Sightings Policies

The cliché about polite conversation is that there are two things never to discuss: religion and politics. We at Sightings know better. We seek out and comment upon the events, agents, and trends in public life where issues of religion are writ large, in plain view—or are simmering under the surface.

We run 500-1000 word pieces relating to religion in the modern world.

The views expressed in these pieces are those of their respective authors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Martin Marty Center for the Public Understanding of Religion or the University of Chicago Divinity School.

We only publish original pieces that have never been published elsewhere.

Most of our pieces respond to a news item, placing the event or trend in context of its history and other relevant background, and analyzing its media coverage.

We do not use footnotes, but a brief references section can follow the essay. Except in extraordinary circumstances, please only list citations of works written in English.

Please use hyperlinks sparingly within the essay. Other resources and suggestions for further reading should be included in the references section.

We follow the Chicago Manual of Style (only one space between sentences, books of the bible are capitalized but not italicized, etc).

Please include with your submission a short biographical statement of one to three sentences, and a head shot. Also, let us know if you have a Facebook and/or Twitter account; we link to the essay on social media after it has been published.

We typically do not publish pieces written from a religious perspective. Rather, our essays look at religion in public life from an academic perspective.

We do not publish book reviews, movie reviews, poetry or fiction. We do, however, publish pieces that discuss certain books, movies, poetry or fiction if they represent a trend relating to religion.

Please submit your essay via e-mail to We may edit for length and clarity. We may also subsequently correct any errors or omissions.

Articles may be quoted with clear and full attribution to the author and Sightings.

Articles may not be republished until permission has been granted by the editor.

To request permission, e-mail the following information to name of article, author, date of publication, URL of the article, name of your publication, and URL of your website. If permission is granted, columns may appear in full with clear and full attribution to the author of the column, Sightings, and the Martin Marty Center at the University of Chicago Divinity School. This attribution should be presented clearly at the beginning or end of the article, with a link to the original article and the Divinity School website.

Sightings authors may not be designated as contributors to publications that reprint their articles, nor may their names be presented in such as way that they might appear to be contributors to the reprinting publication.

Titles and content of articles may not be modified in any way.

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