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Book Reviews

religion and the arts

Book Review Guidelines

  1. Submission: Please submit your review as an attachment to a covering email sent to
  2. Content: Describe the content of the work in brisk, summary fashion; avoid a plodding chapter-by-chapter précis or excessive detail. Above all, evaluate the work critically, judging its strengths and its shortcomings; at least "60%" of the review should be devoted to evaluation, and the ideal is to include most of the description within the evaluation.
  3. Tone: Our policy is to maintain a courteous tone, even when expressing differences of opinion or pointing out errors of fact.
  4. Format: Double-space all text.  Begin typing 8 double spaces from the top of the first page.  Brief mentions and book reviews should begin with the bibliographical heading for the work reviewed, skip two double spaces, and then begin flush left with the body of the review.  Review essays of multiple works should begin with a centered title in capital letters, skip two double spaces and then give the reviewer’s name centered in capital letters, skip a single double space and give the reviewer’s institutional affiliation centered and underlined.  Following this, skip two double spaces and then list the bibliographical headings for each work being reviewed, in alphabetical order by author’s surname, with a single double space between each entry.  Then skip two double spaces, type a centered asterisk, skip two double spaces, and begin the body of the review flush left.  (Copies will be provided upon request of brief mentions, book reviews or review essays to guide reviewers.)
  5. Heading: Please use the following two examples as guides.

    Taylor, Mark C.  After God.  Religion and Postmodernism Series, eds. Mark C. Taylor and Thomas A. Carlson.    Chicago IL and London:  University of Chicago Press, 2007.  Pp. xviii + 464 + 27 illustrations + 13 tables.  $35.00 cloth.

    Whalen-Bridge, John, and Gary Storhoff, eds.  The Emergence of Buddhist American Literature.  Foreword Maxine Hong Kingston.  Afterword Charles Johnson.  SUNY Series in Buddhism and American Culture, eds. John Whalen-Bridge and Gary Storhoff.  Albany NY:  State University of New York Press, 2009.  Pp. xi + 255.  $80.00 cloth.

  6. Citations: If you are writing a brief mention or a book review and cite directly from the book, do not give a page reference.  If you are writing a review essay, do indicate the page cited in parenthesis in the text.  Please also provide a list of works cited at the end of review essays, excluding the works being reviewed.
  7. Length: Our word limit is 400 words for a brief notice, 500-1400 words for a standard review of a single book, and 3000-5000 words for a review essay of more than one book.
  8. Conclusion: For brief mentions and book reviews, at bottom left of the review, type your institution and its location; at bottom right your name.  For review essays, provide your name followed by your institutional affiliation after the title of the review essay at the start of the piece as noted above.
  9. Deadline: Try to submit reviews within six months of receiving the book(s) you are reviewing. For the sake of authors, publishers, and readers, we wish to publish reviews as early as possible. If you cannot review a book within a reasonable time, please return it to us.
  10. Editing: Copy may be edited for length, clarity, style, or tone.
  11. Requests: We accept requests to review forthcoming books. If you suggest a book for review, please supply data about the author, title, publisher, and year.

We are deeply indebted to our reviewers. Thank you for your generous assistance.