Talk:Dahomean religion

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  • Vodun don't is God, Vodun is below of God. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 186.240.54.154 (talk) 09:41, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

Requested move 24 December 2015[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved to Dahomean religion. Mergers are outside the scope of RM. Jenks24 (talk) 05:01, 11 January 2016 (UTC)



Dahomeyan mythologyDahomeyan Religion – This article is about the Dahomeyan religion, and should be called such; the article even specifically says it was an "organized state religion." (emphasis added). To call it "mythology" feeds into the notion that "what I believe is a religion, what you believe is mere mythology." Furthermore, there are precious few details about the specific mythos in the article; it's more of an overview of the religion than of the mythos.

I realize there are some very nuanced arguments between experts about the distinction between "religion" and "mythology," and the appropriateness of each, but for the average reader, mythology<religion, and that's not in keeping with the NPOV spirit of Wikipedia.

*Septegram*Talk*Contributions* 18:40, 24 December 2015 (UTC) Relisted. Jenks24 (talk) 08:56, 3 January 2016 (UTC)

  • Tentative merge to West African Vodun. There don't appear to be any references or sources that explain how exactly this topic differs from West African Vodun, so I suspect this is a case of Wikipedia accidentally having 2 duplicate articles. If references did exist, then I'd endorse using whatever terminology they used (Vodun, religion, mythology...), but they don't, so this is moot. (Also the 2002 version of this article is somehow more informative than the current version... https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dahomeyan_mythology&oldid=3992215 ). SnowFire (talk) 20:06, 25 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Disagree First, the proposal was specifically that this be renamed appropriately, not merged. I considered Being Bold and just doing the move, but felt it would be better to seek consensus.
Second, I think we'd need some citation that the Dahomeyan religion and Vodun are essentially identical. I don't think this article has remotely enough detail to be able to say that. Admittedly, my expertise does not lie in either religion, so it's entirely possible that I'm wrong here (it happens; ask my boss or my daughter) and the two are indistinguishable. A cursory comparison finds some definite similarities, such as the Mawu/Lisa pair, but the West African Vodun article makes no mention of Nana Buluku, Their parent, who would seem a pretty critical figure. My wild-ass guess is that this is a case of the Dahomeyan religion being a precursor to WA Vodun, similar to the Abrahamic Judaism > Christianity > Islam sequence, but I'm open to edumacation.
If the 2002 version is more informative, by all means let's get that information brought into the current article!
*Septegram*Talk*Contributions* 15:06, 30 December 2015 (UTC)
No, it's the reverse. There need to be sources supporting Dahomeyan religion/myth as a stand-alone article (WP:BURDEN). Currently we have two references, one of which is a dead link but didn't sound very authoritative to begin with (a blogs site?), and the other a link to a personal website on Haitian voodoo. While many of the deity names are the same, from some cursory glancing about, I couldn't find anything specifically on Dahomey's version of vodun on that website. So... this article could be quite reasonably sent to Articles for Deletion anyway. Now, it's possible that there IS enough distance between Dahomeyan beliefs & West African vodun to be worthy of two separate articles, but whatever that difference is, Wikipedia currently isn't explaining or reporting on it. And we don't have sources either. So... merge for now, and someone can always de-merge later if they find some information relevant to Dahomeyan beliefs that's separate from West African Voudon. A check of Google Scholar doesn't reveal much interesting as far as quick fixes, alas. https://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=+Dahomey+vodun&btnG=&hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C31 SnowFire (talk) 17:55, 30 December 2015 (UTC)
I'm not here to merge the article, and that wasn't my proposal. The only thing I wanted to do was recognize this as a religion, not what some would think of as "mere" mythology. I could have just made the change, and perhaps should have, since it would have avoided all this argument. I oppose merging it because unmerging it would likely be a substantial PITA if it turns out there are substantial difference; right now we're working from insufficient data to make that determination.
Perhaps I should just throw up my arms and say "do what you will," since you can. I don't have the energy for an argument about this, nor do I have the time / resources to hunt up reliable sources right now. I proposed a simple rename out of respect for the practitioners, and suddenly it's about deleting or merging the article. I read WP:BURDEN, and don't see that it applies, as this isn't about creating / reliably sourcing the article, it's about renaming the article. It might be acceptable to merge the articles under WP policy, but is it wise? I see differences between the two that make it reasonable to keep it as a stand-alone for now until it can be determined whether the two are sufficiently similar to justify a merge or sufficiently dissimilar to justify keeping them separate.
*Septegram*Talk*Contributions* 19:12, 30 December 2015 (UTC)
Hah. For what it's worth, the above wasn't meant adversarially! It's great that you noticed this article and wanted to fix it up & brought it to the attention of others.
The problem really is, from my perspective and ignoring merge / no merge issues... since we have no sources, how do we even know what the preferred terminology is? Very often it's "religion", yes, but not always; Greek mythology is the beliefs of the ancient Greeks, but if you said "Greek religion" you're probably referring instead to some branch of the Eastern Orthodox Church. So even *if* these should be two separate articles, I'm not sure there's a WP:COMMONNAME argument for either term. "Dahomeyan mythology" gets 0 hits on Google Scholar, "Dahomeyan religion" gets a measly 4, of which only 1 appears appropriate, a throw-away line in "The function of different dance forms in primitive African communities", and that seems to barely qualify as a scholarly article to begin with (it's from 1976 and the author opens up "really this is just a travelougue of a few months in French West Africa"). And I don't think that's referring to the same topic as this article, anyway, although I can't be sure without buying the article (I think it's referring to pre-Vodun "indigenous" beliefs.) So... with no sources guiding us as to how the article should be titled, I think we'd fall back on the status quo. SnowFire (talk) 15:48, 31 December 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Sorry if I got cranky; blame it on ... oh, I dunno. Pick something!
You have a point about "Greek religion," but the fact is that there are those who follow the ancient Greek deities even today, so while most would assume "Greek religion" to be something about a Christian faith (actually, I think probably the Greek Orthodox Church), it would be reasonable to rename Greek Mythology to something like "Classical Greek religion." Don't tempt me...
Now you have me intrigued, and I'll have to see what I can hunt up about the Dahomeyan religion. I can live with leaving it as it stands, but it makes me uncomfortable. I find it interesting that subjects such as Judaism and Christianity have their own "mythology" pages, but the ancient Greek religion is called "mythology" and has no corresponding "religion" page; there's an interesting commentary on the Christian mythology page about the use, meaning, and interpretation of "myth," which fairly well addresses my concern about calling "other people's" religion "mythology" rather than "religion."
*Septegram*Talk*Contributions* 17:48, 31 December 2015 (UTC)
Sounds great, thanks for looking into this! Religion in Benin is a pretty short article as it stands, and it'd be great to expand it. I still like "Vodun" for an article title since it doesn't risk implying that the current Dahomey people are all adherents, when Christianity & Islam are both more prevalent than Vodun apparently. SnowFire (talk) 22:30, 31 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment: "religion" is not a proper noun, so if this article should be moved, the proposel should be modified to "Dahomeyan religion". HandsomeFella (talk) 20:35, 31 December 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! I have modified the proposal.
*Septegram*Talk*Contributions* 18:22, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Whatever happens, the adjectival form Dahomean is more common. Srnec (talk) 03:25, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
Thanks! I have modified the proposal.
*Septegram*Talk*Contributions* 18:22, 4 January 2016 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Merger proposal[edit]

Per the comments in the above RM, the article is currently unreferenced. To the extent it talks about religions in Benin (currently not at all), I think it should go to Religion in Benin; to the extent it talks about specific deities, it should go to West African Vodun, although ideally with a reference since as it stands there remains the unlikely-but-possible scenario that all these gods & goddesses were made up as a prank in 2005. Sadly, getting sources will not be easy, so no hurry, but if sources still aren't found, I think we should delete and/or merge... SnowFire (talk) 06:53, 12 January 2016 (UTC)