Theology Journals in English

Mount Angel Abbey Library subscribes to over 300 theological journals. No one can read them all, and even just thumbing through them regularly is a time consuming, if fascinating, occupation. The library is sometimes asked to recommend a short list of journals which patrons, lay and clergy, might read regularly in order to stay abreast of the field. Such a list may also be of help to theologians who want to know what is happening outside of their specialties. The following annotated list is meant to answer this need:

* it has a Catholic slant;
* it tries to cover each major field;
* it tries to find the middle level periodicals (serious but not overly technical) which are neither for specialists nor for popular consumption.

The institutional affiliation of the editorial staff and the beginning date of publication are indicated in parentheses. To make the list more specific, we have forced ourselves to recommend one title in each category; our choices are marked with an asterisk. Others might have picked a different title.


  • Chicago Studies (published by the diocese of Chicago, 1962-) aims to assist the continuing theological education of priests and others involved in Christian ministry. It has thematic issues, book reviews.
  • Communio (Gonzaga University, 1974-). There are a number of related, but independent magazines by the same name published in ten different languages and/or nations. The inspiration of the journal seems to owe a great deal to Hans Urs von Balthasar. It is a magazine of scholarly opinion, which tends to be critical of, or at least out of harmony with, many facets of liberal Catholic theology that one might find, say, in The National Catholic Reporter newspaper (lay Catholic, 1964-) or the New Theology Review (M. Glazier publishing company, 1988).
  • Dialog (Lutheran. 1962-) is stimulating and provocative; so is another St. Paul, Minn.- based Lutheran journal, Word and World (1981-).
  • Heythrop Journal (English Jesuits, 1960-) is a very good journal of theology and philosophy. It is toward the scholarly end of the spectrum.
  • Journal of Theological Studies (Oxford University Press, 1899-) and Journal of Ecclesiastical History (Cambridge University Press,1950) are British in origin. Both are too technical for this list, but skimming them does help one keep current with historical theology and church history. Comparable is the American Jesuit Theological Studies (1940-).
  • *Scottish Journal of Theology (Scottish Academic Press,1948-) is ecumenical in content. It is more academic and theoretical than Chicago Studies, but articles are well written. It is one of the best journals of its kind in the world.
  • Theology (SPCK, 1920-), Theology Today (Princeton Theo. Seminary,1944-), Theology Digest (American Jesuits, 1953-) are other general theology journals one might look at to see if they match one's tastes and needs.


  • Ecumenical Review (World Council of Churches, 1911-) reflects trends in its sponsoring body.
  • Ecumenical Trends (Graymoor, 1972-) is a useful newsletter on current developments.
  • Journal of Ecumenical Studies (Temple University, 1964-) is a scholarly, if somewhat tendentious journal.
  • *One in Christ (1930-) and Sobornost (1933-, mainly Anglican/Orthodox) are two helpful British journals.

Biblical Studies

  • Bible Today (Liturgical Press, 1962-), Near Eastern Archaeology (formerly Biblical Archeologist) (ASOR, 1938-), and Biblical Archeology Review (1975) all popularize scholarly work.
  • Catholic Biblical Quarterly (CBA, 1939-). Whereas the three titles just mentioned are a bit too popular for this list, the CBQ and Journal of Biblical Literature (Society for Biblical Literature, 1881-) are too scholarly.
  • *Interpretation (Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, 1889-) and Expository Times (T. & T. Clark) are two Protestant sponsored journals aimed at the middle level reader.

Church History

  • Catholic Historical Review (CUA, 1915-) covers all eras of church history; mainly Catholic subjects.
  • *Church History (American Soc. Ch. Hist, 1932) covers all periods of church history.
  • U. S. Catholic Historian (U.S. Catholic Historical Society, 1980-) is a well-edited new journal devoted to U.S. Catholic history. Issues are thematic.

Monastic Studies

  • American Benedictine Review (ABA, 1950-) mainly publishes works by and about Benedictines.
  • *Cistercian Studies (1966-) does the same for Cistercian monasticism; it also has a survey of relevant literature.
  • Downside Review (Downside Abbey, 1880-) is an excellent theological quarterly. Not too much of the content is specifically monastic.
  • Tjurunga (1971-) is an excellent monastic review from Australia.

Liturgy; Religious Art and Music

  • Liturgy (Liturgical Conference, 1956-) is a thematically arranged quarterly.
  • *National Bulletin on Liturgy (Canadian Bishops Nat. Lit. Office, 1965-) has been a very practical source of solid liturgical ideas, the best of its kind.
  • Worship (Liturgical Press, 1926-) has become more scholarly through the years, and perhaps a bit less enjoyable and inspiring.

Prayer and Spirituality

*Way (English Jesuits, 1961-) is a very good journal; most issues are centered on a single theme. There are occasionally surveys of new developments in theology and spirituality.

Current News and Comment

  • America (U.S. Jesuits, 1909-) and Commonweal (U.S. lay, 1924-) are two wide-ranging periodicals, covering theology, church and secular politics, current affairs; they include book reviews and the arts.
  • Christian Century (1884-) and New Oxford Review (Anglo-Catholic, 1940-) are U. S. Protestant journals of current comment and opinion.
  • Cross Currents (lay, 1950-), a quarterly, and New Blackfriars (British Dominicans, 1920-) are more theological in their subject matter.
  • Crux of the News (Paulists, 1980) and Origins (NCCB, 1970) are excellent ways to keep up on current events in the church. Origins publishes many Vatican documents.
  • *The Tablet (lay, 1840-) is a British counterpart of America and Commonweal which is well-written and very informative.