Guidelines for Book Reviews

rev. May, 2023

The primary goal of Christian Scholar’s Review’s book review section is to help advance Christian scholarship by fostering critical conversations about books that have some connection (whether explicit or implicit) to Christianity. We strive to review recently published books that broadly appeal to our academic readership and welcome such conversations among scholars from various institutions and across disciplines. Our reviewers are typically faculty or former faculty of academic institutions around the world.


We regularly publish four kinds of reviews:

  • Review Essay: an extended essay that reviews 3-4 recent books on a single topic (4000-6000 words)
  • Extended Review: a longer, more in-depth review of a book that will reach a wide academic audience (2500-3000 words)
  • Review and Response: an extended review (2500-3000 words) followed by a response from the book’s author (500-1000 words) and a final response by the reviewer (350-750 words)
  • Standard Review: a review of a single book (1500 words)

We do not accept unsolicited reviews; however, if you think a book aligns with the journal’s mission and you are willing to write a review, email Steve Oldham, our Book Review Editor, with your inquiry.


Reviews should be completed within three months of the date that the review was commissioned and are to be submitted to Steve Oldham, who is directly responsible for all aspects of the book review process, including communication and final edits.

Email Book Review Editor


Reviewers should:

  1. 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.
  2. Identify the book’s thesis or main argument and provide a short summary of the argument (this summary should be at most three or four paragraphs).
  3. 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(s) to a better understanding of the field(s), creativity in approach, and grace and precision in writing.
  4. Write 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.
  5. Double-check the accuracy of all quotations prior to final submission. Quotations from the book under review should be kept to a minimum. Any terms or phrases quoted from the book under review should be placed in parenthetical format rather than in a footnote: Windley-Daoust explores what she calls “spiritual signs” (23).
  6. 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, 255 pp. $36.00, ISBN: 9780989839754.

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

7. Submit manuscripts that are 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. The manuscript should follow the most recent Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) guidelines and may include a limited number of CMOS formatted footnotes.