Talk:Economics of religion

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Ways to improve the article[edit]

I started cleaning up the article (after the redirect). The intro needed to be consolidated, as with small hanging sections, and general formatting. It still needs plenty of work, particularly from people familiar with the subject at a graduate or expert level, but all editors can help. Ocaasi (talk) 11:03, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

For new readers, the subject of the second sentence above is discussed in the next section. One way of improving the article is discussed in the subsection that follows at Talk:Economics of religion#Moving bulleted Lead lines (including fn. references) into their own (sub)sections. I have shortened the template at the top of the article, which combines 4 templates, to focus on this section, rather than looking like a more prominent version of this section. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 11:03, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
A new heading above was added above to relate to the new "Improve article" template at top of the article. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 16:39, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Portion of comment now at Talk:Economics of religion/Archive 1#Proposal to archive all sections up to "Ways to improve article" in a week]: "... This article still needs plenty of work, so I think WP:Bold is in order..." Ocaasi (talk) 11:35, 6 November 2010 (UTC) (Copied for relevance here by Thomasmeeks (talk) 17:36, 13 November 2010 (UTC).

Bullets over Lead[edit]

A recent Edit of the Lead used a line break ("<br/>") at the end of the first line & the first sentence avoid a "new-paragraph" space after each. The 1st line followed with bulleted items to facilitate locating "the first" & "the second" somewhat longish phrases referred to in the next sentence. One alternative would be to number the 1st and 2nd phrases without any line break for the next sentence. I just thought that that would look unnecessarily formal. Another alternative would be to shorten the somewhat longish phrases and remove the alleged need for bullets. There was enough content IMO to avoid shortening them.

The last paragraph of the Lead now also has a break to end the 1st line (as here) & thereby avoids a line space after the first line for the bullets that follow. If all the bulleted items were short, commas (and no line break) rather than bullets IMO would be fine. But again, I believe that there is enough content in the longer bulleted lines & the list is long enough to warrant the bullets. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 20:37, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

There have been a couple of recent edits in that regard, but I made one of them not too long ago. My reasoning for avoiding lists in the lead pretty much comes down to Wikipedia:Manual of Style (embedded lists). It's not a big deal to me, but just seems like a matter of good writing style. --Tryptofish (talk) 15:54, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Point well made. The caution of that link is also, I believe, warranted. My own implied defense above for the longer Lead list in the last paragraph is one of expedience (on whether it serves the interest of the inquiring reader, discussed more at Talk:Economics of religion/Archive 1#Citation Overkill), & certainly not anti-WP:EMBED. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 12:10, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
I think in terms of expedience, the list you developed is acting as a transitional device between now and when the article actually has content on each of the sections you mentioned--when instead of a bullet-list there will be a table-of-contents to direct readers to each subject. Using lists as abbreviated links to a sophisticated bibliography/further-reading-list is not customary, although the sources you've accumulated are excellent. As for the top of the article, I don't think two bullet points are really a problem; still, with only two, why not combine them into a compound sentence? Ocaasi (talk) 09:24, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
Agreed on the 1st & 2nd sentences. 3rd sentence was addressed by an earlier article Edit. Let me quote from elsewhere but applicable here as well (all in italics).
[M]ost of the [footnoted] citations have links, [which] also allows the interested reader to follow different topic threads (referred to in a given fn.) to investigate those subjects in more detail.
A word on order within a given fn. with multiple references. The references do have some implied order and are not merely related by subject. The order where possible is from the general (for example a survey article) to the particular or sequential, reflecting differing research threads or citations in the literature.
As suggested above every one of the clumps of citations in a fn. the article could be amplified into its own section (adding or dropping references along the way). This, however, is easier said than done right. In the meanwhile, leaving them there allows everyone an equal chance to follow up on whichever references seem most interesting. Moreover, most of the footnotes have links. They are more than just titles and allow an interested person to pursue the reference in more depth immediately. I believe that that could be a tremendous scholarly convenience, and one that would be widely supported in academia.

Agreed that some book-or-article cites might be moved down. But it might be a tricky thing doing one-at-time. The bulleted points hang together as to the multiple works cited per fn. So, copying rather than moving might be more appropriate for a single source cited. Let me make some other points in a separate subsection to simplify addressing them. (Discussion here on the above could of course continue.) For ease of reference, I'll number them. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 20:01, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

I see no evidence above on disagreement as to the bulleted formatting of the last paragraph in the Lead here. It may be worthwhile citing for future reference from Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Paragraphs:
Sections usually consist of paragraphs of running prose. Bullet points should be minimized in the body of the article, if they are used at all; however, a bulleted list may be useful to break up what would otherwise be a large, grey mass of text, particularly if the topic requires significant effort on the part of readers.
I believe that the average length and number of the respective bulleted lines is well described as a "large, grey mass of text" (per the above quotation) which may warrant using a bulleted format. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 16:46, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Moving bulleted Lead lines (including fn. references) into their own (sub)sections[edit]

1T. That would desirable. Best would be at least 2 paragraphs apiece, per Wikipedia:Manual of Style (layout)#Paragraphs. Since the Table of Contents would include the headings, they wouldn't be necessary in the Lead. Of course doing a good job integrating the references might take some time to do right. Meanwhile the bulleted Lead lines with fn. I believe would be serving a useful function.

2T. The current 2nd section 2 Economics of religion#Market situation would be an obvious place to work some of the early bulleted Lead subjects. I think (1T) would still apply there.

3T. The later sections from sect. 3 Economics of religion#Major debates have their own logic. I think copying references from the Lead might still be appropriate.

4T. If more general bulleted Lead topics (for example, • "club models of religion" and • "religious militancy in various forms") lent themselves to absorbing some of the later subsections — for example "Cults" — that could be explored. But that subsection is under "Secularization and religious economy". So, it might be sensible to retain & allow for co-existence. All I'm saying is that different organizations should considered on their own merits rather requiring a "good idea" to decide the matter without examining its context within the larger article. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 20:01, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Maintenance tags[edit]

Re this message requesting clarification for the tagging, I think the issues are discussed above on this talk page. The bullet list added to the lead needs to expanded to a set of sections (see WP:LEAD). The current article appears focused mainly on controversies, so a restructuring is needed, in line with the above. I don't know if the numerous citation requests in the body are justified or not, but it seems something worth alerting editors about. Tijfo098 (talk) 15:58, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

General problem with this article[edit]

This article uncritically applies one particular explanation for religion on many states, as if it were a fact. Andries (talk) 15:08, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

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