America's Faith & Reason section features essays about contemporary theological, philosophical or ecclesial questions, usually authored by theologians, philosophers or other recognized experts in related fields. Faith & Reason essays are more scholarly and explicitly theo-philosophical than essays that appear in the features section, which houses mostly reported articles by professional journalists; or in the Faith in Focus section, which features mainly first-person essays about spirituality. A Faith & Reason essay is a smart, Catholic take on a theological, philosophical or ecclesial topic that is of universal interest to the educated Catholic conscience or imagination. While treating the magisterial teaching of the Catholic Church as normative, Faith & Reason essays are characterized by their general excellence, topicality, balance, scholarly rigor and originality.
While more scholarly in tone and content, Faith & Reason essays are written for an educated, lay Catholic audience. The audience for Faith & Reason essays, in other words, is not the academy. Authors must bear this in mind and should tailor their tone and style accordingly and labor to make their essays accessible and clear. Authors should avoid unnecessary jargon and overly dense prose as they seek to render complex problems and insights intelligible for an educated readership.
The maximum length for Faith & Reason essays is 2,000 words and will rarely exceed 1,500. Authors should cut their essays to this length prior to submission. Only completed manuscripts are accepted for this category of submission.