As the journal of the APSA's Religion and Politics section, Politics and Religion is a standard bearer for work in this sub-discipline, across subfields and methodological approaches. This did not happen by chance. When Paul Djupe and Angelia Wilson took over as editors of Politics and Religion, they observed the success of the journal's first editorial team, Ted Jelen and Sabrina Ramet, and noted: “We seek nothing less than a continuation of Ted and Sabrina's legacy.” To be sure, Paul and Angelia successfully built on Ted and Sabrina's fine work. Our goal is to follow in that tradition—we seek to uphold the academic and scholarly standards of excellence cultivated by the first two editorial teams. We are excited for the challenge, albeit with some slight trepidation. It feels a bit like we have been handed the keys to a top of the line automobile.
Part and parcel of our goal of maintaining excellence, we are strongly committed to publishing articles that represent the theoretical, methodological, and substantive diversity that characterizes our sub-discipline. As such, our team and the Editorial Board model that pluralism. The new Board comprises 25 first-rate scholars, representing a diversity of approaches and substantive interests. We believe, moreover, that diversity on the basis of race, ethnicity, and gender complements intellectual diversity, so we will maintain a broadly representative Board. Please note that our commitment to intellectual diversity carries through to the recruitment of reviewers, so please say “yes” when asked to contribute manuscript and book reviews.
We also seek to raise the profile of religion and politics scholarship. The discipline as a whole is dealing with a sense of social and public marginalization reflected in its treatment by the National Science Foundation. We recognize the efforts to encourage the timely publication of accessible yet rigorous scholarship (i.e., Research & Politics and The Monkey Cage), and we hope to follow in that path. We aim to raise the profile of work published in the journal in several ways. First, we encourage the submission of shorter, problem driven manuscripts of approximately 5,000 words, in addition to the longer form pieces currently published in the journal. These would not be research notes, per se, as we would have an expectation of theory driven work, but a premium would be placed on strong, parsimonious writing. With these pieces, in particular, our goal would be a shortened time to a final decision. Second, irrespective of whether authors publish notes or articles, we encourage them to blog about their work in order to reach a wider audience.
In closing, we thank the new Editorial Board members for their willingness to serve, Elliot Montagano for his fine work as Editorial Assistant, the previous teams for their help and support as we get started, Andrew Lewis for his willingness to stay on as Book Review Editor, and the section for its confidence in us. We promise not to crash the car. Please be in touch at PandRJournal@unt.edu if you have questions, ideas, and/or feedback.