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Religious & Classical Works

The following list contains examples of references formatted for religious and classical materials. The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) offers some guidelines for referencing Biblical and Scriptural materials, but if significant scholarship in Theology is being conducted, CMOS recommends the use of The SBL Handbook of Style.

The relevant Chicago Manual of Style chapters are linked to so that more information can be located easily in the online manual.

Click on the links below to learn more about:
Footnote Style Examples  | Biblical Abbreviations  |  Explanatory Notes

Footnote & Bibliography Examples

Bible: 10.44 & 14.239

In running text, books of the Bible are written in full:

... According to Genesis 1:27, God created man in his own image.

Abbreviations are appropriate within the text in parentheses, or where there are many references to list without parentheses:

... There are several instances where bread is used in a figurative context (Isa 55:2; 1 Cor 10:17; 2 Cor 9:10)...

... Bread is used in a figurative context in Isa 55:2; 1 Cor 10:17; 2 Cor 9:10...

Abbreviations are also used in footnotes:

5.   Isa 55:2; 1 Cor 10:17; 2 Cor 9:10.

Parenthetical or footnote references to the Bible should include book, chapter, and verse (never a page number).

Bibliography entries are not required.

See below for Biblical abbreviations and versions of the Bible.


Other sacred texts: 14.241

Sacred works of other religious traditions can be treated in a similar way to the Bible and should be cited in the running text and footnotes, but not in the bibliography.

...can be compared to the Qur'an verse (19:17-21) where it mentions that Mary gave birth to Jesus.

6. Qur'an 19:17-21.


Bible commentaries
Canon Law
Classics - Ancient: 14.242 & 14.243
Classics - Modern editions: 14.251 & 14.246
Conciliar documents - Second Vatican Council

Vatican II is also an acceptable format for the author.

The complete Vatican II document page range can be included in the bibliography.


Liturgical books
Papal documents
Summa Theologiae
The Summa theologiae consists of three Parts and the Supplement:
Parts (Latin) Parts (English translation) Parts numbered
Pars Prima The First part Ia (or I)
Prima Secundae The First part of The Second part Ia IIae (or I-II)
Secunda Secundae The Second part of The Second part IIa IIae (or II-II)
Pars Tertia The Third part IIIa (or III)
Supplementum The Supplement or IIIa Suppl. (or Suppl.)
  • Each Part is divided into Questions (question = q.)
  • Each Question is divided into Articles (article = a.)
  • The Summa theologiae is cited by part, question, and article (further breakdown is possible - please see AskUs for details).

For example, Ia IIae,  q. 66, a. 3 means, the first part of the second part, question 66, article 3. To cite more than one article at a time, use the abbreviation “arts” for articles, for example: Ia, q. 13, arts 5-6. Page numbers are not required when citing the Summa theologiae.

Cite the title as it appears on the title page of the version you are referring to, e.g. Summa theologiae or Summa theologica.


Works by saints: 14.83

Explanatory Notes


Biblical abbreviations: OT 10.45 NT 10.47

Use the shorter form abbreviations (without full stops) for references to books of the Old and New Testament .


Versions of the Bible: 14.240

Identify which version you are using in the first footnote. Use either the complete name or an accepted abbreviation, e.g.:

6. 2 Kings 11:8 (New Revised Standard Version).
6.2 Kings 11:8 (NRSV).


Authors known by a given name: 14.83

Authors known only by their given name (and not by any surname) are listed by that name, e.g. Augustine, Elizabeth I. Titles such as "King" or "Saint" or place identifiers such as "of Hippo" or "of England" are omitted.


Titles of classical works & titles from other languages14.247

Titles of classical works and collections are italicised whether given in full or abbreviated (see also 14.244).

Titles in other languages, Latin and transliterated Greek titles are capitalised sentence-style (11.6) and italicised 11.8).

Place of Publication

Commonly used English names for cities in languages other than English are usually preferred, e.g. use Vatican City: Vatican Press for Citta del Vaticano: Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

If in doubt, you can use the name of the city as it appears within the source.