys Classification Scheme, you may find legal philosophy books with shelf marks beginning KA .
KA titles are probably described on SOLO as being in the Law Reserve Collection. Please ask for these books at the Law Enquiry Desk - and remember to bring your University or Bodleian Reader's card with you, as these heavily used titles are issued to you for use in the Library. You can keep reading them for the rest of day if you like - but we do ask that you return them to the Enquiry Desk as soon as possible after you have finished consulting them. 
KA books not held in the Law Reserve collection are on Level 2 - but a few shelves away from those with shelf marks beginning Jurisp.

The main collection of public international law books are on Level 3 one floor above the entrance level to the library.This floor is accessed by both stairs and a public lift.  There is reader seating on this floor, and a PCAS machine. 

For this topic the shelf mark Internat 570 which gathers together works on international human rights will probably be most relevant.

On Level 3, one floor above the entrance to the law library, are the collections with shelf marks beginning Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic and Jewish.


When the Law Library was established as a separate entity in the 1960s the decision was made to leave the extensive Christian canon law collection built up over generations as the preserve of the old Bodleian. SOLO searches will reveal their locations.

Related Bodleian guides

For some jurisdictions - for example India - there is specific guidance on law & religion. Even where this is not the case, foreign jurisdiction guides will help you to find both primary sources of the law and commentary in form of both books and journal articles.

Recommend a book

If the Bodleian Libraries don't have the print or ebook you are looking for, you can make a recommendation by completing the form below (Oxford Single-Sign On required).

Inter-library requests

If the Bodleian Libraries don't have the book you are looking for, we may be able to source it through Oxford's inter-library request service.