Secular Studies: the journal

Secular Studies will begin publication by Brill with a 2019 launch.

Editor: John R. Shook, Ph.D. Philosophy, University at Buffalo, USA


Secular Studies at Brill is here.

Papers prepared for blind peer review go to

The Editor also welcomes Target Articles for peer commentaries, and proposals for special sections such as Author Meets Critics. Contact the Editor about sending new books for review.

Statement of editorial scope and policy:

Secular Studies publishes original research on secularity, both historical and contemporary, and secular issues and agendas from multi-disciplinary and international perspectives. Historical, literary, cultural, political, anthropological, sociological, psychological, and philosophical studies of secular thought and living are sought, along with research on nonreligion, atheism, agnosticism, humanism, and naturalism. Also welcome are comparative, intersectional, and cross-cultural studies of secularity and secular people, investigations into types of secularism and patterns to secularization, and explorations of church-state relations around the world.

Secular Studies will publish:

Original Research Articles
Special Sections on chosen topics (3-5 articles on the same theme)
Special Sections for Author Meets Critics
Target Articles (accompanied by peer commentaries)
Book Reviews

Suitable submissions will receive double-blind peer review. All articles are published in English. Typical research articles will be between 5,000 and 10,000 words. Articles for a special section or a commentary are usually shorter, following guidelines provided by the organizer of that journal feature.

Editor-in-Chief: John R. Shook, PhD
Philosophy and Science Education, University at Buffalo (since 2006). Formerly, professor of philosophy at Oklahoma State University (2000-2006), and Director of Education for the Center for Inquiry and then the American Humanist Association (2006-2013). Shook has revived the academic area of “Atheology” in his book The God Debates (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), and  Systematic Atheology (Routledge, 2018). Shook is also co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Secularism (Oxford, 2017) with Phil Zuckerman.

Assistant Editor: Thomas J. Coleman III
Doctoral Candidate, Brain, Belief and Behaviour Research Group, Coventry University, UK

Editorial Board
Jacques Berlinerblau, Program for Jewish Civilization, Georgetown University, USA
Jocelyn Cesari, Political Theory and Middle Eastern Studies, The Sorbonne, Paris, France
Caroline Corbin, Law, University of Miami, USA
Jonathan Fox, Political Science, Bar-Ilan University, Israel
Zoya Hasan, Political Theory, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
Leo Igwe, Philosophy, Religion, and African Studies, Nigeria
Yolande Jansen, Philosophy and Humanism, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Ariela Keysar, Secularism in Society and Culture, Trinity College, USA
Cécile Laborde, Political Theory, Oxford University, UK
Paula Montero, Anthropology, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Juhem Navarro-Rivera, Political Science, Socioanalítica Research, Maryland, USA
Graham Oppy, Philosophy, Monash University, Australia
Anthony Pinn, Religious Studies, Rice University, USA
Johannes Quack, Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Michael Rectenwald, Global Liberal Studies, New York University, USA
Michael Ruse, Philosophy, Florida State University, USA
Abdullah Saeed, Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Melbourne, Australia
Tatjana Schnell, Psychology, University of Innsbruck, Austria
Murat Somer, Political Science and International Relations, Koç University, Turkey
Tim Whitmarsh, Classics, Cambridge University, UK
Monika Wohlrab-Sahr, Cultural Sociology, University of Leipzig, Germany
Phil Zuckerman, Sociology, Pitzer College, USA

Submission Style Guidelines

Manuscripts have one-inch margins on American letter-sized pages (not A4 or legal size). All matter, including quotations and footnotes, should be single-spaced and use left justification.

Abstract and Keywords
The article title, an abstract of 100 words, and 5-6 keywords begin the submission.

Article Structure
Eliminate any section or page breaks, and eliminate any headers or footers. The article should be paginated in the lower right corner. Set off quotations in block quote with a blank line before and after the quotation. Footnotes are placed at the bottom of pages. A list of References, listing all materials cited in the paper and footnotes, must conclude the paper.

The article should use internal sections, usually totalling 4 to 10 sections. Only use 1. 2. 3. etc for internal sections, in bold font. Do not use subsections, such as A. B. C. or 2.1 2.2 2.3. You may add section titles, thus: 3. Truth and Indefeasibility

Figures and Tables
Illustrations, tables, and figures must be numbered consecutively (e.g. FIGURE 1, FIGURE 2, etc.) and include captions to give a description and to identify the source of any image or data. All figures and tables must be cited consecutively in the text. Figures should be submitted as separate source files in .png, .tif, or .jpg format, in a size suitable for the typesetting area of the journal. The resolution of these files should be at least 600 dpi. Number the files, and indicate in the manuscript where they are to appear, like this: (Fig. 1 here). The text in a figure must be legible, and should not be smaller than font size 7. The size of this lettering for any text in a figure should be the same for all figures in the manuscript. Authors are responsible for obtaining and paying for all copyright and reproduction charges.

Do not use bold in the text except for section headers; use italics instead. Keep its use to a minimum.


Secular Studies accepts papers that uses only footnotes, or uses only in-text citations, or uses both. All submissions should end with References of all cited materials at the end of the paper.

Use only footnotes, which should be numbered consecutively as 1, 2, 3… in Arabic numerals.
The autoformatting of footnotes is required for accepted papers. Your footnotes should be very brief, normally four sentences at most, unless a larger number of citations to several publications are necessary. Extended commentary or parenthetical discussions are important enough to remain within the main body of the paper. Superscript numbers marking footnotes should follow immediately after the punctuation or the quotation. The footnotes should be numbered consecutively and placed at the bottom of each page. No asterisks nor roman numerals should be used anywhere.

Secular Studies does not permit a footnote to the Title, nor does it permit a footnote the first sentence or the last sentence of your article to thank people or make remarks about the origins of the paper. Instead, compose a separate Acknowledgements section which goes at the end of the article, before Notes and References.

Use en-dash <-> – for paginations and include all page numbers: pp. 234–237 not p. 234-7. Use Ibid. where useful. Do not use obscure abbreviations such as cf. or ff. or op. cit.

Put footnotes into this style:

1. Dewey, “Philosophies of Freedom,” in The Later Works of John Dewey, vol. 3, ed. Jo Ann Boydston (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1984), p. 94.

2. Suzanne Rice, “Dewey on Virtue, Character, and Moral Education,” Review Journal of Philosophy and Social Science 26 (2000): 75–89.

3. Aleksandar Fatic, “Retribution in Democracy,” in Political Dialogue: Theories and Practices, ed. Stephen Esquith (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1996), pp. 335–355.

4. Thomas Nagel, “Moral Luck,” in Nagel, Mortal Questions (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1979), p. 37.

5. Daniel Dennett, Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1984), pp. 89–94.

6. Nagel, “Moral Luck,” p. 38.

7. Ibid., pp. 39–40.


An article can use in-text citations as well as footnotes. The format for an in-text citation is this: (Author Year) or (Author Year, page #), eg.: (Putnam 1990, 68). Multiple citations are separated by a semicolon: (Horgan 1988; Rorty 2003, 18). For multiple authors, only list the first two authors, e.g.: (Heinz, Lao, et al. 2011, 582).

Format the list of References, which goes at the end of the article, into the correct style, thus:

Hayes, Christopher. 2008. “The Pragmatist,” The Nation (10 December). At 20081229/hayes/print, accessed 4 June 2017.

Hewer, Christopher J., and Ron Roberts. 2012. “History, Culture and Cognition: Towards a Dynamic Model of Social Memory,” Culture and Psychology 18(2): 167–183.

Putnam, Hilary, and Ruth Anna Putnam. 1989. “William James’s Ideas,” in Realism with a Human Face by Hilary Putnam (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University, 1990), pp. 217–231.

Putnam, Ruth Anna, ed. 1997. The Cambridge Companion to William James. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Putnam, Ruth Anna. 1990. “The Moral Life of a Pragmatist,” in Identity, Character, and Morality, ed. Owen Flanagan and Amélie Oksenberg Rorty (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press), pp. 67–89.

Rorty, Richard. 1988. “The Priority of Democracy to Philosophy,” repr. in Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth: Philosophical Papers Volume One (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1991), pp. 175–196.

Rorty, Richard. 1989. Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.