Talk:Christian mysticism

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General comments[edit]

Aristophanes: I had not looked on here for a while, and I do not watch this page. Now that I have briefly looked at it after some time, the structure seems to have improved a lot. So it flows much better, but if anything, some of the sections now look too long and in this day and age I am not sure if people will digest all of this in a first reading. Somehow something upfront needs to telegram the message in 7-10 paragraphs just after the lede, and I would suggest a trim of some of the other material that will scare away readers - just because there is so much to read. But overall, a pretty good improvement in my view. History2007 (talk) 13:49, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

What sections do you think are too long? Aristophanes68 (talk) 23:37, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
As of this writing the lede is one paragraph and the Origins and Major historical movements sections seem to be there as part of an "obstacle course" before the reader can figure out what the topic is. Part of the problem is the language used in the definitions section. Unless one reads to the end of the article very carefully the question remains: "but what is it?" And the Bernard McGinn definition is ok, but not the last word on the subject.
I guess the problem I see is that for a first time reader, the effort to figure out "what is this topic about?" is just too high. There is no way anyone can get an idea from the definitions section. So I would suggest reworking that into a longer section called "Definitions and overview" or something like that summarizes the article. And somehow reducing all the "where it came from" items in favor of "what is it?" type discussions earlier. I would in fact suggest moving out large chunks of text into a Origins of Christian mysticism article so there is less of an obstacle course before the reader gets to subject. Of course the French Spirituality and the Spanish mystics articles are in need of 2 ambulances, but that is a separate emergency call. History2007 (talk) 23:37, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Ran across an interesting point made elsewhere in my study this morning:
The distinction that pagan religions contemporary with the beginning of Christianity, generally speaking, had as their intent (goal, aim) the mystical experience whereas the Judeo-Christian religion merely acknowledges them, but without emphasis.
I thought that might be useful to explore among the editors as helpful in the early sections.--cregil (talk) 15:46, 9 July 2011 (UTC)


== See Also ==

"Astrology in the Bible" article has no relation to this topic. Deleting from "See also" listings.--cregil (talk) 09:01, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Using the feature to indicate what other articles link to this one, I see we have similar problems elsewhere.
Perhaps we need to include a statement in the opening section along the lines of "Christian Mysticism is not to be confused with 19th Century occult, New Age, or other esoteric movements and practices; but, instead, refers to the spiritual life, especially as regards the intangible..."
Thoughts?

--cregil (talk) 10:10, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

External Links Issues[edit]

External Links:

A recent edit included an addition to the External Links section to the Wikipedia page The Order of Christ Sophia. This brings up an issue which will need to be discussed (apart from the matter that the link is misplaced as it is not external):

  • The Order of Christ Sophia is, by its own definition, "A New Religion" (see: Levine, Nicholas, The Children of Jesus and Mary: The Order of Christ Sophia, Oxford University Press, p. 1.)
  • Several pages can be found on the Internet from former members and family of members claiming the OCS is a cult, with troubling claims of psychological abuse.
  • The Wiki article (linked above) mentions, for a glaring example, one tenant as being reincarnation-- significantly diluting the meaning behind the use of the word Christian and therefore setting itself apart from Christian Mysticism.

The OCS is not a widely known entity, marginally established (if at all-- its own blog has not been updated since 2009) and hardly the sort of Order with which to begin a list of links for further study. In essence, the OCS would appear to contradict the content of the CM article, rather than logically stem from it.

My choice is to delete the link as inappropriate from this article. I am asking for discussion and consensus.--cregil (talk) 05:26, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Deleted link. Chiefly, the linking of specific orders-- particularly alternative orders-- is not the purpose of the external link section. Carmelites, maybe, Christ Sophia, no-- should a need to list CM orders seem appropriate at all; and the reason for that is the nature of the article against the confusion some well meaning editors have had with Christian Mysticism and what would be considered by students of CM as tangential or blended practices and belief systems such as New Age, 19th Century Mysticism, and such.--cregil (talk) 15:17, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Shekhinah??[edit]

In section Jewish antecedents it is alleged that Shekhinah is an important source of Christian mysticism. The concept of Shekhinah was formulated within medieval Kabbalist Orthodox judaism abt 13th century. Christian mysticism in one and another form was present since the beginning, whereof Origen and Clement of Alexandria are considered representatives. Some branches of Christian mysticism took interest in the kabbalist concepts, but essentially put them to another use than in the Judaic original. But Christian mysticism essentially derives from the original Christian ways of using the Bible as a vast collection of divine symbols, containing an esoteric message. Some of it derived from fringe Judaism, but others were constituted from Platonic patterns of reasoning.

The section Jewish antecedents is written to give the ambiguous impression that either Shekhinah predated Christianity, or that Christian mysticism originated within Judaism. I'm pretty sure that this is incorrect, mysticism is as inherent in Christianity itself as it naturally is in any religion. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 11:20, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Yes.
That entire section needs work, primarily because it does not lead toward a better understanding of the topic-- but distracts which it need not do. I think far more obvious "Jewish Antecedents" are the Biblical accounts of visions and the historical ascetics, rather than the esoteric. To put that another way-- Christian Mysticism did, indeed, originate in the Jewish tradition but the disparity becomes a focus when seen as schools of mysticism rather than the organic relation that it is.
Look at mainstream iconic Christian mystics, and none is beholding to particular philosophies or schools of thought or even movements contemporary to their lives (which this section seems to try and present)-- but simply write of their experiences-- and most of those mystics have much in common. There is not an "us verses them" focus among them-- but always an "I-Thou."

--cregil (talk) 16:49, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Same picture twice?[edit]

Why do we have to have the same picture twice, once on the sidebar and than on the picture? It just looks silly. And the size of it is way to small, same size as on the sidebar, which is really small. I tried to remove the sidebar at least, but now it is back. Why not an another picture at least? Hafspajen (talk) 13:20, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, that is better now. Hafspajen (talk) 13:29, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
Not at all. Here I haven't been able to find a different and better image. --Mauro Lanari (talk) 13:54, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
Well, maybe not, I agree. Hafspajen (talk) 15:11, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
I've changed the picture. As for the "See also"-section, duplicates may be removed of course. Greetings, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 19:43, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
Now that was really nice! I mean the picture, but even nice of you. Twice nice... :) Hafspajen (talk) 20:10, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! Face-smile.svg Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 20:11, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
Face-smile.svgHafspajen (talk) 20:34, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

Picture size[edit]

There is some rule somewhere on picture size (I think Ywore reminded me on that one), but I've forgotten where... Anyway, according to [1] picture sizes may be accomondated. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 11:10, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

Do you wish to accomondate something? Or you are telling me that is OK to do so? Hafspajen (talk) 11:30, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
Eh... good question. Both, actually. I was corrected several times for adjusting pictures; but according to this help-article it seems to be acceptable. Greetings, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 15:26, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
Sure it is. That is why the tool exist...Hafspajen (talk) 19:42, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

You should use thumb and leave the sizing alone.

"Normally a thumbnail has a width of 220 pixels (px). This width is used by typical readers, who have not logged in or who have not changed their preferences. You can set a different default width for yourself in My preferences under "Appearance:Files". The options are 120px, 150px, 180px, 200px, 220px, 250px, and 300px. Any image narrower than the preferred width is displayed at the narrower width.

Images beside the text should generally use a caption and the "thumb" (thumbnail) option; the default results in a display 220 pixels wide (170 pixels if the "upright" option is used), except for those logged-in users who have set a different default in their user preferences. In general, do not define the size of an image unless there is a good reason to do so: some users have small screens or need to configure their systems to display large text; "forced" large thumbnails can leave little width for text, making reading difficult. In addition, forcing a "larger" image size at say 260px will actually make it smaller for those with a larger size set as preference."-[2]

Editor2020 (talk) 01:56, 13 May 2013 (UTC)


Hi, you made some very nice additions to the article. Thanks for your suggestion, but there is a good reason to do so. The reason is that these pictures are now the same size of the sidebar. Also these pictures are quite big in real life and the thumb size is not quite enough to give a god image, for example Stigmatization of St Francis, by Giotto, is covering a whole wall in reality. Same reason why Sabbatai Zevi uses 350px in the lead. We already agreed that we will keep the size of the pictures like they are, hope that it is not to big problem for you. It is not forbidden to do so. Logged in users can choose from widths between 120px and 300px, . I think that covers it. Are you interested in mysticism? Hafspajen (talk) 13:54, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
The size of the images is a minor detail and I won't be upset about it one way or the other. Editor2020 (talk) 21:31, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
That is lovely, because you really do a good work on Wiki. Hafspajen (talk) 16:16, 14 May 2013 (UTC)