Publishing on Aquinas

Which good academic presses might be interested in publishing a book manuscript in philosophy about Aquinas?

The question arose among my colleagues. Admittedly, the expression “good press” could be understood in a variety of ways. Notions of prestige, editorial services offered to authors, or even royalty terms might be deciding factors.

The evaluation of prospective presses is not just important to potential authors. Rank and tenure committees need to make judgments too. The European Science Foundation ranked journals in philosophy and theology/religious studies in 2007, but it has not yet published its next phase: a ranking of academic book publishers. No doubt this second venture will be as controversial as the first. We’ve all seen that side comments about presses occasionally creep up in book reviews (one might think of this example). Moreover, at least one publisher seeks to forestall problems by requiring its authors to provide a letter from a departmental dean or chair testifying that publication with the press will count for promotion at the author’s university.

The question about where to publish a philosophy monograph on Aquinas overlaps with a more general one: which presses publish books on the history of philosophy? Some outlets have ceased to accept manuscripts (see here and here), and it is not difficult to identify presses that have published great books in the past but haven’t been active in the area in recent years. The good news is that many academic presses continue to publish exegetical works in philosophy. The Association of American University Presses identifies 36 presses with active lists in the history of philosophy, and this count omits overseas university presses and all commercial academic publishers.

For me, the first English-language presses that immediately come to mind for shopping a manuscript on some aspect of Aquinas’s philosophy include:

  • The Catholic University of America Press
  • Brill Academic Publishers
  • Cambridge University Press
  • Oxford University Press
  • The University of Notre Dame Press

There are, of course, other good publishers that publish widely in the history of philosophy with some books on medieval philosophy. Examples of commercial presses are: Routledge, Springer, Peeters, and Continuum. Examples of university presses are: Penn State, SUNY, Georgetown, Fordham, Marquette, and Edinburgh. Also, I’ll note that I’ve heard rumors of one press of former glory planning to reconstitute its publishing program in philosophy.

I’m sure there are presses that I have missed from the listings above. Those writing in theology might have other options than the ones I have identified. So, I invite readers to offer suggestions in the comments section below.