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RELG 362: Spirit Possession

Professor Kristin Bloomer--spring 2022

Catalyst: Library Search Engine

All Formats

Catalyst is the shared online catalog of the libraries of Carleton College and St. Olaf College. It provides an access point to the books, periodicals, government documents, and electronic resources available at Carleton or St. Olaf.

Library of Congress Subject Headings are the words and phrases you can use to do a subject search in Catalyst (as opposed to a keyword search, where you may use any words you like).

When starting out, it is often helpful to do a keyword search on your topic, and then to examine the subject headings of the results you find relevant. Catalyst displays these subject headings as links and clicking on one of them will automatically conduct a subject search for that particular topic.

Tips for Searching Catalyst

Searching by Subject Heading:

Searching by subject gives you very relevant results related to the topic you are searching for.

If you are unsure of what "spirit possession" practice to choose for your research, try conducting a subject search for "spirit possession." You will notice that "spirit possession" is a actual subject heading. Your results will give you the topic of spirit possession across a geographical context and religious context.

From that point, you can add a term like "Africa" to your search, and you will retrieve research related to spirit possession in Africa.


Possible Subject Searches:

spirit possession
spirit possession case studies
treatment of spirit possession
rites and ceremonies  
folk belief system 

You can further modify these subject searches by adding regions adn names of religions, to retrieve more specific results.

For example: "spirit possession" (subject) and Africa (keyword)


Searching by Practicing Groups:

You can also search for the topic of spirit possession by searching for the group of individuals known to practice it.

For example: Zar cult, Zebola, Gurage people. Search for these by subject.

You can also search for "folk belief system" as a subject and add a country name below the subject search.


Searching for an Individual:

You can also conduct a subject search by author, if you are focusing your research on one thinker. For example: Janice Boddy.