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Final Manuscript Preparation Guidelines for Journal of Religion & Film

This document provides details on typesetting and layout requirements pertaining to final manuscript submission to Journal of Religion & Film.

We accept articles on any topic related to Religion and Film (see About this Journal). These articles may deal with films from any time period in the history of cinema. Articles should be approximately 6000-8000 words long.

We also accept reviews of films released within the last six months, and reviews of books related to Religion and Film. The procedures for submitting film or book reviews differ from submission of articles, as indicated below.

Submitting Film Reviews

The Journal of Religion & Film publishes reviews of recently released films (within the last six months). These may be mainstream Hollywood, independent, or foreign language films. The reviews should be brief (800-1200 words), describing for readers the relevance of the film for themes and issues in religion and religious studies.

The reviews will describe, analyze and evaluate the films, especially as they intersect with our broad sense of religions and religious themes. Included will be a condensed plot synopsis, possible background information, and possible arguments regarding the implications of the film. The review should not, however, simply be a plot summary.

While the review may point out some explicit religious content of the film, the review may also be suggestive toward religious themes that are not altogether apparent in the film. The reviewer might want also to include suggestions for whether the film is worth seeing or not. We hope that by including these reviews we will help our readers to keep up with movie and film releases that approach our interest in religion(s).

Readers who are interested in writing a film review must contact , the Film Editor, before submitting a review to be sure that one has not already been written. Only films released in the past six months will be considered. Reviews are accepted in Word or Word Perfect format and can be sent as an attached file via e-mail. The Journal of Religion & Film uses the Chicago Manual of Style for formatting guidelines. See Submission Guidelines for complete information. Please include your institution affiliation and e-mail address in the review.

Send review requests to:

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
Cape Breton University
Room CC241, 1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, Nova Scotia, CANADA B1P 6L2
Phone: 902-563-1264

Guidelines and Procedures for Book Review Submission

The Journal of Religion & Film seeks to enlarge the discourse on religion and film from an intellectual perspective through review essays on academic books on religion and film. Substantial review essays, which analyze and contextualize these books in relation to other titles and methodologies in the field, are preferred over straight book reviews/summaries.

The review essay (approx. 2000-2500 words) will offer a critical exploration of the book, especially as it intersects with our broad sense of religions and religious themes. Thus, more than a simple summary, essays should include: a brief overall description of the book; a discussion of its strengths and weaknesses; a reflection on the author’s style and presentation; a consideration of the author’s aims and whether those objectives have been met; and a comment on the usefulness of the book to scholars of religion and film.

While the review may point out the explicitly religious content of the book, the review may also highlight religious themes that are not altogether apparent as they relate to film. The reviewer might also want to include some indication of whether or not the book will be useful as a research reference, a classroom text or as both. We hope that by including these reviews we will help our readers to not only keep up with the ever-growing field of religion and film, but to also approach film (and books on religion and film) as a locus for constructive, thought-provoking dialogue.

The Journal of Religion & Film uses the Chicago Manual of Style for formatting guidelines. Please see the Submission Guidelines for complete information.

Reviews are accepted in Word or rtf format and may be sent as an attached file via e-mail. Those who are interested in writing a book review should contact the Journal of Religion & Film book editor prior to their submission in order to ensure that one has not already been written.

There is a list of available books on the JR & F web site for those interested in reviewing books for JR & F, who may not have a book in mind. It may be accessed at http://www.unomaha.edu/jrf/booklist.htm (this may not available at all times).

Send review essays and review essay queries to the Journal of Religion & Film Book Editor:

Submission Guidelines

  • Do not include a title page or abstract. (Begin the document with the introduction; a title page, including the abstract, will be added to your paper by the editors.)
  • Do not include page numbers, headers, or footers. These will be added by the editors.
  • Write your article in English.
  • Submit your manuscript, including tables, figures, appendices, etc., as a single file (Word or RTF files are accepted).
  • Page size should be 8.5 x 11-inches.
  • All margins (left, right, top and bottom) should be 1.5 inches (3.8 cm), including your tables and figures.
  • Double space your text.
  • Use a single column layout.
  • Font:
    1. Main Body—12 pt. Times or the closest comparable font available
    2. Endnotes—10 pt. Times or the closest comparable font available
  • If figures are included, use high-resolution figures, preferably encoded as encapsulated PostScript (eps).
  • Copyedit your manuscript.
  • When possible, there should be no pages where more than a quarter of the page is empty space.

Additional Recommendations

Indenting, Line Spacing, and Justification

Indent all paragraphs except those following a section heading. An indent should be at least 2 em-spaces.

Do not insert extra space between paragraphs of text with the exception of long quotations, theorems, propositions, special remarks, etc. These should be set off from the surrounding text by additional space above and below.

Don't "widow" or "orphan" text (i.e., ending a page with the first line of a paragraph or beginning a page with the last line of a paragraph).

Language & Grammar

All submissions must be in English. Except for common foreign words and phrases, the use of foreign words and phrases should be avoided.

Authors should use proper, standard English grammar. The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White (now in its fourth edition) is the "standard" guide, but other excellent guides (e.g., The Chicago Manual of Style, University of Chicago Press) exist as well.

Article Length

Because this journal publishes electronically, page limits are not as relevant as they are in the world of print publications. We are happy, therefore, to let authors take advantage of this greater "bandwidth" to include material that they might otherwise have to cut to get into a print journal, including images from the films (if covered by the fair use doctrine). At the same time, we do recommend a word length of 6000-8000 for articles, and 800-1200 for film reviews. Longer and shorter submissions will also be considered.

Colored text

Set the font color to black for the majority of the text. We encourage authors to take advantage of the ability to use color in the production of figures, maps, etc., however, you need to appreciate that this will cause some of your readers problems when they print the document on a black & white printer. For this reason, you are advised to avoid the use of colors in situations where their translation to black and white would render the material illegible or incomprehensible.

Please ensure that there are no colored mark-ups or comments in the final version, unless they are meant to be part of the final text. (You may need to "accept all changes" in track changes or set your document to "normal" in final markup.)

Emphasized text

Whenever possible use italics to indicate text you wish to emphasize rather than underlining it. The use of color to emphasize text is discouraged.

Font faces

Except, possibly, where special symbols are needed, use Times or the closest comparable font available. If you desire a second font, for instance for headings, use a sans serif font (e.g., Arial or Computer Modern Sans Serif).

Font size

The main body of text should be set in 12pt. Avoid the use of fonts smaller than 6pt.

Foreign terms

Whenever possible, foreign terms should be set in italics rather than underlined.


Headings (e.g., start of sections) should be distinguished from the main body text by their fonts or by using small caps. Use the same font face for all headings and indicate the hierarchy by reducing the font size. There should be space above and below headings.

Main text

The font for the main body of text must be black and, if at all possible, in Times or closest comparable font available.


Titles of books, movies, etc., should be set in italics.


Use endnotes at the end of the document, rather footnotes. Notes should be in 10 pt. Times or closest comparable font available and, they should be single spaced. Endnote numbers or symbols in the text must follow, rather than precede, punctuation. Use Arabic (1,2,3,) rather than Roman (i.ii,iii) numerals for endnotes. See References, below, for the correct way to cite sources.

Tables and Figures

To the extent possible, tables and figures should appear in the document near where they are referenced in the text. Large tables or figures should be put on pages by themselves. Avoid the use of overly small type in tables. In no case should tables or figures be in a separate document or file. All tables and figures must fit within 1.5" margins on all sides (top, bottom, left and right) in both portrait and landscape view.


Roman letters used in mathematical expressions as variables should be italicized. Roman letters used as part of multi-letter function names should not be italicized. Whenever possible, subscripts and superscripts should be a smaller font size than the main text.

Short mathematical expressions should be typed inline. Longer expressions should appear as display math. Also expressions using many different levels (e.g., such as the fractions) should be set as display math. Important definitions or concepts can also be set off as display math.

Equations should be numbered sequentially. Whether equation numbers are on the right or left is the choice of the author(s). However, you are expected to be consistent in this.

Symbols and notation in unusual fonts should be avoided. This will not only enhance the clarity of the manuscript, but it will also help insure that it displays correctly on the reader's screen and prints correctly on his/her printer. When proofing your document under PDF pay particular attention to the rendering of the mathematics, especially symbols and notation drawn from other than standard fonts.


For an example of how to format your references, please see this formatting example document.

It is the author's obligation to provide complete references with the necessary information. After the last sentence of your submission, please insert a line break—not a page break—and begin your endnotes on the same page, if possible. Use the Chicago Manual of Style format for endnotes. At the end of your endnotes, include a complete list of references under the centered heading, References, with all sources consulted alphabetically by last name of first author. See the Chicago Manual of Style webpage below for complete information and examples: