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You could always opt for 'philosophy publications' or 'publications (philosophy)'.

For my part, I think it's okay to leave off stuff in graduate journals (published as a graduate student) or in other, abandoned, disciplines.

mid career

I think they should simply list all publications in this situation.

For reasonable search committees, this pub in the far past would have little effect in the presence of many recent publications (that hopefully do represent OP's stance).

There is a small risk, yes. And it is, I think, a risk that we are already aware when we are warned against publishing too early in the fear that "bad" publications that do not represent our later identity can negatively affect us.


There are so many variables involved in job searches, making sound predictions concerning any particular option is exceptionally difficult. (Prejudice can occur for so many reasons. Too narrow. Too broad. Wrong topic. Even wrong age, when the law prevents that being a legitimate consideration. I've seen it all, and often had to fight against it.) My advice: devote your time to your work, rather than speculating about such matters. (More tentatively: don't apologise for or omit your past. Do you really want to work with people who allow such factors to influence decisions about hires, anyway? I don't. I advocate being yourself, believing in yourself, and letting the cards fall where they may. But I do understand why others may disagree.)

El Gordo

It's your CV. You can leave off publications (or grants, appointments, etc) as you please. There's nothing dishonest about it.

Grad Student

For what it's worth, I'm one of the commentators who expressed cold feelings towards philosophy of religion. I'm still in grad school, but I think that if I were in a search committee, I wouldn't care at all that you have a publication in philosophy of religion. It would actually give you some points for the extra publication, although admittedly not a lot due to my general appreciation to the field. I believe in such a case I would have looked at the paper itself as well. If it contains good reasoning it will count 100% in your favor. While I don't appreciate philosophy of religion too much, I do know some very smart people who (in my opinion) waste their talent on it, and I would definitely hire them to my imaginary department if they decide to do something more valuable (in my opinion) with their time.


I sometimes see abbreviated CVs online. That's a solution (just make it so that it really does seem abbreviated, e.g., 3-4 pages).

Secret Past

Absolutely leave it off. I know others have suggested otherwise, but to me this is very, very obvious. You absolutely won't be criticized or considered in the least bit suspect for leaving a publication off the cv, especially if it's from before your PhD. True, it may be found anyway, but your failure to include won't ever be held against you. Nor should it.

On the other hand, a publication that some find off-putting (however illegitimately) could hurt you. So it's a no-brainer, at least to me.

Northeast prof

I also find it very obvious that you can leave it off. It's from before your PhD and is in a different discipline.

Assistant Professor

Prima facie, the CV is a complete list. But I am intrigued by Marcus's suggestion that CVs demand a certain completeness in order to be honest. I find that view somewhat implausible, in part because people and institutions have different norms regarding what even belongs on a CV, so it is hard to say there is singular account of what constitutes a "complete" CV. I have only heard of problems of dishonestly when people inflate their CV or misrepresent accomplishments, not when they leave them off. Of course, if an institution requires the disclosure of certain information prior to hire or during and RPT process, then the institution should indicate its expectations for disclosure/completeness.

Other kinds of information that one might want to redact could relate to having published under a different previous name, certain dates that they might worry could lead to age discrimination, or even publications or grants or work with mentors who may have been toxic or who have faced allegations of bad behavior. I think these concerns need to be taken seriously and all things considered, editorial discretion may at times be warranted.


I can understand somebody thinking that a CV shouldn't leave off factors relevant to your competence or profile as an academic philosopher. After all, unless it is minor & very marginal stuff leaving it off could perhaps be misleading (unless you have a very long CV anyway and need to abridge). But even if you accept that reasoning - this is a publication from another discipline, it's not really of relevance to your philosophy CV, and insofar as it has relevance that relevance is highly marginal. I think you are best off just listing "Philosophy Publications" and leaving it off.

Bill Vanderburgh

Since it is impossible for a cv to truly be a complete record of a career, leaving something out is not dishonest. And it is normal to leave off things like graduate student conferences and graduate journals once you have a TT job. You get in trouble with cv dishonesty by listing things that are false or by having entries which make something sound much more significant than it really is. (Listing an R&R under "Publications" without noting it has not yet been accepted, and the like.)

I'd still leave this paper on the OP's cv. It shows an interest in publishing, even as an MA student, that can be taken as evidence of a research trajectory likely to lead to tenure in the new field.

I do not believe that there is an overall hiring prejudice against having philosophy of religion on one's cv. If there is an effect, it is probably positive since it gives you an AOC in an area many departments have general education teaching needs in, even if it isn't your focus.

If OP has enough publications in total, I'd suggest dividing the publications into subcategories like "Refereed Journal Articles--Philosophy" and "Other Publications" (where the one in question can go).

A cover letter statement like Marcus's suggestion would not be out of place, even if the religion publication is listed. BTW, if the topic was something genuinely egregious--advocating for religious nationalism or "Biblical complementarianism" or Young Earth Creationism or something like that--it might be wise to explicitly say you *disavow* the views of your younger and less enlightened self. (A "philosophy helped me see the light" narrative might be the way to go in that sort of case.)


another data point:

I know of one professor at a highly-ranked program that leaves their evangelical undergrad institution off the CV, presumably because they want to distance themselves from it (they have said in interviews that they do not identify with the culture or views characteristic of the institution). I don't see how the case at hand is sufficiently different to draw a distinction.


In my case, at least, I distinguish between omitting the following:
1) an institution where a degree was obtained
2) an institution where courses were taken

I think leaving my undergraduate institution off of my CV would omit an important part of my credentials: an undergrad degree is expected of professors. I distance myself from my former evangelical undergrad institution by what I publish and who I am, though I would love to erase it from my CV (and, frankly, my history).

I took courses at an evangelical seminar in pursuit of an MDiv, but did not complete the degree. I omit this because it is irrelevant to demonstrating my credentials.

I agree with SLAC TT that omitting a publication from the period of one's master's degree, especially when it is in a different area of research, is something that can be left out, though I find the practice of omitting one's undergraduate degree institution to be unusual and don't take these cases to be on par. I think it's more like my second example.


I agree with the commenters upthread that it is obviously permissible to leave things off your CV. It's not a record of everything you've ever done, but a record of your relevant and important qualifications, which requires judgement as to what to include.

I have a ton of non-peer reviewed publications that I don't list on my CV, even though some of them are about philosophical topics. I know the OP is likely referring to a peer-reviewed piece, but if it is something they produced when they were still finding their feet as a researcher, there's no obligation to include it.

I also would not worry about trolls on search committees finding unlisted publications. If they are going to be trolls they are just as likely to shoot you down if you *include* a piece they dislike, so there's no obvious gain by listing it. Most committee members don't have the time to maniacally search for unlisted items on your CV anyway.

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