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Instructions for authors

During the Covid-19 crisis we understand that some authors may not have access to equipment to enable electronic return of a scanned, signed Author Publishing Agreement. If this applies to you, please see these FAQs. If you are able, please return the full Author Publishing Agreement as normal.

Information about article content

Harvard Theological Review considers articles submitted for publication if they conform to the following guidelines:


Articles must not have been previously published elsewhere and must differ significantly and substantially from other material the author may have published. The Review does not consider articles currently submitted to other journals or those that will likely be published as part of a book within the next three years or so.

Scholarly content

The Review covers a wide spectrum of fields in theological and religious studies. Our range is not limited to any one religious tradition or set of traditions. The main criteria for publication are that a submission significantly advance knowledge in its field, be historically informed and rigorous in its reasoning, and speak intelligibly to readers knowledgeable in theological or religious studies outside of its special field. Articles submitted may make a constructive theological, ethical, or methodological argument, but should not be polemical in tone. All authors must adhere to recognized scholarly standards, include full and accurate references, and be willing and able to work with primary sources in their original languages.

Book reviews

Harvard Theological Review does not publish short book reviews. New books received in the office are, however, generally listed in a section at the end of each issue titled "Books Received." On occasion, we do commission a review essay of a significant book or set of books recently published. Please send any books to

Harvard Theological Review
c/o Faye Bodley-Dangelo
45 Francis Avenue
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138


On rare occasion, the Review accepts English translations of articles published in other languages, if they are considered to have wide appeal and are not readily accessible to the scholarly community.

Inclusive language

The use of masculine pronouns when referring to persons generically and the use of such terms as "man" when referring to human beings in general should be avoided. Authors are asked to minimize stylistic awkwardness in adhering to our inclusive language policy. For example, it is better to use the plural pronoun ("they") rather than the singular ("he or she," "s/he"). The editors are aware that it is not always appropriate to employ inclusive language when referring to God or divine beings. In such cases, authors should adjust their usage to the historical character of the material studied.

Address and technical details

Authors should submit their papers to Harvard Theological Review's ScholarOne portal

The Review seldom publishes papers longer than about 12,000 words.

The Review closely follows the recommendations of The SBL Handbook of Style and The Chicago Manual of Style. An article need not conform to the Harvard Theological Review style sheet before being accepted for publication.

Competing interests

All authors must include a competing interest declaration in a separate title page. This declaration will be subject to editorial review and may be published in the article. Competing interests are situations that could be perceived to exert an undue influence on the content or publication of an author’s work. They may include, but are not limited to, financial, professional, contractual or personal relationships or situations. If the manuscript has multiple authors, the author submitting must include competing interest declarations relevant to all contributing authors. 

Example wording for a declaration is as follows: “Competing interests: Author A is employed at organisation B. Author C is on the Board of company E and is a member of organisation F. Author G has received grants from company H.” If no competing interests exist, the declaration should state “Competing interests: The author(s) declare none”. 

How articles are reviewed

Our review process involves two stages. The author may be asked to make changes after either the first or the second stage; the article may also be rejected after either review. The comments of our anonymous reviewers will be passed on to the author, whether or not the essay is accepted. If a submission seems obviously inappropriate to HTR, it may be rejected without entering the review process. Since we depend on peer review by scholars, who are often quite busy, we cannot guarantee a date by which a decision will have been made. We hope to have a decision within three months of the time the essay is submitted.

When an article is accepted

We try to publish articles within eighteen months of the date of submission. Between acceptance and publication, articles are edited for grammatical accuracy, felicity of writing, conformity with American spelling and usage, and accordance with the HTR style sheet of Harvard Theological Review.

Once the editing process is complete, authors receive page proofs electronically, which they are expected to read carefully and return within the week.

After publication, authors are provided with twenty-five offprints of their published articles and one copy of the issue. Upon request, further offprints and issues may be ordered.

Copyright information

Copyright of all articles published in Harvard Theological Review is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. Authors receive no financial remuneration for publishing their work in the Review.

Open Access policy

A growing number of private and national funding bodies have announced Open Access policies that confirm author self-archiving ("Green" Open Access) as a legitimate route to Open Access compliance for scholars working in the humanities and social sciences. As a part of these efforts, HTR is introducing a new policy designed to offer our authors the greatest possible degree of freedom and maximize the accessibility of the research we publish while at the same time protecting financial returns for HTR.

Permissions for author self-archiving under this policy will be as follows:

Personal webpageDepartmental or institutional repositoryNon-commercial subject repositoryCommercial repository or social media sites
Submitted manuscript under reviewAt any timeAt any timeAt any timeAt any time
Accepted manuscriptOn acceptanceOn acceptanceOn acceptanceAbstract only plus link to article on Cambridge University Press site
Version of recordAbstract only plus link to article on Cambridge University Press siteAbstract only plus link to article on Cambridge University Press siteAbstract only plus link to article on Cambridge University Press siteAbstract only plus link to article on Cambridge University Press site

Publishing your article as Gold Open Access

You will have the option to publish your article as Gold Open Access, enabling the final published version to be made freely available under a Creative Commons license. You might be required to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) for Gold Open Access. You may be eligible for a waiver or discount, for example if your institution is part of a Read and Publish sales agreement with Cambridge University Press. For more information about your Open Access options, please see here. For more information about the benefits of choosing to publish Open Access, see here.

You can download the Harvard Theological Review Style Sheet here: Download Instruction for Contributors in PDF. (258 KB).