Talk:List of Christian denominations/Archive 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Anglicans

Listing Anglicans under "Protestantism" isn't NPOV. Unfortunately, not listing them under Protestantism is also not NPOV. Any suggestions for how to fix it? Note that Anglicanism does not fit the broad definition in Protestantism since the Church of England split with Rome entirely independently of Martin Luther; Henry VIII of England was titled "Defender of the Faith" because he wrote a treatise against Luther. The "Protestant" heritage of the CofE, for those who believe in that (insert smiley here) came later.

--Tb 03:43 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Moved Anglicanism from under Protestantism, since technically they are not Protestants.
Taxonomy can be a very difficult task, even with a sub-group such as Baptists. When we try to extend that to all groups that identify themselves as Christians, it is daunting. IMO, Anglicans need to stand as a separate group, neither Catholic nor Protestant. A good precedent for this is the World Christian Encyclopedia: A Comparative Survey of Churches and Religions in The Modern World (2nd edition, David Barrett, ed., hb., 1730 pp., Oxford University Press). In that volume, all Christians are first categorized as six megablocs - Anglicans, Independents, Marginal Christians, Orthodox, Protestants, and Roman Catholics. For those interested try researching at the World Christian Database
--Rlvaughn 7:50 pm CDST 11 Oct 2003 
Although I moved Anglicans back, I am sympathetic to the reasoning here. I've changed the title to more inclusively describe the groups that are included under it, to "Protestantism, Anglicanism, and descendant churches". Is that a good compromise? Mkmcconn 21:10, 3 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Sounds like a good compromise to me; I hope it is generally accepted. Rlvaughn 04:06, 5 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Also, a more accurate tree would look like:

  • orthodox (little O) ??
    • Nestorian
      • Antiochene
    • orthodox (little O) ??
      • Oriental Orthodox (monophysite)
      • Chalcedonian Orthodox
        • Eastern Orthodox
        • western
          • Roman Catholic
          • Protestant
          • Anglican?

why? well, under the principle that "before people divide, they are one", and that names alone don't tell you historical relationships correctly. (The Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholics are both closer [officially] than either is to the Oriental Orthodox.)

How to order within a category might also be disputed, but I don't really care about that provided the ordering is clear. (I think clarity means that you put the one with the fewest subgroups first, but I don't care much about the point.) --Tb 03:52 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Generally speaking, lists never tell the truth. That's why it's good that Wikipedia lists present and future articles, rather than trying to graph relationships by the arrangement of bullet-points alone. On the other hand, this approach creates literally hundreds of links to articles that will most likely never exist, and that's another reason that lists are bad. Mkmcconn 04:47 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Hehe, point taken. But it's reasonable to hope for making things better, right? I don't have any problem making a re-org like the one I've just outlined; it would more accurately depict the historical divisions that let to the current reality. At least not listing "Oriental Orthodox" under "Orthodox", which is the most serious problem. And where to put Anglicans, too. Another issue is that the list is a list of denominations; the different Anglican provinces aren't different denominations, nor are the different churches listed under Eastern Orthodox. It's currently more a list of "independent churches", more or less, with part of the problem being that different families of churches define even that quite differently. Perhaps I'm tilting at windmills, but it's in my nature to want to figure out a better way. --Tb 05:28 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)

It's certainly a thorny problem. I think the Eastern Orthodox might be closer to at least some of the Oriental Orthodox than to the Roman Catholics; at least, it's easier for me to envision them reuniting with someone like the Coptics than with the Roman Catholics. As far as the Anglicans go, you have a fair point. How would the placement of the Anglicans affect of the placement of groups like the Episcopalians and Methodists, and denominations that later split off from those? Real history is probably more complex than any ASCII chart or list can show; perhaps we should add some disclaimer to that effect, with a note that more details can be found in the articles about those denominations. Wesley 13:19 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Try listing them in both places. The catholic side of Anglicanism likes to say that they are not protestant, and the Evangelicals would never admit to being Catholic. But, the fact is that the church is both, schismatic catholic and unreformed protestant. It has eyes turned in two directions (your mother told you, if you keep crossing your eyes, they'll stay that way!) A graphic description of Anglicans should describe this double-vision. (By the way, this inability to choose sides between Protestant and Catholic, and yet not torn apart despite the violence of the forces pulling at her, is one of the most noble and attractive things about the Anglicans.) — Mkmcconn 15:18 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)

It's not an inability, it's an unwillingness. There's a difference. As an Anglican firmly ensconced in the catholic side, I would be very bothered if the evangelicals were booted. We are greatly enriched by the diversity. (And, incidentally, calling the Anglicans "schismatic Catholic" isn't NPOV...) --Tb 18:56 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I wouldn't call them that, but wouldn't a Roman Catholic (and a liberally minded Roman Catholic, at that)? BTW, by inability I meant only unwillingness. Mkmcconn 19:21 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Um, yes, RCs would generally say that. But Anglicans never would--that's why it's NPOV. --Tb 19:27 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Incidentally, there is also some affinity between Anglicans and Eastern Orthodox. Around 100 years ago or so there was even some preliminary talk about what it would take to restore communion between them; obviously the two have moved apart since then. (When the Episcopal church voted to ordain women a few years ago, an Orthodox bishop who was at the convention observing said, after the vote had been cast, that the move was raising another obstacle to restoring unity. His announcement was met with cheers.) But when King Henry VIII kicked out the Roman Catholic priests and then looked around for clergy for the new Anglican church, he turned to monks who were still more influenced by pre-Roman Celtic Christianity, which has much in common with Eastern Orthodoxy. And so Orthodoxy had a round-about influence on Angicanism from the beginning. :-) Wesley 05:32, 3 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Another idea: don't even try and have the higher levels of organization. After all, this is a list. My inclination is to list genetic relationships (which would put the Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholics closer to each other than either to the Oriental Orthodox). But another is to put a sort of generic similarity (which would put the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox close together). Similarly, genetic lineage would put Methodists right next to Anglicans, even though these days they are much closer to, say, Presbyterians or other "mainline Protestants". But abandoning anything other than a two-level system would get rid of some of the helpful info we can convey. How about two different charts then: one showing historical divisions in order; the other showing current family similarities? --Tb 18:59 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I think you'll find changes like this atomistically satisfying and holistically frustrating. But, they seem like reasonable proposals. Go ahead and try it. There is no harm. Mkmcconn 19:21 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Local Church (Nee)

Where would Local Church go? Is it a nonaffiliated (or non-denominational) church? I looked at some websites and cannot tell. --Menchi 19:09 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)

They are an independent development based upon Protestantism, but developing in isolation in China. I think that in their current form, they resist identification with any historical lineage (which along with their distinctives gets them labelled in unfriendly terms). Mkmcconn 19:21 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Antitrinitarianism

Not sure of the implications of 'Restoration' or 'Millerite', but I'm pretty sure that the Latter Day Saints would be more comfortable under 'non-trinitarian' churches, unless all of the category they are in are non-trinitarian. I believe the same is true of Christadelphians, but less sure. DJ Clayworth 15:54, 3 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Mkmcconn: The article on the LDS doesn't seem to indicate a close relationship to Restorationism. More to the point, I would think Trinitarian/non-Trinitarian is actually a more helpful classification than the branch they came out of. DJ Clayworth 17:45, 3 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I know that these classifications are not easy. It would be most convenient if we had a stylle-sheet driven formatting for these lists, to offer different views of their relationships. But, if you are looking for the LDS view, it was the LDS wikipedians who drove the separation of "Restorationism" into a distinct category, apart from Protestantism; and, as a matter of fact, It is part of current LDS apologetics, to emphasize the relationship between the Campellites and the earliest LDS. Quite a significant number of the Millerites are non-trinitarian. Non-trinitarian thinking is also common among Congregational (Uniting/United Churches) as well. While I would personally prefer to remove these from the list of "Christian denominations", along with Gnostics and other cults, becaue I believe that it is objectively true that they deny the Christian faith, that might say more about me and what I believe than it does about them and who they "are". Indeed, some would prefer that their church alone would be listed here. We have to go for something like a consensus. Mkmcconn 19:18, 3 Nov 2003 (UTC)


I agree with you there. However the Trinitarian/non-Trinitarian divide is an important one since most denominations consider those on the other side of the divide to be non-Christians. I would venture that it is more significant than whether their origins are in Restorationsim, Protestantism or whatever. For any LDS out there would you consider Trinitarian branches of Restorationism to be just minor variants, like most Protestants would consider other branches of Protestantism to be essentially the same? 207.236.234.180 21:23, 3 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I don't think it's easy to separate Trinitarian from Antitrinitarian, when categorizing sects in, or at the fringes of, Protestantism. I think that it would require a specialized knowledge of each particular member, where the present list is easily added to according to more-or-less clearly defined "families" of denominations. Even though it gives a false appearance of simplicity to do it this way, it's asking for trouble to do it the other way. Maybe we could add key codes indicating trinitarian and antitrinitarian members of each group? That might make good sense, since you're right that this distinction is basic on both sides. Mkmcconn 22:28, 3 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Quakers

I moved Quakers (formally Religious Society of Friends) from Pietist to Non-trinitarian. Since all agree that Quakerism is non-creedal, it is very hard to state authoritatively exactly what Quakers do or do not believe and hence hard to classify them. But here are my reasons.

First, in my limited experience of modern Quakerism it seems to me to resemble Unitarianism more closely than it resembles the Church of God or the Moravians and it seemed to me that they sort of belong in the same category. This is perhaps based as much on social and economic considerations as theological.

Second, with regard to the Trinity I think it can at least be said that Quaker doctrine is poorly defined, or not spelled out, or deliberately vague.

in Rosten's Religions of America, in answer to the question "How to Friends Feel about the Trinity, Richmond P. Miller replied "there is wide freedom for personal opinion... Quakerism is based on a religious way of life rather than accepted dogmas. The Quaker faith is a religion of experience. Whatever is known experimentally about God, the Holy Spirit, the Christ Within, becomes the true guide. Friends tend to believe in the immance of God rather than His transcendence." R. W. Tucker replied " 'Trinity' is not a term found in Scripture."

Penn wrote "[Quakers] believe in the Holy Three or Trinity of Father, Word, and Spirit, according to Scripture.... but they are very tender of quitting scripter terms and phrases for schoolmen's; such as 'distinct and separate persons...' and they judge that a curious inquiry into those high and divine relations... tend little to godliness and less to peace."

I think it is accurate to say that many but by no means all modern Quakers believe in the divinity of Jesus, and the word trinity is not a word that is commonly encountered in modern Friends' discourse. In the United States, Friends' United Meeting is more conservative and closer to mainstream U. S. Protestant beliefs than Friends' General Council, but the term Quaker includes both.

When a denomination has no creed, and individuals within it have a wide range of opinion on the Trinity, I think it is reasonable to call the denomination as a whole "non-Trinitarian."

Dpbsmith 02:55, 6 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I think that it's a mistake to put the Quakers in the Non-trinitarians. As discussed above, it is harder to uniformly categorize groups in these terms. Quakers are all over the map, because they are anti-dogmatic. It does not clarify who they are, and where they belong in the scheme of things, to put them there. You might be objecting to putting them under "Protestantism", for the same reason that "Restorationists" don't like to be called Protestant. In that case, perhaps it would be better to put them under Restorationists for the same reasons that Southcottites are there: for the sake of pointing out the "family" resemblance, but for lack of a more exact association. Would that be a good compromise? Mkmcconn 02:59, 6 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I don't really think so, but that's mostly because, well, "Restorationist" and "Southcottite" don't mean very much to me. I.e. it's not a strongly held or well-informed opinion on my part.

It could be argued that Quakers belong in a category all to themselves. Non-creedal denominations, perhaps. Are there other Christian denominations that are explicitly non-creedal?

Do you agree that they don't belong in "Pietists," anyway?

I was going to add that the very good Wikipedia article on Quakers does not include the word "Trinity," (nor the word "Pietist"). Re classifying them as "Protestant" the article says "Although Evangelical and programmed Quakerism has become more akin to Protestantism, many Quakers consider their faith neither Protestant nor Catholic, but rather an expression of a third way. "

Dpbsmith 03:18, 6 Nov 2003 (UTC)

There are numerous "prophetic" movements, which consider themselves to be a radical restoration of Christianity, many of which predate the Second Great Awakening - such as Swedenborgianism - I don't know where to put groups like that; "intellectually" and historically they are related to Pietism, which in general was a move away from dogma and a turning toward mystical revelation. The radical Anabaptists were among these, but they came before the Pietist and Holiness movements which stirred the general trend that brought about Methodism and the Quakers. An important line of the Anabaptist descendant groups is the Anti-trinitarian (and anti-mystical) Socinians. Socinian arguments are common among Millerite antitrinitarians. There are numerous other groups which claim to be based on the Bible alone, and reject traditional definitions of the Trinity. As I argue above, once you begin grouping these sects by what they specifically believe, instead of "who they are" and "where they come from", the list will become very confusing. Mkmcconn\
That's what I mean by "atomistically satisfying and holistically frustrating", in reference to Anglicanism, above. Particular groups within the most general group do not really belong with the general group, if measured by what they actually teach, and how some individuals perceive themselves. But you have to know very particular things about them, in order to understand why that is. That's why I think that it's better to arrange groups where you would "roughly" expect to find them, and allow the particular articles to sort out the details. Mkmcconn 03:50, 6 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Well, it's a puzzlement and I'm out of my depth... I took my one shot at editing this page and will leave it alone henceforth. I do have a suggestion, though. You say "As I argue above, once you begin grouping these sects by what they specifically believe, instead of 'who they are' and 'where they come from', the list will become very confusing." The heading says "List of Christian denominations ordered by historical and doctrinal relationships." It seems to me that you're really arguing for grouping on historical relationships alone, on the basis that a) being historical, these relationships are stable, and b) being historical, these relationships are both more objective and less controversial. Which makes sense. But perhaps the introductory paragraph should say "ordered by historical relationships" and give a brief explanation and justification of what this means and why it's being done that way. Dpbsmith 13:34, 6 Nov 2003 (UTC)
P.S. In the U.S., the Mennonites, Plymouth Brethren, and Quakers are frequently grouped together as the "historic peace churches." Just to add another random thought... Dpbsmith 13:36, 6 Nov 2003 (UTC)
You're making a good point, here. Although, the historical lineage isn't strictly adhered to, either. I'm only thinking, if a reader comes looking for [[Unitarian Congregational Fellowship of Mary the Mother of God, Lutheran Church]], it should be found first where they would most likely look for it; and that's why I don't think that Quakers should be listed under Nontrinitarian. I'll give some more thought to it, and await further input from you and others about how to handle this frequently arising problem of taxonomy. Mkmcconn 13:52, 6 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I agree that it might be easier to to group them mostly by historical relationships; there needs to be some flexibility. Would it get too messy if we added a note to groups like the Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church that they're Baptist as well as Pentecostal (in terms of where they could be grouped), or maybe do that just for ones where the name doesn't make it as obvious as in this case?



To answer an earlier question, I believe the Disciples of Christ denomination is explicitly non-creedal, and the related Church of Christ probably is as well. I'm sure there are others. Wesley 17:07, 7 Nov 2003 (UTC)


Brethren

I established a separate group under Anabaptist (though an argument could be made to move them under Pietist), and I labeled them Schwarzenau Brethren (recognizing their origin and differentiating from other "Brethren" groups). I moved the Old German Baptist Brethren there, because they are "Brethren" rather than "Baptist" in origin. I added other Schwarzenau Brethren groups. Unrelated, but I also moved Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church under Pentecostal. They grew out of the Free Will Baptists, but are Pentecostal in doctrine and practice, and seem to identify with the Pentecostal rather than Baptist movement, as seen, for example, in their membership in the Pentecostal Fellowship of North America. Rlvaughn 04:06, 5 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Unity

"Unity Chu" caught my eye and I figure it has to be a typo. The Association of Unity Churches website consistently refers to the belief system by the single word "Unity" so that's how I listed it. Their Q&A page says "Unity and Christian Science, as well as many other New Thought groups, had their beginnings in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Many of the leaders in these groups studied under the same teachers...." so it ssems to be under an appropriate subhead.

Dpbsmith 19:13, 8 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Ready for sub-headings?

Do y'all think that the article would be improved by replacing the outline structure with a heading structure, that would show up in the TOC? I'm thinking, just only the first level of the outline should be replaced with headings; e.g., instead of

* Anglicans

it would be:

===Anglicans===

Mkmcconn 16:09, 9 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I experimented with converting the list from bullets to TOC, and it just doesn't work. I withdraw my suggestion. Mkmcconn 18:24, 9 Dec 2003 (UTC)

"Definition of Christian" section

I do not think that the new section should survive. The list as a whole contains so many aberrant groups that it is beyond fathoming how any of them can be called the same faith - but to attempt to sort out the "good" sects from the "bad" sects is a practical impossibility. What you are starting by beginning a list of groups "most denominiations" would not define as Christian, will certainly devolve into collecting a "list of cults" - an enterprise which is doomed from the start, especially in the context of a work like Wikipedia. It is fundamentally misleading, because it cannot possibly be complete even if it were neutral, and it is unnecessarily provocative. The articles each make it clear that these groups are radically at odds with everyone else. Mkmcconn 22:17, 11 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I wanted to be minimalist about it. What I wrote in this section is undoubtedly true, and I didn't want to go beyond it, at least not without more evidence which I don't have. The trouble is that unless some comment is added to the list at present, the reader is left thinking that all these denominations believe much the same thing. And of course that is true for about 95% of them - you couldn't slide a bible page between the doctrinal views of some of them. But for the more glaring discrepancies I wanted to at least add a note. Better a partial list than no list at all. DJ Clayworth 22:22, 11 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I understand and sympathize with the intention, but how to decide what is Christian is a systematic problem, in any list of modern denominations. Here, it's been more or less decided to leave the question undecided, and instead to attempt to accurately portray the controversies in the individual articles. Every group in the list would draw the picture somewhat differently than it has been drawn, and many would object to any but themselves, or at least their family of denominations, being listed at all as "Christian". Mkmcconn 22:31, 11 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Maybe there does need to be some sort of statement of the principle on which denominations are included. Certainly any denomination that describes itself as Christian should be included. How other denominations regard it should not enter into the decision at all. I'm wondering whether that's inclusive enough; does the list currently include denominations that do not describe themselves as Christian?

For what it's worth, the American Heritage Dictionary's definition of "Christian" is:

ADJ: 1. Professing belief in Jesus as Christ or following the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus. 2. Relating to or derived from Jesus or Jesus's teachings. 3. Manifesting the qualities or spirit of Jesus; Christlike. 4. Relating to or characteristic of Christianity or its adherents. 5. Showing a loving concern for others; humane.

NOUN: 1. One who professes belief in Jesus as Christ or follows the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus. 2. One who lives according to the teachings of Jesus.

I tentatively propose the following language (but don't intend to add it to the article myself): "For the purposes of this list, a denomination is included if its founders described it as "Christian" or as having a connection with the teachings of Jesus."

I don't think that's broad enough to include Islam or Ethical Culture... :-)

Dpbsmith 13:30, 12 Nov 2003 (UTC)

How about "For the purposes of this list, a denomination is included if its founders or present leadership describe it as "Christian" or as having a connection with the teachings of Jesus." This list should depend on self-declaration of the group. Groups which claim today they are not Christian should not be included - that would be the contrary of political correctness. Groups where part of them claims to be Christians and part of them doesn't, should be listed as "Some groups among Messianic Jews/Unitarians/Rastafarians". --Irmgard 10:58, 17 Nov 2003 (UTC)


Should Rastafarianism be included? Some of them claim to be Christian, but not all. Tuf-Kat 07:36, Nov 16, 2003 (UTC)
Does the Christian group have a name, distinct from the more inclusive one? Garveyites, maybe? Mkmcconn 07:43, 16 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Not as far as I can tell Tuf-Kat 14:25, Nov 16, 2003 (UTC)

Hinduism still might meet this definition, depending on who you ask. Mohondas Ghandi said, “I am a Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian and a Jew; for, either I am all of these or I am none of these.” If present day Hindu leadership shares that sentiment, would that count as "... present leadership describe it as 'Christian'"? Many would have no problem worshipping Krishna in the form of Jesus Christ, and following the teachings of Jesus as they understand them, at least according this article: [1]. The article discusses the Hindu response to Zambia's 1996 declaration that Zambia is a Christian nation. I don't know, but it wouldn't surprise me if Islam accepted Jesus as the Christ or Messiah to the Jews; I'm sure they could reconcile that with their belief that Jesus is a great prophet easily enough. Mohammad doesn't describe his religion as Christian, but he certainly claims a connection with the teachings of Jesus. Really, these attempts to define Christianity without prejudice need to be abandoned as hopeless. Wesley 17:31, 17 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Christian Science

CS really belongs under an "other" category like (since it is) "Other Non-Trinitarian", so I'm planning to move it. While New Thought has significant influences from Mary Baker Eddy students, the non-Wiki Unity site mentioned above is pretty mistaken in labeling CS a New Thought belief, since CS disavows a great part of New Thought, particularly the latter's concept of divine personal empowerment, teaching instead complete individual dependence on and obedience to the God of Judeo-Christian history. CS identifies itself explicitly (as its name indicates) as Christian and conforms to the AHD dictionary definition above. Mary Baker Eddy founded it on an understanding of the Biblical teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as the prophesied Messianic Savior of mankind and acknowledged his virgin birth, resurrection, and ascension. While CS does claim denominational uniqueness and mission consistent with and subordinate to its Biblical understanding, there is virtually not a Christian faith that in some form or another doesn't do the same, -- and the Non-Trin label strikes me as really the best you could find here. chris_rodgers 05:40, 24 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I'm glad that I read your comment here; because I was preparing to put CS into the New Thought category. Mkmcconn 20:48, 8 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Unitarian Universalists

I've broken the list format by noting that many UUs are Christian, even though the UUA isn't a Christian org. Any comments on this? UtherSRG 13:53, 8 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Thanks for the edit, Mkmcconn. I like it much better than what I had, although I want to change exclusively. UtherSRG 20:53, 8 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Exclusively Christian meaning, "for Christians only". Any equivalent would be acceptable. Mkmcconn 21:06, 8 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I would suggest, in order to keep a consistent list format, and to keep the list a "List of Christian Denominations", that we list only Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship (which is a Christian "denomination"). Once that article is written, people can follow links to Unitarian Universalism and Unitarian Universalist Association (which is not a specifically Christian organization, even though it has Christian members). Rlvaughn 02:19, 9 Dec 2003 (UTC)

That's a very decent suggestion, Rlvaughn. I support it. Mkmcconn 02:58, 9 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I think I can get on board with that if it includes a note like [an Independent Affiliate of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA)]. Also include Magi Network as it is another Christian arm of the UUA. UtherSRG 04:26, 9 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Maybe this would look pretty good and be a satisfactory compromise:
What do you all think? Rlvaughn 04:32, 9 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I like Mkmcconn's use of a footnote instead. Mush easier to read. Thanks! UtherSRG 17:50, 9 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Review Tb's suggestions

Some time ago, User:Tb suggested that a list should exist which roughly categorizes the descendent denominations in families related by doctrinal history. Although I think that this would be very hard to do for every group, I do agree that this would be helpful in terms of a general outline. Please review his suggestion under Anglicans above, and give thought to how we could create a list that would organize families of churches in the terms he suggests. Regrettably, it appears that Tb is no longer active, and will not be following through on what he proposed. Mkmcconn 18:04, 9 Dec 2003 (UTC)

One difficulty I see here is that the 'family tree' of religions is not just split-split-split. Mergers and subsequent resplits make creating a tree structure much more difficult, if not impossible. I don't think it is proper for this list, though. Perhaps as a separate article, since a significant number of links on the tree should be to religions which no longer exist (becuse of schism or merger or extinction). UtherSRG 18:16, 9 Dec 2003 (UTC)
That's what I'm thinking. This list is very legible and easy to understand, in my opinion. Perhaps it would work to have another, briefer list (a separate page), that summarizes the tree somewhat like the tree on the Christianity page. But, I agree with you that, trying to reflect the same thing on this page would not work. Mkmcconn 18:21, 9 Dec 2003 (UTC)



Church of Christ, Instrumental

Mkmcconn, the Church of Christ, Instrumental is a Baptist "schism". At the time I posted the article, I couldn't decide where to put them, so I just stuck them in for the time. I suppose listing them under miscellaneous is as good, if not better, as any other location. They are quite similar to Free Will Baptists. Broadly, they are "Baptistic", but the problem with putting them under Baptist, IMO, is that they do not consider themselves to be Baptists. They were slightly influenced by Methodism, but not enough to be considered Methodist or Holiness. So, considering they don't seem to fit anywhere, miscellaneous seems quite appropriate. - Rlvaughn 21:44, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Thank you for the explanation, and for your astounding number of contributions to our articles on Christian denominations. Mkmcconn 22:29, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Alphabetical List

This list is by no means complete but it is an easy alphabetical reference. I was going to try and add it to the list I saw on the Christianity page when I noticed Mkmcconn had deleted it and moved part of it here.

  • African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Albanian Church (Byzantine rite)
  • Ambrosian (Roman rite)
  • American Reformed
  • Anabaptist
  • Anglican (Western Rite)
  • Anglican Church In America
  • Apostolic Christian
  • Apostolic Faith
  • Armenian Church (Armenian Rite)
  • Armenian Catholic Church
  • Armenian Orthodox Church
  • Assembly Of God
  • Assembly Of God Pentecostal
  • Baptist
  • Baptist "Southern Baptist Convention"
  • Baptist American
  • Baptist Bible
  • Baptist Free Will
  • Baptist General Association Of Regular
  • Baptist Independent
  • Baptist Missionary
  • Baptist National
  • Belarussian Church (Byzantine rite)
  • Bible
  • Bible Church
  • Brethren
  • Brethren Church Of The
  • Brethren Evangelical United
  • Brethren Grace
  • Brethren In Christ Church
  • Brethren Mennonite
  • Brethren Plymouth
  • Brethren United
  • Bulgarian Church (Byzantine rite)
  • Byzantine Rite Catholic Churches
  • Calvary Bible
  • Calvary Chapel
  • Calvinist
  • Chaldean (Chaldean Rite)
  • Christian And Missionary Alliance
  • Christian Church
  • Christian Disciples
  • Christian Reformed Church In North America
  • Christian Union
  • Church Of Christ
  • Church Of Christ United
  • Church Of God
  • Church Of God In Christ Holiness
  • Church Of Holiness
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
  • Church Of Prophecy
  • Church Of The Living God
  • Congregationalist
  • Coptic (Alexandrian Rite)
  • Croatian Church (Byzantine rite)
  • Disciples Of Christ
  • Disciples Of God
  • Dutch Reformed
  • Evangelical Congregational
  • Evangelical Covenant
  • Evangelical Free Church Of America
  • Evangelical Reformed
  • Faith Gospel Tabernacle
  • Friends
  • Ge'ez (Alexandrian Rite)
  • Georgian Church (Byzantine rite)
  • Grace Reformed
  • Greek Catholic
  • Greek Church (Byzantine rite)
  • Holiness
  • Holiness Church Of God
  • Hungarian Church (Byzantine rite)
  • Hungarian Reformed
  • International Pentecostal Holiness
  • Jacobite
  • Latin or Roman Church (Roman rite)
  • Latvian Lutheran
  • Lutheran
  • Malankarese (Antiochene Rite)
  • Mandaean Reformed
  • Mar Thoma Syrian Church of India
  • Maronite (Antiochene Rite)
  • Melkite (Byzantine rite)
  • Mennonite
  • Messianic
  • Methodist
  • Methodist Evangelical
  • Methodist Free
  • Methodist Primitive
  • Methodist United
  • Methodist Wesleyan
  • Ministry
  • Missionary Church
  • Missionary Covenant
  • Moravian
  • Mormon
  • Nazarene
  • Nestorian (Chaldean Rite)
  • New Testament Christian
  • Non-Denominational
  • Old Calendar Greek Orthodox
  • Open Bible
  • Orthodox
  • Orthodox Eastern
  • Orthodox Greek
  • Orthodox Russian
  • Paleoemerologites (Schismatic Old Calendar Orthodox)
  • Pentecostal
  • Pentecostal Apostolic
  • Pentecostal Church of God
  • Pilgring Holiness
  • Presbyterian
  • Presbyterian Church In America
  • Presbyterian Orthodox
  • Presbyterian United
  • Reform Church
  • Reformed
  • Roman Catholic
  • Romanian Church (Byzantine rite)
  • Russian Church (Byzantine rite)
  • Ruthenian Church (Byzantine rite)
  • Serbian Church (Byzantine rite)
  • Seventh Day Adventist
  • Slovak Church (Byzantine rite)
  • Syriac (Antiochene Rite)
  • Syro-Malabarese (Chaldean Rite)
  • Tewahedo
  • The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church
  • The Church Of God Of Prophecy


  • The Salvation Army
  • Ukrainian Church (Byzantine rite)
  • Unitarian
  • United Church Of Canada
  • United Holiness
  • United Zion
  • Universal Life Church
  • Worldwide Church Of God

If your church is here link it to the relevant article. If it is missing add it here, and if you know two churches to be the same then link them to the same entry.

Please look at the List of Christian denominations article itself, and do the work of putting these churches where they belong. There are literally tens of thousands of Christian denominations, only a fraction of which are listed in the article. I do appreciate the unique items you have provided, which were not yet in the list that has been started. But, listing them here is not helpful. Also, following the Baptist example, you might consider detail pages for churches that have a fully shared identity. (See List of Baptist sub-denominations Mkmcconn 16:07, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Thankyou for the offer, but the taxonomy route is far to complicated for me. A nice plain and simple alphabetical index is much easier to make and use. The taxonomy of these churches would be much more useful for an article about Church History following a simple chronological timeline for the emmergence of church denominations. I will look at the article and post a revamp in alphabetical order just to see what it looks like. It can always be reverted to the previous version. Actually the route which has been taken here (which I must say is an impressive but daunting project) would be much more suited to an article about full communion. would it be right to say that all of the churches taxed together under one category are in full communion with each other?
This kind of information isn't so difficult to find. Any American Yellow Pages can assist you to discern these rudimentary relationships - there are lists like this elsewhere on-line, besides Wikipedia, for further reference. Although it is tempting to revamp the work done here, it will be appreciated by all if that temptation is resisted. Compare your alphabetical list above - which provides zero information, and simply lists names, with the article itself, which gives a general outline meaningful to people who care about such things. Leave this list where it is, and do not make alphabetical lists, please; but do add items as you are able. The list, while dauntingly large, is not very hard to navigate. If even so, you don't feel qualified to add to it, then perhaps your talents would be better put to use on some other topic than one pertaining to the Christian religion? Mkmcconn 04:57, 22 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Using a yellow pages is hardly an objective or sound academic approach. Anyway I won't revamp it but as it is, it really isn't a simple list of christian denominations as the title implies but rather attempts to identify the relationship of churches to each other and therefore is subject to problems of NPOV (as I can see from discussions above) and repetition. But if its going for the safety of categorising by full communion then the repetitions are acceptable though it would this belongs on that page and not here. I will edit in the churches I know about as if it were a list of categorisation by full communion since that really is the most objective approach to taxonomy. The best way to categorise a church would be by its apparent structure, and type, of its ceremonies. In this way a church may be termed for example Armenian Catholic then it will either be unafiliated or in full communion with a larger body like The Papacy or The Orthodox Communion. Many people don't realise that certain churches like just for example Russian Churches may be catholic in their structure & type of ceremonies but may be either unaffiliated, or in full communion with other churches under The Papacy or in full communion with The Orthodox Communion or even (as is the case in parts of siberia these days) even be with a body like UCC. There are also problems with the category terminology since there are often more than one common way of describing a church. E.G. Orthodox Churches may call themselves Catholic so there is no difference between Orthodox Catholic Churches & Orthodox Churches except when the individual church may be in full communion with Rome in which case it may look to all intents & purposes to be orthodox but is not actually orthodox because it is not with the orthodox communion. Keep trying everyone it will sort itself out eventually!

This is a thorny matter. I tend to group Protestants and Anglicans under the banner of "Reformed", as a perusal of the Winchester Declaration would definitely put the Anglican into the Reformation camp, even if they are not "Protestants of the name". The problem with grouping by ceremonies is that it makes things like the Western Rite Vicariate of the Antiochene Archdiocese of America (Eastern Orthodox) really hard to classify. They're in communion with the rest of Eastern Orthodoxy but have a Liturgy based on the Book of Common Prayer.

In short, it's a taxonomical mess. Dogface 04:19, 23 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I think the best route would be to classify them in their associations of full communion or partial communion. At least it will be NPOV. It is not fair to call it a mess though. It is a very good effort. The enormity of the task is the reason for its pitholes.
I admit that I am getting a bit frustrated with this. On the one hand we have people who want to change the list to an alphabetical one, because describing families of denominations is too hard. On the other hand, we have folks wanting to apply a higher standard, and group churches by full or partial communion - even though the ecumenical movement groups churches across denominational lines - and THEN calls this a more neutral description of Christian denominations! Please let the list grow in its present form, and we'll prune it into shape, and create alternative listings. Mkmcconn 23:11, 23 Dec 2003 (UTC)

What is with the title "Orthodox Catholic" including the (very) non-Catholic Orthodox? Doesn't that strike anyone else as confused? Oh, and the Papacy word reminds me, where is the slurs section? I know I've seen a list of slurs or insults, but I forget where, and I can't find it under "slurs" or "insults". Ha, maybe if I read the Papacy article it links directly to the slurs page :)

The "Orthodox Catholic church" is a common designation, but it might not be the best term to use here. It doesn't mean that they are Roman Catholics; but because that word is so tightly bound to Rome, it might mislead some. Mkmcconn 23:04, 23 Dec 2003 (UTC)

What is with the two blank headers under Churches in full communion with the Holy See? (single asterisk ones) Rmhermen 23:15, Dec 23, 2003 (UTC)

They were culled from Optim's alphabetical list. I wasn't familiar with many of them, and so I left them to stand out in case someone else could discern whether they belong under the Roman Catholics or under the Orthodox. Mkmcconn 02:42, 24 Dec 2003 (UTC)