Aims and Scope

The Review of Religious Research (RRR) journal aims to publish manuscripts meeting these six scope criteria: (1) reports empirical research; (2) attends to religiosity and spirituality topics; (3) identifies religious groups and their adherents; (4) engages in interdisciplinary social science research practices; (5) describes methods and analytical techniques; and (6) applies research with relevance for practitioners. Criteria are described below.

Empirical Research

Manuscripts meet the empirical social science research scope criteria by reporting on observable behaviors, actions, orientations, and more of social

The goal is to understand and analyze rather than seeking to propagate a religion, proselytize, evangelize, or in other ways directly represent a religious view. Valuing the goal of replicability and peer review, empirical research typically includes a methods section that explains how data were collected, why, using what procedures, under which conditions, and toward what types of analysis.

Relevant Topics – Scroll below for an expanded list of specific topics.

  • Religious leaders, services, programs, participation, practices, beliefs, organizations, changes, movements
  • Religion & civics, family, gender, sex, race, youth, education, science, poverty, crime, attitudes, wellbeing
  • Spirituality, spiritual practices, spiritual communities

Applied Practitioners

The journal is particularly interested in publishing applied research with implications for:

  • Clergy, pastoral leaders, lay leaders, other religious leaders
  • Professionals, staff, volunteers in faith-based organizations, NGOs, INGOS, international networks
  • Grantmakers, funders, grant program officers
  • Fundraisers, major gifts officers, donor prospect researchers
  • Volunteer coordinators, social movement community engagers
  • Service providers, program delivery coordinators

Religious Groups

  1. Islam, Muslims
  2. Buddhism, Buddhists
  3. Hinduism, Hindus
  4. Judaism, Jewish
  5. Confucianism, Confucians
  6. Sikhism, Sikhists
  7. Daoism, Taoism, Daoist, Taoists
  8. Catholicism, Catholics
  9. Christianity, Christians
  10. Protestantism, Protestants
  11. Evangelicalism, Evangelicals
  12. Mainline Protestantism, Protestants
  13. Pentecostalism, Pentecostals
  14. Orthodoxy: Eastern, Catholic, Judaism, Christianity
  15. Folk religions: Chinese, African; Ethnoreligious
  16. Spiritism, Spiritists
  17. Baháʼí, Bahaism, Baháʼís
  18. Jainism, Jainists
  19. Shintoism, Shintoists
  20. Zoroastrianism, Zoroastrians
  21. New religions, new religious movements
  22. Atheism, Agnosticism, Atheists, Agnostics
  23. Religious unaffiliated, disaffiliated, non-affiliated, or religious “nones”


Valuing multiple approaches in the empirical study of religion, the journal typically publishes research from disciplines such as: sociology, psychology, social psychology, political science, economics.

Methods & Analysis

  1. Surveys
  2. In-depth interviews
  3. Ethnographies
  4. Case studies
  5. Quantitative analysis
  6. Qualitative analysis
  7. Content analysis
  8. Mixed methods analysis

General topics – specific topics

Religious Leaders clergy, pastoral leaders, lay leaders, other religious leaders, career choices, professional identity, leadership, success, collaborations, burnout, political behavior and attitudes, religious beliefs, seminary training, gender, spouse’s involvement, race, ethnicity, wellbeing
Religious Services type, variety, content, outcomes of, experiences within, emotions about, relationships with
Religious Programs economic hardships, financial literacy, educational, youth, family, parenthood, end of life, food, health, social services, programs to increase religious practices and participation, teachings, socialization processes, transmission across generations
Religious Participation religious service attendance frequency, affiliation, disaffiliation, engagement in programs, religious capital, social networks, social support, inclusion, exclusion, trust, misanthropy
Religious Practices prayer: practices of, types of, experiences with, outcomes of; prayer & wellbeing, health, fasting, rituals, eucharist, meditations, and other forms of religious practices
Religious Beliefs beliefs, values, morals, identity, tradition, religious texts, biblical literalism, relational experiences, importance of faith, salience, measurement of beliefs about or experiences with God, Allah, Yhwh, Tzevaot, Almighty, Creator, universal energy, higher power, transcendental, supernatural, paranormal
Religious Organizations congregations, churches, mosques, temples, other worship sites, denominations, institutions, vitality, congregant characteristics, denominational diversity, effect of megachurches, growth and decline of specific denominations, integrating immigrants, leadership, local economic factors, perceived competition, selecting a congregation, strategies for growth, congregational cooperation with the community, cohesion, interpersonal conflict within congregations, competition between congregations and denominations, denominational mergers and schisms, religious retreat and school leaders, mentors in religious settings   faith-based organizations (FBOs), parachurches, interfaith coalitions, grantmaking foundations with religious themes or goals, social service nonprofits with religious missions, international aid, nongovernmental organizations with religious missions (NGOs)
Religious Change growth, decline, trends over time, longitudinal increasing or decreasing across life stages and ages, denominational switching, immigrations, parent-child relations, effects of parental divorce on religiosity, association with education and economic variables, secularization
New Religious Movements new religions, new religious movements, the Camino pilgrimage, Catholic Evangelicalism, clergy philosophy and theology, Honoring God and Prosperity Gospel, Islamic movement to reduce violence, Sikh, emerging congregations in the Pacific Northwest
Spirituality spiritual identity, spiritual practices, spiritual orientations, openness, faith formation, spiritual but not religious, lay concepts of religion and spirituality, religious and supernatural beliefs, informal networks of ethno-spiritual groups  
Religion & Civics civil society, civic engagement, giving to religious and secular organizations, providing social support, volunteering in religious and secular organizations, social movements, collective action, private and public, extrinsic and intrinsic, religion and public life, religion and politics, antisocial, anti-right, authoritarianism, social control, church-state separation, political identification, nation-state governance, liberty, voluntarism, associational life
Religion & Family marriage, intermarriage across religious differences, age at marriage, beliefs about marriage, family planning, family satisfaction, fertility, number of children, marital happiness, parental warmth, parental control, parent-child relationships, praying with spouse, family religious attendance and importance, religious concordance, support for parents
Religion & Gender women, men, gender stereotypes in religious denominations, gender and religious identity, women in religious leadership and vocations
Religion & Sexuality sexual identity, LGTBQ+ communities, religious views of same sex relations and partners
Religion & Race race, ethnicity, cultural heritage, ethnic religious communities, religious discrimination, Islamophobia, in-group/out-group dynamics, religious diversity
Religion & Youth teens, adolescents, emerging adults, young adults, generation, aging, age
Religion & Education attainment, college success, K-12, religious schools, higher education, theological education
Religion & Technology religion and science, digital religion, internet, media, social media, porn
Religion & Poverty poverty, inequality, socioeconomic status, social and economic mobility
Religion & Crime criminology, crime, violence, deviance, safety, moral beliefs about crime and delinquency
Religion & Attitudes abortion, affirmative action, birth control, corporate behavior, cremation, criminal background checks, racial discrimination and religion, religious discrimination, drug use, the environment, evolution, homosexuality, politics, same-sex marriage, science education, sex, socioeconomic discrimination, war and defense spending, religious tolerance, religion and tolerance of persons with mental illness, disabilities, or people of other religious groups
Religion & Wellbeing alcohol abuse, anger, attachment, forgiveness, gratitude, awe, childhood behavioral problems, coping, death anxiety, emotions, emotional wellbeing, faith and healing, happiness, job burnout, job satisfaction, joy, life satisfaction, obesity, objective and subjective physical health, optimism, psychological distress, self-esteem, sleep quality, specific psychiatric symptoms, suicide, mental health, physical health, illness, spiritual health
Research Methodology comparing measures, specific scales, indexes, interviewing methods, survey measurement issues, raising awareness on existing data sources, supporting open science on religion