Book Review Guidelines
1. The editors of The Westminster Theological Journal are most interested in reviewing books of very recent (within the last two years) publication. Very rarely is a second edition reviewed, and only if there are substantial changes and it is a very significant book.
2. Books should have something to do with the Journal’s primary fields of interest: principally Biblical studies, Theology, Church History, Practical Theology (theory), Biblical environments (Ancient Near East and Greco-Roman civilization), Christian philosophy, and Apologetics.
3. Works of more than two or three authors are not ordinarily reviewed, though in some cases we accept them, depending on the book's importance. Sometimes “short notices” of important reference tools are published.
4. The review should contain roughly an equal amount of description and critical interaction. Hence, it is expected that the reviewer have at least some expertise in the field of the book being reviewed. Generally, the reviewer should have earned a first Master's degree (MDiv, MTS, MAR, etc) prior to submitting a review for publication.
5. Reviews for the Journal should be scholarly in tone and should not contain ad hominem or personal attacks. Further, the Journal is not an avenue to publicize favorite books. Rather, books should be assessed for their academic contribution to the field of discussion. The Journal does not accept reviews of popular-level books.
6. Reviews need to be compatible with, or at least sensitive to, the Journal’s conservative Reformed Protestant tradition. A fair amount of leeway is allowed, but an overall viewpoint that seems designed to contradict the Journal’s tradition does not help its readers.
7. The standard book review heading format should be used, comprising the book’s author(s) or editor(s), title, place of publication, imprint, date, number of pages, price, and binding, as in the following examples:
8. The body of the review should generally be between 1000-1500 words, though as little as 800 to as many as 2500 is sometimes acceptable. At the conclusion, the author’s name should be given as it is to be published, followed by the author’s institution, both right justified (If the author is not associated with an educational institution, or if it is not well known, city and state should be included).
9. Other matters of style should generally conform to the Chicago Manual of Style; however, in reviews, footnotes should not be used. If references are unavoidable, in-line parenthetical citations may be used.
10. Reviews exhibiting poor syntax or numerous spelling errors will not be considered.
11. As a rule, the Westminster Theological Journal does not review books written by Westminster Theological Seminary faculty members.
12. Reviewers should assess when they first receive their review copy whether they will indeed be able to write a review within the allotted time (usually four months from date of receipt). This is especially the case with more expensive monographs. It is vital to finish the review on time so that authors are not robbed of the chance for peer review. Notify the review editor immediately if you will not be able to review the book on time.
(rev. date 12/13)