Focus and Scope

The Journal for the Study of Religion (JSR) is published by the Association for the Study of Religion in Southern Africa (ASRSA). JSR is an international peer-reviewed and accredited journal that publishes interdisciplinary contributions in the study of religion. JSR invites articles, and responses to articles of up to 10 000 words dealing with topics relevant to the contemporary scholarly significance of the academic comparative study of religion. (Longer articles may also be considered for publication.) Book reviews between 1000-1200 words are also welcome.

The journal's main interest is the cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, comparativist, and critical study of religion. As such, it welcomes the anthropological, comparative, historico-ethnographic, phenomenological and sociological study of the diversity of religions, religious traditions, and the religious movements and formations of Southern Africa.
Since we foster the equal recognition of all religions, research on the nature, prevalence, relevance, context and practicing of World Religions in both local and global contexts, is also encouraged. Research contributions may focus on any of the dimensions of religion, religiously shared or specific values, and the historical and/ or current problematization and contextualisation of religions or religious discourse.

We encourage the use of currently significant interdisciplinary theories and methodologies deriving from the Human and Social Sciences in research, and in teaching and learning. As such, contributions should preferably engage but not be limited to the following topics: religion and culture, religion and society, religion and civil society, religion and/in education, religion and gender, women in religion and culture, religion and feminism, religion and power, religion and social transformation, religion and ecology, religion and the media, religion and technology, religion and materialism, religion and ethics, religion and migration, and religion and ethnicity.

Peer Review Process

All articles submitted to JSR are subjected to a blind peer-review process. Each article is reviewed by at least two peer reviewers.

Pre-review Desktop Moderation: The pre-review desktop moderation is conducted by the Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor. This moderation ensures that the article submissions to be sent for review fit the focus and scope of JSR and comply with the JSR Author submission guidelines.

The Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor or respective appointed guest editor will select a reviewer from the pool of reviewers, and send the article, together with the JSR Article Review Form to the reviewer. The reviewer must do the review and submit the report to the relevant editor within six weeks.
The editor(s) will then inform the author(s) of the article, whether the article has been accepted for publication or not. In the event that it is not approved for publication by one reviewer, the editor will identify a third reviewer for the article, who equally have a maximum of six weeks for producing the review.

The relevant editor will also submit an appropriate abstract of the review report to the author(s) of the article, indicating the improvements or changes to the article needed before publication. If there are suggested improvements or changes suggested by a reviewer that the author(s) do not want to accommodate, they need to state that with reason(s) to the editor.

The criteria by which reviewers are asked to judge submissions, are listed under Review Guidelines.
All members of the Association for the Study of Religion in Southern Africa (ASRSA) must register on OJS JSR as reviewers, if they so wish. Experts in the field of the study of religion or those adjudged to be sufficiently knowledgeable of the field, and who wish to also function as reviewers, must likewise register as reviewers.

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

General Journal Information

JSR does not have article submission charges.
JSR does have page fee charges of R 250 per page, and sent to lead authors (or secondary authors, if they are from a different institution) once the article has been set.
JSR’s waver policy, is that it publishes articles by authors from developing countries, that have passed the peer review process successfully, free of charge.
JSR follows the digital archiving policy of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
JSR allows software/ spiders to automatically crawl the journal content.
JSR does not provide article level metadata.
JSR does not provide article download statistics.
All JSR articles are screened for plagiarism.
JSR Open Access Statement:
The Journal for the Study of Religion in Southern Africa is an Open Access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/ her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of Open Access.

Copyright (©) belongs to JSR. If an author or publisher wishes to use or republish an article that appeared in JSR in part or in full, permission must be requested from the editor-in-chief at:


The Association for the Study of Religion in Southern Africa (ASRSA)

Journal History

The Journal for the Study of Religion in Southern Africa was launched in January 1980 under the editorship of Prof Martin Prozesky from the Pietermaritzburg campus of the University of Natal.

In 1987 the decision was taken by ASRSA to change its journal’s name to the Journal for the Study of Religion (JSR), also under the editorship of Prof Martin Prozesky, assisted by Mr Patrick Maxwell and by an International Editorial Advisory Board whose members included leading scholars from the USA, Britain, New Zealand and Sweden, as well as from South Africa.

From 1993 until 1997, Mr Patrick Maxwell acted as Executive Editor. In 1998 the editorship moved to the University of Cape Town under the editorship of Prof Abdulkader Tayob (1998 – 2002) where it was given a new appearance. He was followed by Prof David Chidester (2003 – 2013).

Prof JA Smit from the University of KwaZulu–Natal was elected as editor from 2014.