Religious names in index. How do you order and present?

I have a book that discusses Catholicism. I would like to know if there are any established resources that advise on listing religious names in indexes, where the norm is reversal of surnames and forenames. For example Christ, should it be:

  • Christ
  • Jesus
  • Jesus Christ

Also Popes:

  • Pope John Paul II
  • John Paul II
  • John Paul II, Pope (THIS ALSO SEEMS WRONG)
  • Paul II, Pope John (GETTING SILLY NOW)

Any advice would be welcome.


The Chicago Manual of Style, sixteenth edition (2010) addresses the issue of indexing the names of "monarchs, popes, and the like" as follows:

16.37 Indexing monarchs, popes, and the like. Monarchs, popes, and others who are known by their official names, often including a roman numeral should be indexed under the official name. Identifying tags may be omitted or expanded as appropriate in a particular work.

{Examples:} Anne, Queen; Benedict XVI [pope]; Elizabeth II [queen]

So if you are in a position to follow Chicago’s advice, you might add an index entry for Pope John Paul II as

John Paul II


John Paul II, Pope


John Paul II [pope]

As for the index entry for Jesus, I imagine that the simplest approach would be to use the entry


and to add a cross-reference to that entry in a separate entry for Christ, if doing so seems useful:

Christ. See Jesus

However, Words into Type, third edition (1974) suggests a somewhat different test for judging how to handle entries for a category of people it identifies as "sovereigns, princes, writers":

Index under the full name if the person is habitually so spoken of.

[Examples:] Kemal Ataturk, Mark Antony, Omar Khayyam.

So if your book (and the people in your milieu) habitually speak of Jesus of Nazareth as "Jesus Christ," Words into Type seems to endorse rendering the index entry as

Jesus Christ

Other style guides that I checked had little to say about this issue, but I think that Chicago’s advice is sound and at least gives you a reference point for treating such names consistently.

Source : Link , Question Author : sketchyTech , Answer Author : Sven Yargs

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