Style and Formatting Guide


13th edition (April 2016)

Available PDFs:

Style Guide

Article Formatting Template

Citation Guide

Spelling and Abbreviations »

To facilitate our editing process, please follow these guidelines when preparing final copy for an article in Theological Studies. There are separate guidelines for book reviews/notices in TS.


A. General Instructions

  1. In general follow the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition (2010), hereafter CMOS, especially in citations. For citing theology-specific sources, see the “Citation Guide” available on our website.
  2. For formatting, please follow the “Article Formatting Template” available on our website.
  3. Length of articles: We do not specify a word limit, but the typical TS article runs ca. 10,000 words. Length of whatever dimension must be justified by the quality and cogency of the article’s content and method.
  4. Do not type your name or affiliation on the manuscript. If your manuscript is accepted, your name and affiliation will appear below the title. In your initial submission, if you reference your own previous work, reference it in such a way that it is not obvious to the reader that it is your work; i.e., refer to yourself in the third person.
  5. A good guide for spelling is Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, or its abbreviated edition, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition (2003).

B. Stylistic Matters

  1. In your text, keep the use of italics to an absolute minimum; try to achieve clarity and emphasis by sentence structure and word order, not by using italics or underscoring. Italicize foreign words, but not foreign expressions familiar in theological English (e.g., ibid., de iure, prima facie). When in doubt, consult Webster: in general, if the expression is in Webster, do not italicize it.
  2. Transliterate Greek and Hebrew words according to the Society of Biblical Literature system in The SBL Handbook of Style chap. 5. A convenient way to do this is by using http://transliterate.com/.
  3. For capitalization and spelling conventions of words commonly used in theological studies, refer to our “Spelling and Abbreviations” page: http://theologicalstudies.net/writers/spelling-and-abbreviations/.
  4. In citations, omit religious call letters in authors’ names unless necessary. In all areas of the journal, avoid periods after religious call letters. Do include the comma between a person’s name and their religious call letters. Thus Paul Crowley, OFM; Jorge Mario Bergoglio, OP.

C. Footnotes

  1. In giving page numbers, TS streamlines CMOS by omitting p., pp., or any punctuation such as a colon or comma between the title and the pages. E.g., Theological Studies 56 (1996) 95–111; or Bultmann, Synoptic Tradition 216–19. For ancient sources or Vatican documents cited by paragraph or section number, cite the paragraph number but omit n. or #, e.g., Gaudium et Spes 5; Aquinas, Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews 751.
  2. If your first reference to a chapter in an edited volume refers to a specific page, give first the opening and closing pages of the whole article, then the specific page(s) referred to. E.g., 187–99 at 192. The dash is an “en-dash” (in Word simultaneously strike Ctrl-dash).
  3. When citing a journal article, include the Digital Object Identifier after the page number, as explained in CMOS 14.6, 14.184.
  4. If the same article or book is mentioned often in the notes, decide on a brief, clear abbreviation for use after the first occurrence, but avoid acronyms. E.g., Bultmann, Synoptic Tradition, is much better than Bultmann, HST.
  5. In giving publication data, generally omit the words “Press, Verlag, Editions, Publication, Ltd., etc.” When several places in the same country are given, mention only the first; e.g., New York: Paulist (not Mahwah). When several cities in different countries are listed on a book’s title page (e.g., New Haven/London: Yale University) give only the place of publication in the United States: e.g., New York: Oxford University. Use postal abbreviations for states. E.g., NJ, WI, etc., but in the text spell out the names of states.
  6. Note that numbers are usually connected by an en-dash, not a hyphen: 216–19, not 216-19.

13th edition (April 2016)