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Ethics Guide: Searching Orbis

A guide for conducting research in Ethics at the Yale University Divinity School Library.

Ethics Subject Headings

The subject heading ethics is extremely broad in scope and generally needs to be narrowed to find works that address issues of religion and ethics. Some narrower subject headings include:

  • Buddhist ethics
  • Christian ethics
  • Islamic ethics

All three subject headings can be further specified geographically or by using other subject headings and subheadings. For instance:

  • Christian ethics --Biblical teaching
  • Christian ethics--Austria

The heading Christian ethics can be limited according to denomination in the following way:

  • Christian ethics--Catholic authors
  • Christian ethics--Catholic authors--History--20th century
  • Christian ethics--Catholic Church

Some other headings that specifically address religion and ethics are:

  • Religious ethics
  • Religion and ethics

They can be further specified using other subject headings and subheadings in the following way:

  • Religion and ethics--History
  • Religious ethics--Sermons

Subject headings such as,

  • Medical ethics
  • Social ethics

can be limited to find works specifically dealing with their religious aspects. For instance:

  • Medical ethics--Catholic Church--History
  • Medical ethics--Religious aspects
  • Medical ethics--Religious aspects--Catholic Church
  • Medical ethics--Religious aspects--Christianity

This principle applies to many other subject headings. For instance:

  • Corporations--Moral and ethical aspects
  • Capitalism--Moral and ethical aspects

Some other subject headings that may be useful in finding works on religion and ethics are as follows:

  • Ethics in the Bible
  • Cardinal virtues
  • Casuistry
  • Conscience, examination of
  • Epikeia
  • Golden rule
  • Guilt
  • Human acts
  • Jesus Christ--Ethics
  • Scruples
  • Social ethics
  • Ten commandments
  • Theonomy
  • Medical ethics, Jewish

Searching by Subject

The Subject search option is used to retrieve records using Library of Congress (LC) Subject Headings. The LC Subject Headings are terms or phrases that have been designated as the standard word or phrase for every subject.

Orbis will suggest alternative subject headings and will provide headings for more specific subdivisions of the subject.

Keyword Searching

If you don't know what the LC Subject Heading is for a particular subject, you can try doing a Keyword search to locate works on your topic. A Keyword search is broader than a Subject search, in that you are searching for your search term in every part of the record.

Once you've found a work doing a Keyword search that corresponds to your topic, click on the record and look at the Subject Headings; you may see the appropriate subject heading listed, and then you can click on that subject heading to find other works on that topic.