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Information for Reviewers

Formal and conceptual guidelines for book review manuscripts

Anmerkungen der Redaktion

Updated: 08/2022

This document provides important guidelines for the drafting of manuscripts of book reviews and the submission processes to the ZjR journal. If you have any special concerns or further questions, please do not hesitate to contact an editorial board member.

Reviewer’s Copy & Deadline

If you need a reviewer’s copy, please provide us with your address. We then request the publisher to send you a (free!) copy.

Receiving a free copy of the book, you are obliged to submit a review of the respective title to the ZjR. You are asked to set your individual deadline for submission. It has proven to be best aiming for submission within three months at the maximum.

Required Content of the Review

The review is supposed to give an overall assessment of the volume and to critically analyse the following aspects: In what respect is the work relevant to the academic study of religion (of what tradition)? What are the interesting and innovative aspects of the book? For what purposes is the text in-/adequate? If relevant, what critique did other reviews express about this work? Do you agree with them?

A concise summary of the content is an important element of a book review: What are the topic, the research question, and the main hypothesis of the volume? What line of argument is used to answer the research question? What are the main findings the book proposes?

However, the most important aspects of a review are the evaluation and contextualisation of the content. The following questions may be helpful while reading the book: Does the author live up to his or her claims? What questions remain unanswered? How does she or he develop the argument? What methods are used to substantiate the claims? Are the conclusions comprehensible? Is the work conceptually accurate and thoroughly developed? Are the sources sufficient and reliable? Does the work relate to a specific academic line of thought or school? How does it relate to the academic discourse of the study of religion? Is it a scholarly work or rather a journalistic or essayistic endeavour?

A short portrait of the author may also be helpful. The most relevant aspects of his or her life and work, especially concerning the reviewed book, are of interest rather than a detailed account of his or her background.

The following link leads to the profile of ZjR. The profile serves as a scheme of reference for the evaluation of the manuscripts in the peer-review process:
Profile of the ZjR. Authors must adhere to the guidelines for safeguarding good research practice.

Length and Formatting

Manuscripts must not exceed the limit of 12,000 characters, including space characters. Justified exceptions (e.g. for large edited volumes) may apply after consultation with the review editor.

The following criteria of style must be matched:

  • Format: Din A4

  • Font size: Normal font: 12 pt; footnotes10 pt

  • Single line spacing

  • Full justification

  • File type: Word document file (.doc)

Beyond the guidelines for referencing (below) as well as emphases (italics), the manuscript should constrain formatting to the absolute minimum.

Submission of Manuscripts

The ZjR is a journal for young scholars in the discipline of the academic study of religion. Therefore, we can only accept manuscripts submitted by researchers who have not received their doctoral degree at the time of submission.

A manuscript must consist of two separate .doc files.

  • The first .doc file (main document) should contain the following information (in this order):

    • Detailed bibliographic information on the reviewed work

    • Total number of pages, price, ISBN

    • Main text

  • The second .doc file (supplementary document) should contain the following (in this order):

    • Full name of the author of the reviewed work

    • Title of the reviewed work

    • Publisher, place, year, Total number of pages

    • Name of the reviewer

    • Information about the reviewer: institution and e-mail address

The main document must not contain any information about the reviewing author, whether in the main text or as part of the file's metadata, for purposes of the double-blind peer-review at the ZjR.

Quotation Guidelines

In-text quotations must be indicated using inverted guillemets (»Quote«). Quotations longer than two lines must be indented.

Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

»Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.«

Omissions and insertions must be marked by square brackets.


»In this quotation a few […] words have been omitted, without significantly changing the meaning, of course; yet other [important] words had to be inserted.«

Quotations within quotations must be highlighted by single quotes


»This ›quotation‹ is part of another quotation.«

Titles mentioned in the main text are to be set as in the bibliography (that is the title of a book in italics, title of an article in inverted guillemets etc.).

Referencing & Bibliography

All detailed bibliographic information concerning the reviewed book must be indicated at the beginning of the review. All quotations from this book are given according to the quotation guidelines above and include the page number in parentheses.


The author then continues:

»Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.« (22)

In case further works are cited, one must provide the full reference (see below) in a single footnote for the first occurrence. Any further reference to the same title is to be given in a footnote using the following abbreviated form:

Author’s last name, page nr.

If the author is unknown, one should use an institution instead. If both are unknown one must use a short title. References for indirect quotations include the abbreviation »cf.«.

The style guidelines of the ZjR follow the »Chicago (author-date) 17th ed.« of the Chicago Manual of Style. For full references, as mentioned above, you find a few examples listed below covering the most common types of references. For further information, see also the website of the Chicago Manual of Style:

The »Chicago (author-date) 17th ed.« style is also included in many free and open reference management applications (e.g. Zotero, Mendeley, etc.) or proprietary software (e.g. Citavi, Endnote, etc.).


Beyer, Peter. Religions in Global Society. London: Routledge, 2006.

Edited books

Stausberg, Michael, and Steven Engler, eds. 2011. The Routledge Handbook of Research Methods in the Study of Religion. Abingdon; Oxon; New York: Routledge.

Journal Articles

Krüger, Oliver. 2007. »Gaia, God, and the Internet: The History of Evolution and the Utopia of Community in Media Society.« Numen 54 (2): 138–73.

Articles in Edited Books

Beyer, Peter. 2009. »Religion as Communication: On Niklas Luhmann, The Religion of the Society (2000).« In Contemporary Theories of Religion: A Critical Companion, edited by Michael Stausberg, 99–114. London: Routledge.

Articles in Encyclopaedia/Handbook

Cowan, Douglas E. 2011. »The Internet.« In The Routledge Handbook of Research Methods in the Study of Religion, edited by Michael Stausberg and Steven Engler, 459–73. Abingdon; Oxon; New York: Routledge.

Dissertations (not published as monographs), etc.

Höbsch, Julian. 2009. »Die Ebenendifferenzierung in gegenwärtigen religionssoziologischen Theorien: Methodische Vernachlässigung verborgenen theoretischen Potentials?« Master’s Dissertation, Faculty of Social and Cultural Studies, European University Viadrina.

Online Resources

DFG. 2004. »DFG im Profil: Aufgaben: Interdisziplinarität ‒ Vernetzung.« Accessed: March 13th, 2009.

Heinz, Hanspeter, and Ernst-Ludwig Ehrlich. 2007. »Störung der christlich-jüdischen Beziehungen: Zur Wiedereinführung des tridentinischen Ritus.« Stellungnahme des Gesprächskreises »Juden und Christen« beim Zentralkomitee der deutschen Katholiken (ZdK). Accessed: April 18th, 2011.

»Good Friday Prayer for the Jews.« Accessed April 17th, 2011.


Orthography and Grammar

All manuscripts must thoroughly comply with the standard requirements for grammar and orthography.


We expect conscious gender mainstreaming for all submitted manuscripts, yet due to the contentious and differentiated debate, we cannot standardise a certain way to do so.

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