Journal of Religion and Film



Vol. 2, No. 2 October 1998


[1] We now have been in business long enough to say something more about the kind of material that we are seeking for publication in The Journal of Religion and Film.

[2] We have received a number of papers that say interesting things about one of more movies, but do not seem to have any connection to religion. As a journal we would like to open a wide variety of interpretations of ‘religion,’ but the focus of any essay ought to be on one of those interpretations. It helps when authors identify the interpretation of ‘religion’ or ‘religious theme’ that they are addressing in an essay.

[3] Second, we have received a number of papers that have many interesting things to say about the movies discussed within them, but which do not seem to have a point. They do not seem to be focused, even when they do take up religion or religious themes. It may help if an author works with the Synopsis we require and use that to help attain clarity of theme and limits to digressions. Readers should be able to recognize the focus or to get the point of the essay easily. English teachers always tell their students to ‘tell the reader what you’re going to do, do it, then tell the reader what you’ve done.’ This is not bad advice.

[4] Third, we have received a number of papers that seem to be written by experts for other experts. Sometimes the authors are specialists are in film, and sometimes specialists in religion. Since the JR&F is interdisciplinary in nature, we want to encourage prospective authors to write in a way that readers from either discipline can follow the essay.

[5] Fourth, we see the JR&F as a scholarly journal. It is not a place for merely expressing one’s opinions about movies. Authors should be familiar with what others have written and said about the film(s) discussed in their essays (indicating that familiarity with appropriate references) or provide an essay they have seriously "mulled", frequently discussed, and repeatedly rewritten.

[6] At the same time, we are not encouraging authors to be stuffy and boring. We don't mean that every idea must be accompanied by a footnote. It is easy to imagine the difference between a well written scholarly article and a student’s thesis writing. Essays that are well written and easy to read will find a much wider audience than the academic essay written to impress the experts.

[7] Finally, we want to do anything but discourage the submission of good essays. Send us what you think is good and our Board of reviewers will attempt to give you quick reply.


JR & F
Vol. 2, No. 2

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