CZ Talk:Religion Workgroup

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Eastern Orthodox Church article for approval


I have written an article on the high priority list, Eastern Orthodox Church, and a subcategory, Nicaene Creed, templated for approval. Please take a look at them and let me know what you think. I need specific criteria for any further work. One editor, Joe Quick, stated that the Eastern Orthodox Church "feels more like an outline than an article." Unfortunately, this does not aid me in making changes. Thomas Simmons 15:44, 14 March 2007 (EPT)

I have gotten the roles of author and editor reversed. Larry Sanger has pointed out that as an author, I can not nominate this for approval. I would appreciate it if an editor would take a look at this and help establish approved status. A proposed outline would be helpful if the articles are too sparse. Thomas Simmons 16:43, 16 March 2007 (EPT)
I'm just an amateur author, and fan of the Bible. I liked your Nicaene Creed article. Some stylistic questions: your quotes include some archaic words like "sitteth". Is there a more recent version of the creed you could quote that does not have such terms? Also you refer to "consubstantiation" which I had to look up. I did replace it with what I hope is more easily understandable. What do you think of what I did? Thanks! --Tim McCully 17:20, 28 April 2007 (CDT)


Good laugh. You can not replace the creed as it is written, i.e. translated. Here is why, it is an approved version of the various jurisdictions including the only ones who were there--the delegates of what is now the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches. It is not meant to confuse, it is meant to mark a very complicated issue and changing the word built around the basic lexeme into a word of a subordinate lexeme or hyponym simply misses the point. However, while this does illustrate the vast divide between the new churches and the ancient churches (e.g. sola scriptura), it is very appropriate to simply put a footnote on a word and then provide an explanation of the work with sources, possibly even different interpretations as they are used in other congregations. That would be a good idea. But you can not simply change the language. "Sitteth" is also what is called "marked" in that it is denotes a context for the work in place and time and thus in meaning. On another track, let me just add that the variations of the King James English are not in and of themselves to be avoided, they are an integral part of our linguistic heritage. They also mean that the old stuff written years ago is still comprehensible.--Thomas Simmons 17:58, 28 April 2007 (CDT) +17 hours

I looked at the pages Nicaene Creed and Eastern Orthodox Church and at your contributions. Where did you make the change in consubstantiation? --Thomas Simmons 18:20, 28 April 2007 (CDT) +17 hours
Meanwhile, I do not think consubstantiation was even in anything I wrote.--Thomas Simmons 18:31, 28 April 2007 (CDT) +17 hours
But 'consubstantial' was. OK. It took me awhile to get there. Just put a footnote by the word and make comments. Better yet, write a short article with good sources. I noted that the Catholic Encyclopaedia considers this heretical. More later.--Thomas Simmons 18:59, 28 April 2007 (CDT) +17 hours

Hi Tim,

Another Note; In Canoncial Gospels you added "when they were approaching a dangerous passage" and "It may be that Peter, who three times denied Christ yet became an Apostle, helped Mark overcome his failure travelling with Paul. Not in Barclay. Not unreasonable but not in the source cited. They need to be separated and then given a sources. --Thomas Simmons 18:20, 28 April 2007 (CDT) +17 hours

Thanks for your patience, Thomas. I am a n00b at doing all this the proper way.--Tim McCully 16:37, 29 April 2007 (CDT)


I've created a Scientology article. I'm new here and don't know what to do next. I created it because there was a fair amount of discussion at Secret society that lists a number of religions, it felt like some reference was needed. I feel I'm qualified to create such an article have have created similar articles on other wikis and edited Wikipedia's series of Scientology articles. Terry E. Olsen 21:57, 23 April 2007 (CDT)


Hello, folks! I am very interested in working on an article about the Bible, but it seems such a LARGE, not to mention HOLY task. I thought of importing the Wikipedia content, which looks like a good start. But that also seems full of things we apparently shouldn't be propagating here. Is there anyone else interested in cooperating on such an article? Maybe someone already working on something closely related I could contribute to? Thanks ! --Tim McCully 17:26, 28 April 2007 (CDT)

Hi Tim, Here is what I propose: A task that vast would be well served by starting with a catalogue of the books of the Bible. List them and their basic format, some history and sources. Then lead off from there with sub-articles. The sub-articles ("sub-" not because they are minor but because they supplement the catalogue) would then be worked out from there. It also has the advantage of dividing the task into manageable parts. It will be a collection that is basically a work in progress for who knows how long, as one would expect of such a topic. It also has the advantage of allowing for the different interpretations of their authority, interpretation of content etc. Eventually it could even go as far as say, a series of articles on the books of the New Testament as they are interpreted by the Methodists, the Buddhists, the Roman Catholic Church etc. There are different versions of the Bible as well and that should be added into the catalogue. The Coptic Christians have their versions as do the Assyrian's their Aramaic based canon. There is also the Deuterocanon ('Apocrypha' as it is termed by some)--the catalogue could show at a glance (well a good long glance) the vast variety of takes on the Canons. --Thomas Simmons 17:42, 28 April 2007 (CDT) +17 hours

OK. I need to find some examples of the kind of catalog format that seems reasonable. There is no harm in publishing a draft version, correct? I thought I could start with the descriptions of the books as in Wikipedia, and work from there. WP has this Books of the Bible, does it fit your definition of a catlog? I assume I should follow not that format but something done in the proper CZ style.--Tim McCully 03:30, 1 May 2007 (CD--Tim McCully 21:50, 13 May 2007 (CDT)T)

As a departure point, an article titled something like "Books of the Holy Bible", a list of the books of the Bible, perhaps subdivided into old and new testements, might be a beginning point. Later, possibly, a third section titled something like, "recently discovered books that could have been included in the Holy Bible" might be added, too. The list could point to an article for each book of the Bible, with a bit of history, possibly with its potential authors and so on. I like that kind of approach rather than a BIG disambiguation page, but its a personal taste only. Terry E. Olsen 18:35, 1 May 2007 (CDT)
The WP page looks good. As a starting point it would work for me. (The comments on WP about which book and which group needs to be looked into.) The next section could be articles on the divisions such as the Minor Prophets and a brief on their content and history and who accepts what. The major articles can lead off from there. The point being that a quick comparative overview allows the reader to scan the entire lot and then go into detail. It is also a means, as I said above, of breaking a large job down into manageable bits. --Thomas Simmons 21:16, 1 May 2007 (CDT) +17 hours

Well, I have started publishing on Books_Of_The_Bible. Learning how to use the table things here is a challenge up to now. Anyone with suggestions on cosmetics or existing CZ examples would be appreciated. I am trying not to use the WP table format information to avoid perpetuating WP features we are avoiding. I will be developing this over the next few days. For now I haven't yet finished listing the books of the Hebrew Bible, and of course the New Testament comes after that.

Canonical Gospels

Vocabulary changes Question: "conflated" was changed to 'merged" in

  • The Gospels of Matthew and of Luke contain nativity stories, which are often conflated for popular commemoration.
  • The Gospels of Matthew and of Luke contain nativity stories, which are often merged for popular commemoration.

Why? --Thomas Simmons 18:42, 28 April 2007 (CDT) +17 hours

I don't know, but "conflate" implies the two become one by the action of a "blow", a rather sudden event with attendant, implied violence. While "merge" is a more gentle merging of two identities into one, often over a period of time. Terry E. Olsen 21:40, 1 May 2007 (CDT)

Never have heard that definition of conflate.

  • blend: mix together different elements; "The colors blend well" (Wordnet, Princeton)
  • combine into one. — ORIGIN Latin conflare ‘kindle, fuse’. (Compact OED)
  • to combine two or more separate things, especially pieces of text, to form a whole:
She succeeded in conflating the three plays to produce a fresh new work. (Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dict.)

Merge (Wordnet, Princeton) unify: become one; "Germany unified officially in 1990"; "Will the two Koreas unify?" blend: mix together different elements; "The colors blend well" unite: join or combine; "We merged our resources"

Conflate is better. And too, it might send the yobs scurrying for a dictionary.--Thomas Simmons 20:23, 2 May 2007 (CDT)+17 hours

What the definitions you cite don't make clear is that the word "conflate" often connotes "to treat (wrongheadedly) two distinct things as if they were the same." If it's common practice to merge the Matthew and Luke nativity stories, then to describe that merger using the word "conflate" might be taken by some to imply that the stories can't properly be merged. The word contains a mild rebuke of those who do merge the stories. --Larry Sanger 21:20, 2 May 2007 (CDT)

Certainly. However, lexigraphically it is void of such connotations. To get that meaning one must infer meaning of conflation in that context--context is key here-- and then it could be used to imply a great many things. As could "merge". "Your honour, I submit, that the defence has merged/conflated the testimony of the plaintiffs to obfuscate the real causes and the sequence of events."

'Merge' as such is subject to context as well. The word, "bitch" is a classic example: Proper appellation for a female canine but quite rude when used to describe humans. I did not read that "The Gospels of Matthew and of Luke contain nativity stories, which are often conflated for popular commemoration, " implied anything approbrious. Ya gotta bring it. --Thomas Simmons 21:38, 3 May 2007 (CDT) +17 hours

Speaking as one who probably fits the definition of "yob", I would prefer not to send folks scurrying to the dictionary for what seems a very minor distinction. IMHO its better to be clear than leave the yobs guessing when they are too lazy to look up a dictionary definition. Of course a page giving the definition of "conflate" would be a reasonable step as well. --Tim McCully 20:21, 13 May 2007 (CDT)

Judaism and Jews articles

Greetings. Just joined CZ. Among other topics, I'm planning to work on Judaism. I gather that Judaism is a high priority. I've read info on Wikipedia (WP) including for WP-users. My current plan is to import a few key articles from WP and revise those. Probably I will start by cutting out text that I would revise substantially or omit. At least this will let me look at and make some changes with the basic structure, which is often useful for Judaism-related WP articles.

In any event, I would greatly appreciate your editing and contributing to any pieces that I happen to be working on.

I look forwarding to working with you all. David Hoffman 15:44, 10 May 2007 (CDT)

The WP article on Judaism is big and has very few sources cited in the text. That will be a problem in the long run as we attempt to ascertain sources.

There are also conceptual irregularities. For example, the statment "While Judaism has seldom, if ever, been monolithic in practice, it has always been monotheistic in theology. " evidently means that Judaism does not have "a massive, unchanging structure that does not permit individual variation" but it does have only one divine entity.

Monolithic refers to source as well, to have come from one thing, a crystal or a rock in other settings, to have originated as one people or one family is another. It is a little unclear. The opening phrasing needs to be cleaned up. --Tim McCully 21:58, 13 May 2007 (CDT) Another common problem is with the WP balance (or the acclaimed NPOV which is nonsense) are phrases like this:

"many critical Bible scholars claim that certain verses. . . "

What critical scholars? This is just sheer wafflery. Stuff like that needs to be excised. --Thomas Simmons 21:11, 10 May 2007 (CDT) +17 hours (EPT)

Thomas, thanks for commenting. But perhaps you didn't look at my work on the import here in CZ... I already went through and deleted some weak/problematic sections, including the "monolithic" paragraph(!). Anyway, I'd be thrilled if you would go through and edit, tag or delete this developing article's text as needed. Go for it! David Hoffman 21:25, 10 May 2007 (CDT)

I seem to be missing something. Does this article in progress exist in the public CZ? Or in some area not yet public? Maybe what I am doing should be in a less public mode. Thanks!

The article is Jews and Judaism and may also be reached via redirect from Judaism. David Hoffman 22:57, 13 May 2007 (CDT)


In the outline of Religion articles on the workgroup's main page, there is, under Christianity, the item "Twelve Apostles," under which are two names, Simon Peter and Paul of Tarsus. While Paul is often referred to as an Apostle, he was not one of "the twelve" Apostles, so perhaps his name could be moved elsewhere in the outline, or the word "Twelve" could be deleted from the higher-level category? Bruce M.Tindall 13:38, 6 May 2008 (CDT)

You're right; I would keep Paul with the rest of the apostles, though. Either way, be bold and go ahead and do it! Brian P. Long 15:14, 6 May 2008 (CDT)


Some statistics from [1] compared with the list of articles on the workgroup page:

  1. Christianity: 33% of world population, 33% of articles
  2. Islam: 21, 8
  3. Hinduism: 14, 25
  4. Chinese religion: 6, 4
  5. Buddhism: 6, 5
  6. Sikhism: 0.36, 4
  7. Juche: 0.25, 0; North Korean Communism, which that website regards as a religion; I don't know how common this view is
  8. Spiritism: 0.25, 1; name for a variety of movements, including Voodoo
  9. Judaism: 0.22, 16.7
  10. Bahai: 0.11, 3
  11. Jainism: 0.07, 1
  12. Shinto: 0.067, 1
  13. Cao Dai: 0.067, 0
  14. Zoroastrianism: 0.043, 3
  15. etc.

Peter Jackson 18:33, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Religion editor needed at Sathya Sai Baba

There are neutrality questions that need expert guidance. Howard C. Berkowitz 22:25, 18 February 2009 (UTC)