About & Board

Publishing scholarship in Contemplative Studies


The mission of the journal is to provide an academic forum for specialists to publish rigorous, innovative, humanities-based scholarship in Contemplative Studies and to promote interconnections across disciplines, perspectives, and traditions. JCS and its associated preprint service are committed to supporting the growth of an academic field for a global community of scholars who study contemplative practices in all of their diversity. This includes scholarship that examines practices, first-person meditative experiences, and the historical and cultural contexts in which forms of contemplation are embedded and from which they derive. 


JCS is focused on publishing rigorous academic work on contemplation that is deeply grounded in the humanities in the most capacious sense. The journal publishes original research and scholarship on topics related to the world’s contemplative practice traditions—historical and contemporary, religious and secular. Articles are not restricted to a particular disciplinary or methodological approach and submissions could be, but are not limited to, scholarly methods that are comparative, text-critical, historical, theoretical, ethnographic, or phenomenological.


While the focus of the journal is humanistic studies on contemplation, we encourage interdisciplinary scholarly collaborations with a humanistic core. We invite interdisciplinary collaborative studies across the contemplative arts, humanities, anthropology, sciences, and technology, and we welcome submissions that reflect multi- and trans-disciplinary approaches. We do not accept journal article submissions that are single-method empirical studies, meta-analyses, and similar scientific reviews. JCS is not intended for articles that simply present or describe a contemplative intervention or a program for applied contemplative practices, as might be found in the context of contemplative pedagogy or clinical practice—for example, a summary of a new mindfulness-based intervention for use in schools or the workplace. In contrast, an article that examines mindfulness-based interventions through the lens of some scholarly perspective, such as cultural history, would be welcome. 

Publishing Model

JCS uses a rolling publishing model, which enables authors to submit articles at any time. A streamlined workflow of the peer-review and editorial processes allows articles to be published on a rolling basis that is not dictated by the publication timetable of a larger collated journal issue. Each article is treated on its own publication timeline to meet scholarly criteria of peer-review, incorporate author revisions, and finalize typesetting and editing for the digital publication. JCS also publishes special thematic issues. 

The Open Access (OA) movement has proven to be a catalyst for change in academic publishing, and JCS is committed to public dissemination of scholarship free of charge to both authors and readers. We publish on a proprietary digital platform, Mandala, which was developed at the University of Virginia and is hosted at the University Library. Articles may be read onscreen, downloaded as PDFs, or printed by the reader. Universal Resource Locators (URLs) and Digital Object Identifier (DOI) links will be created for each individual article to ensure reliable bibliographic citation.

Preprint Service: ContemplativeRxiv

To support a global community of scholars committed to the study of contemplation, the journal offers a free preprint archival service at ContemplativeRxiv. The preprint platform enables authors to make their work available and citable, and receive feedback from experts in the field prior to the peer-review process. See the ContemplativeRxiv page for more details.

Advisory Board

The Advisory Board advises on the strategy, scope, and vision of the Journal of Contemplative Studies:

Niki Kasumi Clements

Christianity, Religious Ethics, Philosophy of Religion
Rice University

John Dunne

Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, Contemplative Sciences 
University of Wisconsin–Madison

David Germano

Founding Editor
Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, Contemplative Studies
University of Virginia

Margarita Simon Guillory

Africana Mysticism, Digital Religion 
Boston University

Tanya Luhrmann

Medical and Psychological Anthropology 
Stanford University

Oludamini Ogunnaike

African and Afro-Atlantic Religions 
University of Virginia

Stuart Sarbacker 

Yoga, South Asian Religions
Oregon State University

Donata Schoeller

Phenomenology, Philosophy

Don Seeman

Judaism, Anthropology of Religion, Phenomenological Anthropology
Emory University

Michael Sheehy

Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, Contemplative Studies
University of Virginia

Editorial Board

The Editorial Board represents diverse subject experts who act as a team to monitor the rigor and quality of publications by providing editorial counsel on peer-review, special issues, and related editorial recommendations for the Journal of Contemplative Studies:

Loriliai Biernacki

Hindu Tantra, Science, Panentheism, Gender
University of Colorado-Boulder

Julia Cassaniti

Buddhism, South/East Asia, Anthropology
Washington State University

Yuria Celidwen

Indigenous Studies, Cultural Psychology, Self-Transcendence
University of California-Berkeley and United Nations

Chris Chapple

Indian Religions, Yoga, Jainism
Loyola Marymount University

Douglas Christie

Contemplative Ecology, Desert Monasticism, Apophatic Mysticism
Loyola Marymount University

Muhammad U. Faruque

Islamic Philosophy, Sufism, Subjectivity, Consciousness Studies
University of Cincinnati

Sonam Kachru

History of Indian / Buddhist Philosophy
Yale University

Michael Lifshitz

Anthropology, Neuroscience, Meditation, Imagination, Psychedelics
McGill University, Canada

Diana Lobel

Comparative Religions, Judaism, Sufism
Boston University

James Mallinson

Yoga, Indian Religions
SOAS University of London

Ariel Evan Mayse 

Jewish Mysticism, Contemplative Ecology
Stanford University

Ayodeji Ogunnaike

African Religions, Worship, Divination
Bowdoin College

Stephanie Paulsell

Religion, Literature, Christian Spirituality
Harvard Divinity School

Mike Sandbothe

Mindfulness, Media, Pragmatism
University of Applied Sciences in Jena, Germany

Greg Walkerden

Reflective Practice, Consciousness Studies, Phenomenology
Macquarie University, Australia 

Jennifer Windt

Philosophy of Mind, Dreams
Monash University, Australia 

Funlayo E. Wood

Ifa, Orisa, African Spirituality, Plant Medicine
African and Diasporic Religious Studies Association (ADRSA)


Michael Sheehy (he/him)

Editor-in-Chief and Founding Editor
Contemplative Sciences Center, University of Virginia

Adam Liddle (he/him)

Associate Editor
Contemplative Sciences Center, University of Virginia

Copy Editors

James MacNee (he/him)

Editor and Proofreader
University of Virginia

Site Production

Veronica Kuhn (she/her)

Website Manager
Contemplative Sciences Center, University of Virginia

Than Grove (he/him)

Digital Technologies Manager
Contemplative Sciences Center, University of Virginia

Tania Koller (she/her)

Graphic Designer

Research Assistants

Erin Burke (she/her)

Graduate RA, University of Virginia

Devin Zuckerman (she/her)

Graduate RA, University of Virginia

Elizabeth Peterson (she/her)

Undergraduate RA, University of Virginia