About the Journal

Focus and Scope

Approaching Religion (AR) is an academic open access journal published by the Donner Institute for Research in Religion and Culture in Åbo, Finland. Its purpose is to publish thematic issues presenting current research in the field of religion, understood in a broad sense, and to offer a platform for scholarly co-operation and debate within the field. The journal appears twice a year and consists of articles, book reviews and discussions. It addresses an international readership and engages contributors from different theoretical and methodological traditions. The editorial board consists of scholars from primarily Nordic universities.

AR publishes only thematic issues. This is done in co-operation with guest editors from all over the world, representing a broad span of academic disciplines and traditions relating to the research on religion. Priority is given to themes and guest editors, which are based on conferences and symposia arranged by our co-operating partners. We do not accept individual papers for review outside of these themes.

Articles are selected on the basis of a double blind peer-review process, carried out in two steps. A first selection of articles is made by the editor and the guest editors. Thereafter the articles are assessed by external reviewers, in a process where both the reviewer and author identities are concealed from each other.  

Professional proofreading services are provided for submissions accepted for publication.

Approaching Religion is currently included in the following databases and indexes:

  • ATLA Religion Database (fulltext)
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
  • EBSCO database Academic Search Premier
  • Emerging Sources Citation Index (Web of Science)
  • ERIH Plus
  • Index Theologicus: International Bibliography of Theology and Religious Studies
  • Religious Studies Bibliography (RelBib)
  • Scopus
  • Sherpa Romeo

The journal is also included in queries in Google Scholar.

In the classification system of the Finnish Publication Forum (JUFO) Approaching Religion is on level 2.

Reviewer Guidelines

The reviewers are asked to pay attention to the following aspects of the article in their written assessment:

  • general significance of the topic
  • attention to the relevant literature
  • research design and data analysis
  • logic of the argument
  • quality of the writing and demonstrated relevance for the field.

On the basis of this assessment, the reviewer recommends one of the following decisions:

  1. Accept submission
  2. Revisions required
  3. Resubmit for review
  4. Resubmit elsewhere
  5. Decline submission

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. No subscription is needed to access the articles and no download fees are charged.

Authors are not charged for publications in this journal, neither submission fee nor article processing fee.

Copyright Notice

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

The use of the articles is governed by the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0) as currently displayed on https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Please note that articles included in Vol.1 issue 1 (2011) – Vol. 8 issue 2 (2018) are governed by the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License as currently displayed on https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

The license of the published metadata (i.e. information about the article, such as title, abstract, author, and keywords) is Creative Commons CCO 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) as currently displayed on https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

The images, illustrations, graphs and tables published in Approaching Religion are not included in the license. The images are subject to the original copyright licences. The license for using the metadata of published articles is CC 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).

Author's Guarantee

  • The Author acknowledges that the Work will be publicly accessible on the Internet and that such access will be free of charge for the readers.
  • The Author guarantees that the Work is her/his original work that has not been published before and cannot be construed as copying or plagiarism. Furthermore, the Author confirms that the Work contains no statement that is unlawful, defamatory or abusive or in any way infringes the rights of others.
  • The Author confirms that she/he has secured all written permissions needed for the reproduction in the Publication of any material created by a third party.

User Rights

Under the CC BY 4.0 license, the Author/s and users are free to:

  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially,
  • However, the Work must be attributed to the original Author and source of publication.

Under the CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 license, the users are free to share (copy, distribute and transmit the contribution) under the following conditions:

  • the Work must be attributed to the Author and Publication,
  • the Work may not be used for commercial purposes,
  • the Work may not be altered or transformed.

Rights of Authors

The Authors maintain the right to:

  • copyright, and other proprietary rights relating to the Work,
  • the right to use the substance of the Work in future own works,
  • the right to self-archiving/parallel publishing (publisher's PDF allowed).

Rights of Publisher

The Publisher reserves the right to make such editorial changes as may be necessary to make the Work suitable for publication in the publication, e.g. style of punctuation, spelling, headings and the like.

The Publisher will publish the Work if the editorial process is successfully completed and reserves the right not to proceed with publication for whatever reason.

The publication entitles the author to no royalties or other fees. This agreement will be governed by the laws of Finland.

Publication ethics and malpractice

The journal is committed to following the peer review instructions of Finnish Association for Scholarly Publishing and the instructions and principles in "Responsible conduct of research and procedures for handling allegations of misconduct in Finland" issued by Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity. Since 2019, all peer-reviewed articles are indicated with the peer-review label issued by the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies. 

Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party. Please read the Journal.fi Privacy Policy. The Federation of Finnish Learned Societies and the journal are joint controllers. Their respective responsibilities are described in the document.


All previous volumes of the journal are permanently available in full text at this website free of charge. This journal also utilizes Doria, which is a multi-institutional repository maintained by National Library of Finland, to permanently archive the journal articles for purposes of preservation and restoration. For more information: http://www.doria.fi/

The Authors retain the right to self-archiving/parallel publishing (publisher's PDF allowed).