Style Guide

Here is the house style guide for Quaker Religious Thought.

Quaker Religious Thought

Guidelines for Writers

(Updated: 03/2021)

Quaker Religious Thought uses style guidelines from The Chicago Manual of Style, The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style and the “Reformation Heritage Books Style Guide.” Adaptations from these guides are included below.

Length of Articles

The length of articles and reviews will vary some from issue to issue, but authors should observe the following guidelines:

  • Main essays — about 2500–3000 words 
  • Responses to essays — about 1000 words
  • Reviews of books — 800–1500 words

General Guidelines for Submission

1. Please submit manuscripts electronically in a format compatible with Microsoft Word.

2. When using quotations from other sources, please quote accurately and document properly. When using biblical quotations, indicate which translation is used (e.g., Jer. 31:31 NRSV)

3. For documentation, QRT uses Chicago Manual of Style endnotes rather than footnotes or in-text, parenthetical notes. Numbering of the notes should be 1, 2, 3…. Use Ibid. when citing sources consecutively. If using the same page number, your endnote would be just Ibid. If citing the same source but a different page number, the endnote would be Ibid. and page number. For non-consecutive subsequent citations use the short form endnote: author’s last name, shortened title, page number (e.g. Dandelion, Liturgies, 45). 

Endnotes are used in lieu of a bibliography.

See examples of Chicago Manual of Style citations at:

4. For book reviews, use parenthetical in-text citations referring to pages in the book, rather than endnotes. For example, in reviews, indicate page numbers in text like this: (23) not (p. 23).

5. Place the title of the article and your name at the top of the first page. The title should be all caps and left justified. The author’s name should be small caps and right justified. For example:


Elizabeth Hinshaw Jones

Book review titles should be formatted similarly:

Review of David Lewis, A Word from the Lost:  Remarks on James Nayler’s Love to the Lost And a Hand Held forth to the Helpless To Lead out of the Dark (Inner Light Books, 2019)

Carole Dale Spencer

6. As appropriate, please provide subheads or titles for major sections within the article.

7. Authors should remember that QRT readers are interested in theology and, for the most part, are experienced. At the same time, we want to offer articles that engage a broad audience, not just professional theologians. That goal should temper authors’ level of diction, use of jargon, and writing style so that the articles invite readers in. Even professional theologians like great writing. 

8. Use gender-inclusive language. For example, use “humanity” or “they/their” where possible.

9. Of course, all editors are pleased to receive well-written, clean manuscripts that arrive on time or even before deadlines. Happily, this often happens with QRT

10. Bible References:

a. Abbreviations of Bible books: Use full names of books in the body of articles and in reviews/notices.

When used in parentheses or endnotes, abbreviate as follows:

Old Testament

Gen. Ruth Ezra Song Joel Zeph.

Ex. 1 Sam. Neh. Isa. Amos   Hag.

Lev. 2 Sam. Esth. Jer. Obad.   Zech.

Num. 1 Kings Job Lam. Jonah   Mal.

Deut. 2 Kings Ps. (pl. Pss.) Ezek.    Mic.

Josh. 1 Chron. Prov. Dan. Nah.

Judg. 2 Chron. Eccl. Hos. Hab.

New Testament

Matt. Rom. Phil. 2 Tim. 1 Peter Jude

Mark 1 Cor. Col. Titus 2 Peter Rev.

Luke 2 Cor. 1 Thess. Philemon 1 John

John Gal. 2 Thess. Heb. 2 John

Acts Eph. 1 Tim. James 3 John

11. Capitalization:

  • Capitalize all commonly accepted names for the persons of the Trinity: Adonai, the Logos, Son of Man, Surety, Creator, Mediator, Messiah, Paraclete, Father, Savior, Inward Light, Son, God Almighty, God Triune, Head when referring to Christ (but Christ, head of the church).
  • Sacred texts and books or major sections: Bible, Scripture(s), Holy Scriptures, Word, Dead Sea Scrolls, Pentateuch, Talmud, Apocrypha.
  • Lowercase the word gospel in all contexts and for all uses except when contained in an actual title (“The Gospel According to St. Matthew”), when used as a collective title for the four canonical gospels as a whole (“the Gospels”), or in headings and titles. Examples: the gospel of Christ, preaching the gospel, John’s gospel.
  • Revered or important persons: Mark the Evangelist, the Baptist, Satan, the Devil, the Antichrist.
  • Key events and concepts: Sabbath, the Great Awakening, the Reformation, the Fall, the Second Coming, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, Kingdom of God. Used generically, such terms are usually lowercased.
  • Creeds, confessions: Named creeds and confessions are capitalized and set in roman—not italic—type: Belgic Confession/the confession; Westminster Larger Catechism/the catechism; Nicene Creed/the creed.
  • Quaker documents: Named Minutes and Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice are capitalized. Used generically, such terms are usually lowercased. For example: Minutes of the Meeting for Sufferings/the minutes; Britain Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice/a faith and practice.
  • Note the capitalization for these nouns: Christology, Christendom, Christian.
  • The word church should be capitalized only when used in the actual name of a denomination or a specific congregation’s meeting place, as in the Church of England or Westfield Friends Church. When used to mean believers as a whole, the historical church, or organized religion in general, the term should be lowercased as in “the church in the Middle Ages” or “the worldwide church.”
  • In the case of Meeting House, use capitals for a specific named Meeting House, but use lower case for the building. For example, “The Nayler Meeting House”/“go to the meeting house.” Use “meetinghouse” (one word) as an adjective and “meeting house” (two words) as a noun. For example, “the meetinghouse door,” “the meeting house in Bourneville,” and “the Bournesville Meeting House.”
  • Capitalize a named Meeting, and specific terms like Elder, Overseer, Clerk, Light (as in Inward Light), Inner Light, Minister, Spirit. For example, “Meeting for Worship,” “Meeting for Business.”

Do not capitalize the following:

  • Derivative adjectives of the above: biblical, scriptural, talmudic, christological, trinitarian, millennial, church fathers/mothers, reformational, mediatorial.
  • Pronouns referring to God (me, my, thou, thine) with two exceptions: 1) when “One” is used for God, 2) in a quote that capitalizes divine pronouns.
  • Adjectives preceding divine names: almighty God, only begotten Son (excluding Holy Spirit as the Spirit’s full proper name), a holy God.
  • Relative pronouns referring to God: whom, who, whose.
  • Do not capitalize heaven, hell, divine, psalmist, a psalm (but Psalm 119), pope (unless Pope Pius, etc.), apostle (apostle Paul), mammon, covenant of grace or works, creation.
  • Generic uses of minute(s), meeting(s), meeting house, church, faith and practices, as described above. For example, “it was written in the minutes,” “let’s go to meeting,” “Quaker meetings record their process in a faith and practice.”

12. Numbers and Pagination

  • QRT follows the numbering system laid out in the Chicago Manual of Style:
First NumberSecond NumberExamples
Less than 100Use all digits3–10; 71–72; 96–117
100 or multiples of 100Use all digits100–104; 1100–1113
101 through 109Use changed part only101–8; 808–33; 1103–4
201 through 209, etc.
110 through 199Use two digits unless more are needed to include all changed parts321–28; 498–532;
210 through 299, etc.1087–89; 1496–500
Table of Number Use

To avoid ambiguity, inclusive roman numerals are always given in full: xxv–xxvii; cvi–cix.

  • Do not use inclusive numbers in dates. Example: John Bunyan (1628–1688 [not 1628–88]) is famous for writing Pilgrim’s Progress.
  • v. = verse; vv. = verses
  • p. = page; pp. = pages
  • In an endnote citation, do not use the abbreviation pp. Indicate pagination as follows:

Article: Abraham Kuyper, “Evolution,” Calvin Theological Journal 31 (1996): 11–50.

Book: William Christian, George Grant: A Biography (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993), 45–52.

  • Spell out numbers under one hundred and round numbers in hundreds, thousands, millions, billions, etc. Extremely large round numbers may be expressed in figures and units of millions and billions. Numerals should be used for all other numbers. Numerals should be used with percentages regardless of the context; for most purposes, the word percent should be used with the numeral rather than the percent symbol (%). Numerals should also be used in referencing chapter titles. Examples:

forty-seven 2,675 3.6 billion

three million 178 250,000

twelve hundred 25 percent chapter 8

  • Centuries: Spell out the century number and the word century. Centuries follow traditional hyphenation rules for adjectives. Here are a few examples based on the recommendations mentioned above:

During the sixteenth century, Quakers travelled to continental Europe, North America, and the Middle East

Quakers experienced significant schisms in the early nineteenth century.
What will be the most important theological advance of the twenty-first century?
Rufus Jones contributed to nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature.
This twenty-first-century technology will be obsolete in the twenty-second century.
Early-eighteenth-century reforms gradually slowed in the late-eighteenth century.

13. Punctuation, General Rules

  • Use commas to set off words of address: Dear Congregation, Dear Friends, Children of God, etc.
  • Use a semicolon between independent clauses in a sentence if they are not joined by a conjunction (and, but, or, nor, for, yet).
  • Use a semicolon or a long dash (em dash) between independent clauses joined by such words as for example, for instance, consequently, instead, hence. Long dashes should be used sparingly.
  • Use a semicolon (rather than a comma) to separate independent clauses of a compound sentence if there are commas within the clauses.
  • A comma is used to follow a dependent clause when the dependent clause introduces the sentence (in a complex sentence).
  • In compound sentences, commas should be used after the first independent clause (unless the sentence is very short).
  • Generally, use a comma before a short quote; use a colon before a long quote. But do not place a colon directly after a verb; instead, use an introductory element such as the following or as follows.
  • Use an Oxford, or serial, comma following a conjunction in a series of three or more. For example, “Benezet, Cuffe, and Banneker, used their networks to disseminate their writings.”
  • Do not use more than one pair of dashes in a sentence.
  • Hyphens and the various types of dashes have specific appearances and uses. Below are the short cuts for using them in Word.
  • hyphen (-)
  • en dash (–)
  • em dash (—)
  • 3-em dash (———)

Hyphen (e.g., seventeenth-century theologian): The hyphen is used for the following: compound words, names, and word division; to separate numbers that are not inclusive (such as telephone numbers) and to separate letters when a word is spelled out.

En dashes (e.g., 1984–1990): The principal use of the en dash is to connect numbers and, less often, words. This is the character used in Scripture references and inclusive pagination. With continuing numbers—such as dates, times, and page numbers—it signifies up to and including (or through). For the sake of parallel construction, the word to, never the en dash, should be used if the word from precedes the first element in such a pair; similarly, and, never the en dash, should be used if between precedes the first element. Typed in Word with [Ctrl] + [minus sign on the numeric keypad].

Em dashes (e.g., The influence of three impressionists—Monet, Sisley, and Degas—is obvious in her work.): The em dash, often simply called the dash, is the most commonly used and most versatile of the dashes. Em dashes are used to set off an amplifying or explanatory element and in that sense can function as an alternative to parentheses, commas, or a colon—especially when an abrupt break in thought is called for. Typed in Word with [Ctrl]+ [Alt] + [minus sign on numeric keypad].

3-em dash: In a bibliography, a 3-em dash followed by a period represents the same author or editor named in the preceding entry. Typed in Word with [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [minus sign on numeric keypad] three times with no spaces. Can also be typed with six hyphens with no spaces. Please remember that QRT does not include bibliographies.

14. Spelling

  • American style of spelling only. Examples: labor, favor, endeavor, luster, etc. However, retain British spelling in quotations of sources that use it.
  • Preferred spellings: e-mail, fulfill, megachurch, parachurch, website, worshiping/er/ed.
  • insofar (one word)
  • heartfelt (one word)
  • inasmuch (one word)
  • brokenhearted (no hyphen)
  • pre/non/co beginning a word: no hyphen (check dictionary).
  • Examples: preeminent, preexistent, coeternal, coexist, nonexistent, premillennial