Talk:Evangelization

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Merge with "evangelism" or keep a separate article?[edit]

I believe that "Evangelization" can be distinguished from "evangelism", in that evangelization is not proselitism, rather it is the simple act of "preaching the gospel", of communicating a specific message (the "Good News" of the Christian gospel) whether the listener responds favorably or not and without a specific intent of pushing the listener to change over to the christian religion. If the listeners retains that the Gospel message is credible and is true, then he shall decide whether to be baptized or not. The term also refers to the continuous "preaching the gospel" in already evangelized areas, and therefore does not specifically have a "proselitic" connotation. Lwangaman (talk) 16:44, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

There is no citation (substantialization) for the usage suggested by Lwangaman. --Bejnar (talk) 03:08, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Then might I make a more precise explanation, the following are the various motives that I advance. Lwangaman(talk) 10:49, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Lexical and semantic differences[edit]

Almost any root word that has the suffix "-ism" is substantially different from the same root with a suffix such as "-ization". Any suffix "-ism" tends to denote an ideology, a system, a way of thinking, a mental scheme, a theory (see -ism, see princeton definition of evangelism [1] ). Whereas the suffix "-ization" does not refer at all to an ideology but simply to the action, the process, the putting into practice over time of an action. Semantically speaking, "evangelism" tends to refer more to a system, an ideology, or in any case the idea of inculcating the gospel and is easily identified with proselytising; whereas "evangelization" refers to the process of evangelizing, that is spreading the gospel. Other examples: secularism - secularization, laicism - laicization, optimism - optimization (disambiguation), spiritualism - spiritualization, feminism - feminization... Lwangaman(talk) 10:49, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Different usages[edit]

The two words are generally used in different contexts. "Evangelism" tends to be used more among evangelicals, while "evangelization" tends to be used among catholics. Between catholics and evangelicals I seem to gather that the meaning given to each term is relatively the same, both could be defined as the announcement of the Good News of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit with the goal of inviting all listeners to trust Him -- (Dr. Alvin A. Low, Touching Lives for Eternity (Effective Evangelism), published by Lulu.com, p. 10) [2]. Yet what we have is two different terms which are used in different cultural spheres and can have a similar meaning but can also be given different meanings, for example to a catholic ear "evangelism" can sometimes have a negative connotation as being identified with proselytism. "Evangelism is accomplished by imposing what one believes on another person, whereas, Evangelization is accomplished by drawing from the person the desire to enter into the Fullness of Christ because of His great Mercy." [3]. In catholic spheres the term "evangelism" can also refer to evangelicalism as such. Examples of separate articles for semantic reasons (different cultural usages): Adhesive bandage and Band-Aid, Auto racing and Formula One. Lwangaman(talk) 10:49, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

These are really poor examples. Band Aid is a brand of Adhesive bandage, Formula One a franchise in auto racing. Johnbod (talk) 04:23, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

The term "evangelism" can be ambiguous[edit]

The term "evangelism" is now used outside of the context of christianity to refer to any system of inculcating an idea, for example "Technology evangelist" in reference to "a person who attempts to build a critical mass of support for a given technology..." (Evangelism (Technology)). The article evangelism affirms that the term is now also used in muslim and buddhist spheres. But it is clearly no longer in reference to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, whereas this ambiguity is not present in the term evangelization which is always in reference to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Lwangaman(talk) 10:49, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Both terms are equally widely used[edit]

No one of the two terms is used more widely than the other. To redirect to one of the two articles would mean to prefer one term to the other. Lwangaman(talk) 10:49, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Grouped projects: series on christianity, series on catholicism[edit]

We must also consider that there are grouped projects such as the christianity portal, the catholicism portal, the religions portal... So I believe that it is useful to separate the two articles so that "evangelization", which belongs more to catholicism as a term of catholic theology, may be grouped under the "catholicism" portal, whereas "evangelism" may be grouped under the "christianity" portal. Lwangaman (talk) 10:49, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Coming back to the point[edit]

  • Support Merge There is no real difference between evangelism and evangelization, except the the former is more often used by Protestants, and the latter by Catholics. Evangelism has a rather "evangelist" Protestant POV at present, and is not very good, so a merge would benefit it. Lwangaman more or less admits he wants a POV fork. Johnbod (talk) 04:23, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Support Merge I agree. See POV fork and my comments below. --Carlaude talk 05:54, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Which categories?[edit]

I notice that User:Carlaude eliminated the categories "Catholic_theology_and_doctrine" and "christianity". I'm just wondering why... Because "evangelization" is the term used prevalently in catholic circles for the work of "spreading the gospel". This "announcing" of the gospel is comprised in the church's mission of "teaching", and therefore is also studied in "Catholic theology". It is part of the area of theology referred to as "pastoral theology" or "practical theology".

Someone could say that it also belongs to evangelical theology; well if it is to be considered such just add the category "evangelical theology" rather than substract the category "catholic theology"!

Then User:Carlaude also subtracted the category "Christianity" in favor of "Christian missions". I don't believe that to be correct, because while "evangelization" is a prime aspect of christian missions it does not however belong to the missions alone, "evangelization" is not converting to christianity, it is the simple act of announcing the gospel, whether it be to peoples who have not yet heard the gospel or to already christianized cultures. So it cannot be identified with "christianization". Lwangaman (talk) 02:05, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Articles go in subcategories of these, otherwise Category:Christianity would have 10,000 items in it. You will note if you look in Category:Christianity that everything there is directed to go in subcategories. Only these 3 go in the top level: Christianity, Portal:Christianity, Wikipedia:WikiProject Christianity. --Carlaude talk 17:38, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Merge with "Christianization"?[edit]

I believe that "Christianization" is not close enough to be able to merge the two articles. "Christianization" refers to converting cultures to christianity or spreading a christian culture in todays society. Evangelization refers more specifically to the simple act of announcing the gospel. "Christianization" can also refer to things other than people, such as places or festivities or the likes, as explained in Christianization. --Lwangaman (talk) 02:17, 19 May 2009 (UTC)


"Evangelization" is largely on "The history of evangelization" at the momment.
Since Wikimedia is not a dictonary, you must tell us how is the history of evangelization is any different from the history of Evangelism and Christianization and Mission (Christian). If it "evangelization" is just part of the others, or of the history of it is, then it is better haddled as part of one or more of those articles. --Carlaude talk 17:31, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
It is true that it is largely historical at this moment but for the simple reason that I took the Italian article as a basis to work on. I haven't been able to look over the Italian article completely yet and there may be some things to check or correct. Basically I put it in to have something to work on otherwise if I started completely from scratch it would have looked like I didn't have any material and just wanted to do my own thing separating from Evangelism (see Bejnar's remark at top of discussion page when he reverted the redirect back to evangelism). My intent is not only that of a historical overview, but also that of a theological development of evangelization. And I must say that it differs quite a bit from the present article on evangelism... And I must excuse myself for taking time on the different articles I work on, I can't dedicate myself only to wikipedia, but I do eventually get done everything I start out on. As for the difference with christianization we cannot only refer to the historical aspects but the most important thing is the substance, what is evangelization, and what is christianization? Christianization means transforming a culture according to christian ways of thinking and acting in a wide sense, creating a "christian culture", according to specific rites and liturgies, to specific choices in society, to specific ways of community living and of church hierarchy... Whereas evangelization is much more on a foundation level, it is the first and foremost step of announcing the "good news" that Jesus is the Son of God come into the world for our salvation and who died for our sins on the cross and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. This is called "kerygma", the announcing of the very nucleus of the christian faith, inviting the listener to believe and trust in Jesus as Son of God. Christianization is a process that comes afterwards and takes centuries to be accomplished.
The intent is not that of a dictionary because a dictionary gives a definition. This is an encyclopedic article, which must be useful for anyone who is going to be looking it up. And I can assure that anyone who looks for evangelization is going to be looking for evangelization, and not for christianization or evangelism. In the catholic church there are magisterial documents on evangelization, which are distinct from documents that could treat christianization (for example the Second Vatican Council in it's document on the Church and it's presence in the modern world and it's relationship with today's society, entitled "Gaudium et Spes", or for example all the documents on the social doctrine of the Church... I don't believe on the other hand that the term evangelism is ever used in any of the magisterial documents.) Lwangaman (talk) 01:53, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
And might I also add, if we are worried about merging articles in order not to multiply uselessly articles which are very similar in content, I would propose to merge approaches to evangelism with evangelism. Why would we need two separate articles there? Or Biblical Evangelism, which actually redirects to The Way of the Master which is said to be a specific ministry founded in 2002 and headed by a certain pastor. I don't believe that any specific ministry can think to be the whole of evangelism, so I don't see any reason to redirect "biblical evangelism" to that specific ministry. Either delete "biblical evangelism", or redirect it to "evangelism" would be my proposal. Again there is a link there by the name "International evangelism", but it is a link to another specific ministry "iglesiacristianariosdeaguaviva". Why isn't the link called what it is, "Iglesia Cristiana Rios de Agua Viva"? Otherwise it really seems like someone who belongs to that church is trying to do propaganda making it seem like all of international evangelism is done by that church. If anything a category for international evangelism could be made and single churches could be put within it, it would be a more reasonable solution. And I have no idea what "Romans Road" refers to and why it redirects to the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans, why isn't that link, if it has to be there, what it actually is? Why doesn't it just say "Letter of St. Paul to the Romans"? I must say there are a lot of things in that article that confuse me... Lwangaman (talk) 02:18, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Biblical Evangelism, no longer redirects to The Way of the Master - this was obviously nonsense! Johnbod (talk) 16:01, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

I would say not to merge "Christianization" with "Evangelization." The two terms are not used in the same way. In the history of late antiquity, for instance, "Christianization" means more broadly the pervasive cultural transition from the Greco-Roman era to the Christian era; this is not just a matter of individuals adopting religious beliefs, but of Christian attitudes shaping secular institutions and modes of artistic expression. "Evangelization" implies more specifically a deliberate process of religious conversion and missionary activity, with the goal of producing Christians. As someone who frequently links to "Christianization" because I write on topics pertaining to that cultural transition from the 2nd to 5th centuries in Europe, I would say that by contrast I've never had the need to link to "evangelization."

I would also be suspicious of applying the latter term more broadly because I've found it can be a way to privilege an evangelical form of Christianity (as "evangelical" is conceived in modern terms), thus distorting or eliding the importance of Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy in the history of Europe.

(I write only about Europe; I leave it to others to discuss how this affects "Christianization" v. "evangelization" in other parts of the world.) Cynwolfe (talk) 12:03, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

  • i would also vote no, the two things work on slightly different levels, political versus cultural and the one page in mostly in another language. Ishmaelblues (talk) 21:02, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose per above. We now have 2 open merge proposals here (one I support, this one not), neither correctly set up. Johnbod (talk) 01:44, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Just visited the Christianization article again, where I found Main article: Conversion to Christianity. This is misleading. Again, I would reiterate that historians do not use the term "Christianization" primarily to express the religious conversion of individuals, but to describe a cultural process. Only an individual can convert to Christianity (this is true even in instances of coerced conversion of groups, such as Theodosius's mass "conversion" of the Roman senate). A society Christianizes. In that sense, "Christianization" is a broader topic that encompasses specifically religious conversion. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:10, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
Since the historical material in, for example, R. MacMullen, Christianizing the Roman Empire (1984) wouldn't fit under Evangelization, no doubt it would be suppressed. er, elided: is not that in fact the tacit motivation of this proposed merger?--Wetman (talk) 10:13, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

problem with quote template[edit]

I'm having problems with the quote template for the first quotation on the page from dr. alvin. If I put the link at the end [4] it screws up the preceding part and the whole reference to dr. alvin and his book disappears. There is something about the link that the template doesn't like, perhaps the equal signs and similar special characters. Any way around this? It's nicer to have the link than not too... It keeps that fluidity of consulting that is characteristic of an online encyclopedia like wikipedia... Lwangaman (talk) 02:31, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Merger Proposal (Attempt 3)[edit]

I think this article needs to be re-merged into Evangelism. The terms seem to mostly be synonymous; apparent differences can maybe be discussed on a "terminology" section on that article. Also, if the term Evangelization is used more in Catholic circles, maybe an article on Evangelization in the Catholic Church is more appropriate. Also, this article sucks and hasn't been touched in three years. Beleg Tâl (talk) 15:32, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Support, it's hard to follow what happened here, but it appears that this article was developed separately against consensus in the merge proposal at the top of this page. --JFHutson (talk) 15:44, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Support Merging seems to be supported whenever it's discussed. --BDD (talk) 15:11, 12 April 2013 (UTC)