Talk:Islamic theology

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what is the point of this page?[edit]

It is still unclear what this page is supposed to be about exactly, and there is a lot of WP:CFORK potential:

  • in one meaning, "theology" seems to be used for "creed", i.e. aqidah. Of course a school of theological thought isn't the same as "a creed", which would be a brief summary of such a process of debate, but clearly there is topical overlap.
  • "theology proper", as in "there is debate and a process of building mainstream opinion on religious questions" seems to be synonymous with Ilm al-Kalam, so a lot of overlap there
  • inasmuch as the page is not merely a rehash of those two articles, it seems to have a tendency of degenerating into a list-like summary of all existing sects, so in essence a duplication of the scope of Islamic schools and branches.

Unless we can be clear of what this page is about and how it differs from the three other topics mentioned (other than being an uncoordinated conflation of all three...), perhaps it would be better off as a disambiguation page. It seems that the western (i.e. Christian) concept of "theology" is difficult to apply to Islam, because

  • Islam was always as much about politics and government as about creed, to the effect that there is no notion of dividing theocracy from other aspects of religion, so there isn't really a term for "theology"
  • the sectarian divisions were formed along political lines rather than creed
  • a concept akin to "theology" in the western sense seems to existed at some point, known as Ilm al-Kalam or "discourse", but it fell from favour completely. It is difficult to explain under "theology" how "discourse became outmoded" because the term theology kind of implies there is discourse.

bottom line, it isn't clear to me that the term is applicable in any straightforward sense, and it might be better to ask the reader "did you mean kalam? or did you mean aqidah? or did you mean 'sectarian division'?" and then send them to a well-defined topic via disambiguation. --dab (𒁳) 10:25, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

Schools of theology[edit]

The purpose of the page is to address to the Schools of islamic theology like Athari, Ash'ari, Maturidi, Murji'ah, Salafi, and Mu'tazili. These are not madhhabs and these topics should not be considered under Islamic schools and branches . This section should be deleted Schools of theology from Islamic schools and branches and Islamic theology should be kept here. 68.100.164.21 (talk) 10:37, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

split[edit]

Going over the history of this, I realized that I noted the problem before, back in March 2014. I tried to address the problem by splitting into Ilm al-Kalam plus Aqidah. This page is a recreation of the problem by an anonymous editor two weeks later[1] I don't doubt that the editor was meaning well, and there isn't a problem with the content as such, just with WP:CFORK. I don't think we can go forward if complicated and well-argued attempts of reducing such duplication are just wiped out by undiscussed re-creation of the split page, so I suggest this article should once again be turned into a disambiguation page. If it has any content not already in the target articles (which I doubt), it can be merged. --dab (𒁳) 10:38, 1 January 2015 (UTC)