In 1986 the AAR Publications Committee prepared and approved an Inclusive Language Policy, which was adopted by the Board of Directors at its annual meeting in Atlanta in 1986. This policy will apply to all publications sponsored by the AAR.

For the purposes of this policy, exclusive language is defined as a consistent pattern of English usage where the male is taken to be the normative human person; i.e., the word "man" connotes both the male and the human being as such. The term "woman" and female pronouns are never used as generic references for human beings, but are exclusive to females. This definition is adopted from The New Dictionary of Liturgy and Worship, J. G. Daves, ed. (SCM Press, 1986).

It shall be the editorial policy of the publications of the American Academy of Religion to avoid the use of the term "man" (including also "men," "mankind," "family of man," "brotherhood," and the compounds "chairman," "clergyman," etc.) as a generic term, and to use inclusive terms (e.g., "human being," "human," "humanity," "humankind," "people," "minister," etc.) to designate both individuals and groups.

Consistent with this policy, the pronoun "he" is not regarded as generic. Editorial policy is to use appropriate pronouns when the antecedent is known, and to duplicate pronouns (e.g., "he or she," "him or her," etc.), or to employ the plural when the antecedent of the pronoun is not known. It shall be regarded as consistent with this policy if pronoun use is alternated (e.g., "she" in one sentence, alternating with "he" in the next), or the pronoun "s/he" is used consistently. Recommended as a guide to good inclusive style for both editor and author is: Casey Miller & Kate Swift, The Handbook of Nonexist Writing, (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1980).