Guidelines for Book Reviews

rev. April 1, 2017


CSR regularly publishes four kinds of reviews:

  • extended review: a longer, more in depth review of a book that will reach a wide academic audience (c. 2500-3000 words)
  • review and response: an extended review (c. 2500-3000 words) followed by a response from the book’s author (c. 500-1000 words) and a final response by the reviewer (c. 350-750 words)
  • review essay: an extended essay that reviews c. 3-4 recent books on a single topic (c. 4000-6000 words)
  • individual review: review of a single book (c. 1500 words; please no fewer than 1300)

Please contact the editors if you have an idea for a review that does not precisely fit within these categories. We are very open to considering alternative formats for reviews.

Please also contact the editors if your review is significantly longer than the suggested word limits. We are open to considering longer submissions if fitting for the book under review.


Reviews should be completed within three months of the date that the review was commissioned and are to be submitted to Steve Oldham. Final edits and communication regarding publication timeline will also come from Steve Oldham.

Email Book Review Editor


1. The primary goal of book reviews in Christian Scholar’s Review is to help advance Christian scholarship by fostering critical conversations about books that have some connection (whether explicit or implicit) to Christianity. We welcome such conversation among scholars from various institutions and across disciplines.

2. Reviewers should note that they are writing for a cross-disciplinary array of Christian scholars. Reviews may be grounded in a particular discipline, but should also explore how the material in the particular book may enhance the understanding and practices of scholars in other disciplines.

3. Reviews should identify the thesis or main argument of the book and also provide a short summary of the argument (this summary should be no more than three or four paragraphs).

4. Reviews should address issues such as the plausibility of the argument, the nature of the support offered in relation to the argument, and the soundness of the methodological approach. Other critical concerns include contribution to a better understanding of the field(s), creativity in approach, and grace and precision in writing.

5. Reviews should be written in standard American English. Writing style should aim for clarity, conciseness, and readability. The tone of reviews—no matter how critical of the book the review is—should be characterized by kindness.

6. Reviews should be double-spaced, drafted in Microsoft Word, in Times New Roman font (12 point) with one-inch margins. Please do not add an extra space between paragraphs.

7. Reviews should follow the guidelines in the most recent Chicago Manual of Style (CMS). The review may include a limited number of footnotes; these should be formatted according to CMS.

8. Each review should include a heading in the following format:

Susan Windley-Daoust, Theology of the Body, Extended: The Spiritual Signs of Birth, Impairment, and Dying. Hobe Sound, FL: Lectio, 2014, xiv + 255 pp. $36.00, paper, ISBN: 9780989839754.

Reviewed by Full Name, Departmental Affiliation, Name of Institution.

9. Please be certain to double-check the accuracy of all quotes prior to final submission.