Talk:Evangelical Church in Germany

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Name Evangelical vs Protestant[edit]

The German word "Evangelisch" is to my understanding better translated to Protestant than to Evangelical, s. Protestant Reformation, Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau. Consistency is desirable, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 12:29, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

See this thread in the archives as well as several threads in Archive 1 for previous discussion on this. The church itself uses the name "Evangelical Church in Germany" on its English-language website. And using the word Evangelical in the meaning of German evangelisch is not unknown in English, although it's rare compared to its usual meaning "having to do with Evangelicalism". Using Evangelical in its "German meaning" is especially common in the names of churches, such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America or the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada, neither of which is "Evangelical" in that word's most common English meaning. —Angr (talk) 12:42, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
I have no time to read all this, but to remark that such translations from German institutions often lack knowledge of English, therefore the least controversial way might be to use the German name as the article name and give translations as redirects, as it is done for many German universities and theaters, s. Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt am Main or Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 13:38, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
The first of those links redirects to Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts, though. Using German names of institutions is fine when they don't have English names, but the EKD does have an English name, and its English name is no more misleading or incorrect than the names of the North American churches I mentioned above. And those were (presumably) named by native English speakers. —Angr (talk) 13:50, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Sorry for the bad example, smile (but there are others, like Hochschule für Musik und Theater München). I don't doubt that native English speakers name churches "Evangelical" which tend to Evangelicalism. The German official churches called "Evangelische Kirche" don't. I am afraid that is misleading, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 14:48, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
No, my point is that there are churches named "Evangelical" by native English speakers that are not evangelikal but only evangelisch, including the two listed above: the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada. Neither of those two churches adheres to Evangelicalism; they are using the word "evangelical" in the same way as the EKD uses the word "evangelisch". Although the English word "evangelical" most often means evangelikal, it can also mean evangelisch. Especially in the names of churches. —Angr (talk) 15:17, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
I think it's great that the article addresses potential confusiion related to the meaning of "Evangelical," but is there no citation for it. As an Evangelical Lutheran myself, I had the impression that it meant "the same as the 'Evangelical' you normally think of except that we're shy/nice about it and instead of standing on street corners with a sign, just tell visitors that there's coffee after the service and leave it at that."208.68.128.53 (talk) 23:24, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Nope, that is commonly confused. " Evangelicalism is a moderate form of Protestant Christian fundamentalism and has roots in American culture. The term "evangelical" used in this article was used by Luther and early Protestants to describe their doctrines as faithful to the gospel. Obviously, you can be both evangelical and Evangelical Lutheran. Ltwin (talk) 00:13, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

minorities[edit]

"Important Protestant denominations that are not part of the Evangelical Church in Germany include the United Methodist Church ... (whole paragraph)" is incorrect.

"Important" maybe in the U.S. but not in Germany. These are very small denominations and seen as more or less exotic. Methodists and Baptists never had a foothold in Germany, Pentecostals and Adventists are seen as American sects not to be taken seriously, and the New Apostolic Church is highly unpopular for their authoritarian style.

Again, none of all these denominations is important in Germany as they neither are influential nor have a meaningful number of members. They are dwindingly small. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.131.71.12 (talk) 09:10, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

New Apostolic Church[edit]

Why is the New Apostolic Church counted among the "Protestant" churches here? It developed from the Roman Catholic church, it is not part of any ecumenical associations like the World Council of Churches or any protestant associations, their teachings differ from those of the Protestant churches to a degree which makes ecumenical or "protestant" contact difficult to say the least. I mean it's o.k. to state that they do not belong to the EKD (obviously), but it's misleading to include them in a sentence beginning with "Other Protestant denominations". --Anna (talk) 23:44, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Our article New Apostolic Church says "The New Apostolic Church (NAC) is a chiliastic church, converted to Protestantism as a free church from the Catholic Apostolic Church" and "Most of its doctrines are akin to mainstream Christianity and, especially its liturgy, to Protestantism, whereas its hierarchy and organisation could be compared with the Roman Catholic Church", so if you disagree I'd take it up at Talk:New Apostolic Church. Angr (talk) 10:41, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Basically, you are right of course; this question should be tackled on the main NAC page. However, this article describes the situation in Germany, and it seems to me that the use of these terms may vary depending on the region and the situation. Just compare the use of the term "united" for different regions and church bodies.
I don't know if you read any German, but if you compare the German article, you will find that the NAC is certainly not considered a Protestant church in Germany due to their special teachings and their lack of participation in ecumenical contexts. --Anna (talk) 12:30, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
I do read German, but I'm not sure what you're looking at in that article. It says, "Die neuapostolische Kirche ist weder im Ökumenischen Rat der Kirchen noch in der Arbeitsgemeinschaft christlicher Kirchen (ACK) vertreten und arbeitet auch nicht in der Evangelischen Allianz mit, wobei mittlerweile Aufnahmeanträge gestellt wurden oder Annäherungen bestehen", which just means they don't participate in various ecumenical organizations, including the Evangelische Allianz, but that's probably true of various other unquestionably Protestant Freikirchen as well. I think the question of whether the NAK can be considered Protestant or not is probably as open to interpretation as the question whether Anglicans can be considered Protestant or not. (And that is a recurrent issue in Wikipedia articles: do we say "Anglicans and Protestants" or do we say "Anglicans and other Protestants"? Either solution is non-NPOV, leading to protracted battles over the single word other.) Angr (talk) 12:39, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
The participation in ecumenical organisations is one thing only. The set of special teachings is another. Of course every small church has their set of special teachings, but the ones of the NAC really are pretty far from Protestant teachings. What's more though, these teachings themselves (apostle, sacraments, exclusivism) basically prevent further ecumenical relationships. --Anna (talk) 14:44, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Seventh-day Adventists are mentioned in the same paragraph, and I'd say their classification as Protestants is just as questionable (some people don't even consider them Christians, let alone Protestants). But the more I think about it, the less I see the point of the entire paragraph. It's threatening to become a list of Christian denominations in Germany from which only the EKD, the Roman Catholics, and the Old Catholics are excluded. Any objections to removing the whole paragraph on the grounds that the article doesn't need to define the EKD on the basis of who isn't in it? Angr (talk) 15:35, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
None at all. On the contrary, I think that's a great Solomonic solution which will solve this problem without offending anyone. Or we'll end up repeating this discussion as soon as someone comes up with the idea of listing Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses among the Protestant churches, making it necessary to explain why they are not part of the EKD. --Anna (talk) 21:40, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Merging of three churches to one church in Northern Germany in 2012[edit]

Evangelical church in Germany

In 2012, three churches in northern parts of Germany merged to one church.

Name of the article[edit]

Sorry the name “Evangelical” might be the correct word by word translation but holds completely different connotations in English. I would suggest to replace the word “Evangelical” with “Protestant”. --Catflap08 (talk) 17:15, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

True, see above, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 22:07, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Page Move[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This page was boldly moved from "Evangelical Church in Germany"; the move was reverted, and the discussion here finds no agreement that the move was appropriate. Closed (see last comment) and archived by Moonraker12 (talk) 10:00, 19 December 2014 (UTC)


I moved the page from “Evangelical Church of Germany” to “Protestant Church in Germany (EKD)”. The English term “Evangelical” holds the same connotations as it does in German. The German term “Evangelisch” should however be translated as “protestant” not as “Evangelical”.--Catflap08 (talk) 19:33, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

I strongly disagree with Catflap08's move, which was done without consensus. "Evangelical" has a different meaning in Europe and North America, but the term is perfectly correct in English in both continents. --Checco (talk) 14:31, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

I moved the article back to its original and well-established name, Evangelical Church in Germany. It is true that evangelisch in the German context has usually a different meaning than evangelical in the North American context (see Evangelicalism#Usage and Evangelical–disambiguation), but, as discussed many times (most recently, as far as I know, at Talk:Evangelical People's Party of Switzerland#Evangelical vs. protestant), the most obvious translation for evangelisch is evangelical. It's indeed no surprise that, even in the United States, there are churches, most notably the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, still including evangelical in their name, while not being evangelical from a North American point of view. One always needs to remember that names of organizations not always explain their nature, theology, polity, ideology, etc. (Examples? Conservative Judaism and the Social Democratic Party of Portugal, which is not a social-democratic party but a conservative one, are just two.) Most articles on European churches/denominations including the term evangelical (evangelisch, évangélique, evangelico, etc.), notably including most EKD's member churchers, have been translated in en.Wiki using the term evangelical. --Checco (talk) 08:13, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

You call the name well-established, I would only call it established. The problem is a result of translation. The best solution, if you ask me, would be to move to the original German name(s). --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:53, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
With "well-established" I meant that it was the name of the article for most of its "life", since its start in April 2003. I understand and respect your opinion, but I think that articles should have English names as long as it is possible in order to make them more intelligible for readers (especially those not speaking European languages), who understand better English than any other language. --Checco (talk) 09:10, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
We can agree on long-established and that in general an English title is preferable. In this case, someone imagining the EKD as anything close to evangelism will be mislead. There is a nice explanation of the name in the article but way too late. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 19:12, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

I would most strongly disagree here. I had a similar discussion in the article on East Germany in this discussion I was outvoted as I wanted the article to be named German Democratic Republic. On which grounds was it overturned? Common usage. Evangelical holds both in German AND English a very much different connotation as to what the article is about. In German the term “Evangelikal” also exists and thereby corresponds to the usage of “Evangelical” in today’s English. The EKD however is the umbrella organisation of PROTESTANT churches in Germany – not evangelical congregations. What the Swiss make of it is of no importance here as Swiss German varies slightly from standard German anyways and most of all this article is about the protestant Church in Germany – its members would surely not like to be thrown into the same pot as Evangelicals (German “Evangelikale”). At any rate to translate the term “evangelisch” is by all means in linguistic ways utterly wrong! A good translation should keep the meaning of what is said and the articles name does not serve that purpose at all.--Catflap08 (talk) 18:14, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

Disagree with what? To move the article (and similar ones) to the original German name, as I mentioned above? --Gerda Arendt (talk) 18:19, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

I disagree to translate the term “evangelisch” with “evangelical” – it should read “protestant”. --Catflap08 (talk) 18:27, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

I said so in 2011, look above. We will not succeed because the EKD was [...] enough to have the wrong translation on their website. Therefore I seriously suggest to move to Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland. Nope the article should read “Protestant Church of Germany” as this is the English not German Wikipedia. --Catflap08 (talk) 18:43, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
Best then to first write to the EKD to change their website. - Some articles are fine, see Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau. - This is the English Wikipedia, but we don't need to translate common German names for things and people known by their German names. We have articles Schloss, Hochschule and Thomaskantor; Schloss is not a castle, Hochschule not a high school, and a Kantor is not a cantor. Better German than misunderstood because of a wrong or ambiguous translation. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 19:05, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

As long as the EKD officially translates its name to "Evangelical Church in Germany", that has to be the name for this article. Moreover, that translation is notably used by the World Council of Churches (see here) and has many more hits in Google than that proposed by Catflap08 (24,600 v. 12,900). Also Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau should be moved to "Evangelical Church in Hesse and Nassau" per consistency, despite its website.
Regarding Gerda Arendt's opinion on translations, I agree that some articles should keep the original language name (Schloss is a wonderful example and I would never want to move it to "Castle (Germany)" or something else), but names about organizations, especially when they are known in English literature and/or media by their English translations, should be in English. This is en.Wikipedia, indeed. --Checco (talk) 08:45, 25 September 2014 (UTC) "

Thanks for the response, but I think you contradict yourself saying here that "organizations, especially when they are known in English literature and/or media by their English translations, should be in English" and there that Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau should be moved, which is known by that name. You could have consistency as soon as you use the original names instead of consistency of the worse translation. Look at Schloss Moritzburg, another (easier) case where the Germans were not able to translate well, and compare to Schloss Weimar, using the shortest original name and explaining alternatives in the article. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 11:45, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
In fact, despite the en.Wikipedia's article, the church is better known as "Evangelical Church in Hesse and Nassau" than "Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau" on Google, and also the WCC refers to it that way (see here). Moreover, the comparison with Schlösser is not particularly appropriate (there are exceptions: the very Moritzburg Castle, Neuschwanstein Castle and most of the Schlösser listed at Schloss—the translation is usually either castle or palace) and the inconsistency of the articles on Schlösser is not a good reason to be inconsistent here too. --Checco (talk) 13:05, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
By simply comparing google hits, we suffered a move from a Beethoven sonata's ordinary name to a nickname (reverted after endless discussion). The translation of Schloss to Castle is wrong misleading, therefore I believe it's better to say Schloss and rely on the article of that name to explain to those who don't know. I believe the same for Evangelisch, but will leave it for the next three years ;) --Gerda Arendt (talk) 14:00, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
A move to the German original would the best, or keep evangelic. Its seldom I dare to disagree with Gerda, but it does happen ;) As far as I understood the policy of the EKD to translate E into "evangelical" its a) traditional b) claiming the evangelium ;) c) similar as "catholic" means more than just a confession but all of the church, evangelic is - yes - evangelisch. Serten (talk) 20:27, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Checco on this - the EKD translate their own name to the Evangelical Church in Germany, it's the most widely-recognised 'direct' (or literal) translation from German to English, it just makes senses. I am aware of the German word Evangelische equating to Protestantism rather than Evangelicalism, but as long as that is explained in the article clearly, which it is in this case, it really shouldn't be an issue for readers' general understanding of the article. (Perhaps move the sentence "The German term evangelisch here more accurately corresponds to the broad English term Protestant rather than to the narrower evangelical" to the opening section as a compromise?)--Autospark (talk) 11:30, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Autospark. I have a similar issue with my draft about the Popular image of Native Americans in German speaking countries - the translation of "Indianer" in "native americans" is not appropriate, as Indianer covers much more than "plain(s) US" and I used a similar approach by adding an explanation in the entry. Serten (talk) 15:40, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

I just contacted the EKD via e-mail. Even though they do translate their page with “Evangelical” in their English HP version I do still object. The negative or sectarian connotation that the term “evangelical” holds still exists. The proper translation of the German term “Evangelisch” corresponds to “Protestant” in English. The English term “Evangelical” would in German translate as “Evangelikal” … all in all the article’s title gives the average English reader a wrong lead. Even though some congregations regarded evangelical are members of the EKD one should keep in mind that it compromises most protestant churches within the FRG.--Catflap08 (talk) 15:02, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

Catflap08, I would be cautious in assuming that the EKD doesn't use the name game without a reason. That said, lets as good Reformed ones be not more popish than the Bishop of Rome and keep the official name. Serten (talk) 02:19, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Nope wrong just received an email from the EKD they are well aware of the conflict, but will leave the matter as it is as to them come to a conclusion. Protestant and evangelical are not the same thing in the 21st century.--Catflap08 (talk) 19:01, 9 October 2014 (UTC)

They are exactly the same thing from a continental European point of view, they are not from an Anglo-Saxon one. By the way, this is not matter of discussion here: we are just discussing on which is the most correct, hence literal, translation of Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland, which is clearly "Evangelical Church of Germany" (are we going to move also Evangelical Lutheran Church in America? no way). --Checco (talk) 07:21, 11 October 2014 (UTC)

Sorry if I cannot speak for „Continental Europe“, but the term “Evangelical” translates in its “negative” meaning to “evangelikal” in German. The term “evangelisch” corresponds to simply mainstream Protestantism. In the end it’s about where one would like the reader to be directed to ---- the EKD is not an umbrella organisation for fundamentalist evangelicals. --Catflap08 (talk) 18:09, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

Again, please do not confuse terms and meanings. There are many churches which are "evangelical" by name but not by orientation, parties which are "liberal", "democratic", "social democratic", etc. but not by ideology, etc. --Checco (talk) 10:04, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
[@:Catflap08] Well, English speaking Lutherans do not agree with you. The largest Lutheran church in the United States is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. It seems that "Evangelical" is the standard translation in English. Yes, it may be confusing, but that is why there is an entire section dedicated to clarifying what "Evangelical" means in this context. Ltwin (talk) 17:36, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Good point! It is exactly what I have been trying to argue for a while. --Checco (talk) 08:12, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Nope not a good point made as the guideline of WP:COMMONNAME still is in use and a major reason why some articles are not renamed. I resist my case as at this point as the EKD translates its own homepage as “evnaglical”, but I am more than happy that due to my email contact I have made them YET AGAIN aware of the problem. Some people I know, and who are extremely active in the Protestant Church, agree full heartedly with me – but as the EKD does not correct the translation so may be it. The reference to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is somewhat misleading as the EKD does not only encompass Lutheran congregations but all mainstream protestant churches including some Baptist congregations that could truly be called “evangelikal” or as in English evangelical. --Catflap08 (talk) 19:09, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Au contraire, I'd like to see mainline Protestants take the term "evangelical" back, but this is another story—as yours. :) --Checco (talk) 08:09, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

  • I'm treating this as a requested move discussion, as it has been discussed many times already (cf. here, or here, or even here) with no agreement on a move. This way maybe we won't have to do this all again unless someone has something different to contribute.
The argument for a move was that “Evangelical” does not accurately describe the doctrinal stance of this body; the argument against is that this is the name the body calls itself in English, and the term affiliates in English-speaking countries use.
From a WP point of view, the applicable policy is WP:COMMONNAME ie. the name most likely to be found in English language sources, or be searched for by English-speaking readers, or by which the subject would be (or should be) referred to in running text in other articles. In this case the common name, overwhelmingly, is "Evangelical Church in Germany", regardless of how appropriate anybody feels that might be.
An alternative proposal, to use the German name here, has also been discussed before; it is clear that such a move was not acceptable then, and that it has little or no support now.
I am archiving this discussion; if anyone in future feels the page title is wrong I suggest they open a Request move and make a case (preferably in accordance with policy), and resolve it that way. Otherwise I suggest the matter be closed. Moonraker12 (talk) 09:54, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Evangelisch vs Evangelical[edit]

A few months back I had an email exchange with the EKD on this article. They seem to be well aware of the fact that the expression “evangelical” (or in German “evangelikal”) does these days holds different implications. In common use however the German term “evangelisch” corresponds to “protestant” in English. The German term “evngelikal” corresponds to the common use of “evangelical” in English. That’s what it boils down to – only the official “seal” is missing, as the EKD itself translates the German term “evangelisch” to the English “evangelical” even though the common use says different. --Catflap08 (talk) 18:24, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

I still don't see any problem about it and I don't see why the official translation should change. There are many non-evangelical churches having "Evangelical" in their names, notably including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. --Checco (talk) 12:45, 10 August 2015 (UTC)