Talk:List of Christian denominations/Archive 3

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New Thought

As the list is structured now it seems that New Thought churches (and Christian Science too) are a branch of Spiritualism and I don't think it's correct... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:06, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Scope of list

Is there any clearly defined scope or limit to this list? What if 10 people start a denomination - do we list them here? Colin MacLaurin (talk) 07:55, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

At a minimum, each organization must have a verifiable reference to its existance. Whether its 10 people, or 10 million, if it can be verified, it belongs. But note, this list does not claim to be comprehensive, so it does not need to include all organizations. Bytebear (talk) 05:10, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
New listing criteria are in place to avoid expansion to 38,000 entries. The scope will be limited to groups which have Wikipedia pages. Tb (talk) 03:51, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
This seems to not fit the definition of a denomination. There has to be a group of churches, not a single church. A single church may be a sect, but not a denomination. In a cursory view of the list there are individual churches cited, which should be deleted if the list is going to fit the title of the article. --Storm Rider (talk) 09:33, 22 August 2008 (UTC)hi


Anglicanism is the via media between Catholicism and Protestant. It is better to put it under an independent section. Ngckmax —Preceding comment was added at 14:33, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Anglicanism is actually, if you read the writings on the via media, referred to as the the path between ROMAN Catholicism and Protestantism, not simply Catholic. Therefore, this leaves Anglicanism as being neither Protestant nor Roman Catholic, but instead being a different form of Catholicism. It is often referred to as Reformed Catholicism. The same is true of Eastern Orthodoxy which is often referred to as Orthodox Catholicism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:29, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

It's really a rather arbitrary exercise in classification and depends on a) whom you ask (i.e. anglo-catholic revisionists versus those leaning in a more reformed direction b) what time period you're referring to (before or after the oxford movement) and c)what aspect of religious life, e.g. church polity, theology, liturgy. With some notable exceptions the Church of England through most of its history since late 16th cent has embraced some kind of Protestant identity. Accept for the extreme ritualists of post mid 19th century, many aspects of Anglicanism normally identified as less protestant are shared by other Reformation churches, Lutheranism most notably. Lutheranism, like Anglicanism, has long included both pietist/puritan and high church aspects, often in tension as in Anglicanism; and in many places Lutheranism is organized on an episcopal model (the Lutheran Church of Sweden is very Catholic by these standards). In short, I think its historically misleading simply to include Anglicanism under Catholic, and perhaps a little too political since certainly there are many Anglicans who would take issue with this. The term 'via media' overstates the uniqueness of Anglicanism within Protestantism and understates the "catholic" elements within other Protestant traditions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:44, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

The point here--and the classification that has achieved some consensus and stability--is that the Anglican churches claim continuity and unbroken apostolic succession of bishops from the pre-great-schism church. That in turn was the description for "Catholicism" to avoid either deciding "which is the true church", or "who broke from whom" questions surrounding the controversies between the RC, Orthodox, and Anglicans. Tb (talk) 20:51, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

But that still doesn't get us to Anglicanism deserving a unique classification. The Church of Sweden claims to be networked into the Apostolic Succession, as does the ELCA, somewhat reluctantly, since the Full Communion agreement with the Episcopal Church. The statement that Anglicanism is "not Protestant," and that classification as Catholic (or a 'via media') has achieved a degree of consensus is a stretch--and remains a highly politicized issue--especially if one takes a historical perspective. The Church of England of, say, the eighteenth century thought of itself as thoroughly Protestant; emphasis of the catholic character of the church found a home in certain clerical subcultures (including those that gave birth to Methodism), but the importance of the apostolic succession is by and large a mid to late nineteenth century, post- Tractarian innovation--as with so much else that is dear to Anglo-Catholics. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:13, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

The Church of Sweden is a national church, Anglican is international. There has always been diversity in Anglicanism, at the same time some may have considered it protestant, others have been at pains to consider it the exact opposite. Some of this is 16th century history: not wishing to be Lutheran and Calvinist, not wanting to be "papist". If you read Hooker and Swift and others, you will see that the middle way is what is present at the start, with the diversity later. In this way, it might even be consdered restorationist. I think the present understanding of Anglicanism leaves it here. --Fremte (talk) 17:32, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure what this "deserving" is. The list is not about status; it's about organizational clarity. It would be bizarre to list the Church of Sweden separately from other Lutherans, would it not? Moreover, the page is documenting present Christian denominations, and (generally) tries to stay away from historical bodies which no longer exist. The page is about documenting what is and not what was, and doing so in as clear a way as possible. Tb (talk) 01:24, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

The via media of the Elizabethan Settlement refers mostly to church polity--episcopacy versus the Genevan model--and what the "priesthood of believers" should mean, with the Church of England adopting a conservative reading of this Reformation idea--and not all that dissimilar from the "Magisterial" Reformation in Germany and Scandinavia. In the case of Anglicanism, this alone does not take it far enough from the "mainstream" of Protestantism to justify slotting it under the label 'catholic.' Newman notwithstanding, it is generally agreed that the 39 articles and the Book of Common prayer are documents of the Reformation and do not attest to any greater continuity of Anglicanism with pre-Reformation church than any other Protestant tradition. The Reformation in England was as decisive a break in religious practice and identity as anywhere else (worship was thoroughly overhauled, religious orders abolished, transubstantiation rejected, etc). The Irish Catholic historian Eamon Duffy asserts that England was comprehensively 'Protestantized' by the early Stuart era. And precisely because Anglican history is so diverse (not to mention riddled with conflict and the kinds of classification struggles evident here in this discussion) including Anglicanism under 'Catholic' is really an overly simplistic and misleading (and a bit mischievous) representation of history. Of course Catholic and Protestant are just words that can be, and have been, assigned many meanings. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:02, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

The page is clear what it means by "Catholicism", which has many meanings. There is probably no way to include the Orthodox and the RCs under "Catholicism" by any definition which would not include Anglicans. Tb (talk) 01:24, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
But why insist on joining Roman Catholicism and E Orthodoxy in the same category in the first place? It just seems like the whole logic of this denominational family tree--which is actually very 'historical'--is to include Anglicanism under Catholicism. That's only one of the many ways to cut it. Considering both the historical and contemporary diversity of Anglicanism, why not just give it its own category which would speak to both Reformation and pre-Reformation influences? As it stands it looks more like a product of Anglo-Catholic partisanship than an effort to capture organizational clarity... Anyway, a denominational family tree should include more than church polity issues (e.g. Apostolic succession as the sole criteria), including genealogy in terms of theological relationships--here including Anglicanism under Catholic is a doubtful move. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:44, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Orthodox views of Roman Catholicism

The text has long had a couple paragraphs expressing the Orthodox view of Roman Catholicism. An anonymous editor has twice now removed these paragraphs. I think that rather than having an edit war about them, it's better to recognize that such paragraphs are really not useful at all on this page, and so I've gone further and removed the other such "what group X thinks of group Y" paragraphs. Tb (talk) 23:21, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

"Catholicism and Orthodoxy"

Orthodoxy is Catholic, according to the second definition provided on the Catholicism page. This is also true of Anglicanism. Neither are ROMAN Catholic, but both certainly are Catholic. Therefore the section title needn't say "Catholicism and Orthodoxy", but rather simply "Catholicism".

I don't disagree. I wanted to forestall a worry about bias, however. In common English usage, however much I may dislike the fact, people use the label in an exclusive way. But perhaps I could understand better if you would explain what harm is done by using both words? Also, can you please use the "Edit summary" box when making changes, just to give a brief explanation, so that other editors don't have to guess? Thanks. Tb (talk) 23:38, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

What harm is done is the implication that Orthodoxy is not Catholic.

I understand, and I was trying to be sensitive to that and, I guess, failed in the opposite direction! If Eastern and Oriental Orthodox are happy with the label, then I don't think anyone should have reason to complain. I was worried that they would be unhappy with it. Tb (talk) 23:47, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox perspectives on Roman Catholicism

Someone keeps adding comments on Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox perspectives on the Roman Catholic Church. For one, the statement that they consider it to be Apostolic is absolutely false. Both churches deny the Apostolic Succession of the Roman Catholic Church and view it as having deviated from the Apostolic faith, and therefore no longer being Apostolic. Please cut the ecumenical bullshit.

For another, neither still regard Rome as the first among equals. Rome lost this title when it submitted itself to heresy in 1014 by adopting the filioque clause. The Eastern Orthodox consider the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople to be the current first among equals. The Oriental Orthodox consider the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria to be the current first among equals. Again, cut the ecumenical bullshit.

Please be careful with your language. Both in articles and talk-pages such language is not appropriate. There is a fair bit of controversy and disagreement among Eastern and Oriental Orthodox views about the RC-church. Some express the view you give here; some express the view that was in the article. Under the circumstances, the best course is to drop the whole thing, since it's out of place in this article anyway. For no other groups do we have little paragraphs listing what they think of others, and if we tried to, the article would be impossible. Such things really belong on the pages for the particular churches in question. This is, after all, just supposed to be a list page. Tb (talk) 23:40, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Sorry about the language.

Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy

I think the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox sections should be edited to actually reflect the level of precedence given to each autocephalous church in each of these communions. For example, the Church of Armenia is clearly not the first in precedence in the Oriental Orthodox Communion, but rather the Patriarchate of Alexandria is first, the Patriarchate of Antioch is second, and the Church of Armenia comes third only after these two. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Deusveritasest (talkcontribs) 23:34, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

The current arrangement is (or is supposed to be) alphabetical. Tb (talk) 23:41, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Ah, ok. Don't you think it would be more helpful for those ecclesiastically minded people to list according to level of precedence within these Churches?

I suppose. The precedence in question is an important fact of life for the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, but not for anyother category on this page. So sure, no reason not to list in order of precedence, but then a comment should be made to that regard. I do think that the autonomous churches should remain (why did you remove them??) and each autonomous church should be indented under the appropriate autocephalous church. Tb (talk) 23:45, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

They seemed to me at the time to simply be taking up unnecessary space. But if these churches are independent in everything but their patriarchal ordination then I suppose they should receive mention in this page. Deusveritasest (talk) 00:09, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

I will seek to restore the autonomous churches to the list. Deusveritasest (talk) 00:09, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

The Orthodox Church in America (OCA)

The autocephaly of the OCA is still largely debated in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and it goes unrecognized by the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Therefore, I do not think that it should be listed as simply and clearly autocephalous as the other 14 churches listed in the Eastern Orthodox section. Deusveritasest (talk) 00:09, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

It seems to me that it should clearly be in that section, but should also perhaps have a note that its autocephaly is debated. Tb (talk) 02:49, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Names of Orthodox Churches

Many Orthodox churches have several names, and the names are sometimes politically charged because of the division of the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox. Given that, and that it is not the place of a mere list page to take sides, we should defer here to the Wikipedia default name for each, which is the name of the principal page for the church. I've altered the names accordingly. Tb (talk) 02:52, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

No, we should refer to the churches by the names they call themselves. (talk) 03:00, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

There is no single name which each of those churches use. The problem is, of the many correct names, which should we choose? Rather than continual controversy, we should use the name which is already the "normal" one for Wikipedia: the name of their own page. In each case, there is nothing incorrect about that name, and in each case, it is one of the names they use to call themselves. Tb (talk) 03:22, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Yes, there is a single, official name for each of these, that being the ones I am using. Deusveritasest (talk) 03:23, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

That's nonsense. For most of these churches, the wikipedia page already lists several names. Please discuss this and let's not get into an edit war. If the name of the wikipedia page for a church is incorrect, then that should be dealt with on that page. I'm saying that here it is foolish to start deviating from the already-standardized wikipedia names. Are you suggesting that it is good for wikipedia to have multiple inconsistent names for the same entities? Tb (talk) 03:25, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

RFC: Canonicalization of Names of Orthodox Churches

User:Tb thinks that it is best for Orthodox churches (Eastern and Oriental) to be listed under the names which title the wikipedia articles for those churches.

User:Deusveritasest thinks that it is best for Orthodox churches to be listed under the names they use for themselves.

The problem with the view of User:Tb is that the churches sometimes have apparently inconsistent and unparallel title names ("Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople" vs "Church of Greece") which can be confusing or misleading.

Tho problem with the view of User:Deusveritasest is that Orthodox jurisdictions often have more than one name, and it is not clear which we should use, and that the names may well overlap between Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches. 03:44, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Can't you do both? I.e. Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (Church of Greece) Bytebear (talk) 05:54, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

"("Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople" vs "Church of Greece")". Actually the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Church of Greece are two completely distinct ecclesiastical bodies, united only as two fellow autocephalous churches of the Eastern Orthodox Communion. The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is only "the Church of Greece" in history, the past. It no longer ever refers to itself as this. The Church of Greece never has referred to itself as the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Both of these groups may be Greek Orthodox (as are also the Churches of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Cyprus) but they are clearly distinct entities.

Secondly there is no particular by which there is an overlap in name between the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox jurisdictions. There was the possibility of that at one point, but that is precisely why for the patriarchates of Alexandria the qualifications Greek vs. Coptic were added, for the patriarchates of Antioch the qualifications Greek vs. Syriac were added and for the patriarchates of Jerusalem the qualifications Greek vs. Armenian were added. Deusveritasest (talk) 06:35, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Bytebear you are, I think, missing the question. There are many different EO jurisdictions. One of those (in Turkey) is the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, and another is the autocephalous orthodox church in Greece. But the wikipedia titles of those two churches are not parallel in style, even though the churches are, roughly speaking. I think that's User:Deusvertasest's point, and it's a good one. I don't think anyone wants the List page here to list all the different names of each church; that would be a disaster. If User:Deusveritasest is right, then the titles of those other wikipedia pages, such as Church of Greece are incorrect, and he objects to following their lead here. I have no opinion about whether the other titles are incorrect, but I think that we should follow them. Tb (talk) 06:42, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
It was an example. I have no idea the naming conventions of these various religions, but it some entity is known by multiple names, I would prefer the official name (or the Wikipedia preferred name) followed by the alternative name or names in parenthesis. Perhaps something like "Church of Greece (aternative name; another alternative name; etc.)" Bytebear (talk) 06:45, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
I think you're missing the point again. User:Deusveritasest is complaining, in essence, that the wikipedia page titles are wrong. We can't list many names here, however much it may seem like a way to cut the gordian knot--the page is already quite large, and the names, especially of orthodox churches, can be quite long. When you say "I would prefer the official name (or the Wikipedia preferred name)" you're dodging the question! Of those two--official name, or Wikipedia preferred name--which should we list here? Tb (talk) 07:06, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
You should list the official church name, regardless of how long it is. Look at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for example. Yes, it is easier to say Mormon Church, but it is also incorrect. Bytebear (talk) 07:30, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
I get the feeling you aren't even trying to understand. Let's start over.
The problem with length arises only if we are going to list multiple names for each church. The names are long, and there are sometimes as many as five long alternative names. (See Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, eg.)
The problem we are asking about here and which you don't seem to want to help with, or perhaps just don't have the knowledge to help with, is what to do when the Wikipedia article name and the official name are different. We know what to do when they are the same. So The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is no example of anything: the official name matches the page. But what should we do about the Syriac Orthodox Church, which User:Bytebear says is properly called the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, or the Armenian Apostolic Church which he says should be Patriarchate of Echmiadzin and All Armenia, a name which isn't on that page at all? Tb (talk) 07:41, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
Well, of those names, which is official? and if several are official, which is most common in usage? Clearly Wikipedia says that the answer to both questions is Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch. If you or another editor disagrees, give reasons and citations, and the page will be renamed. If not, then that name should be the one used on this page, and the reader can go to the article to find alternatives. Also, remember this list is not comprehensive, so it's ok if some more obscure or confusing names are not required. Hope this helps. As an aside, the naming conventions of the churches within the Latter Day Saint movement are far more complex than this issue. In fact, there is an entire set of naming conventions just for those issues. Bytebear (talk) 07:56, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
You really don't understand the complexities here. Often the name of the page is different from the official name for good reasons; an example is Episcopal Church in the United States of America, for which the official name is just "The Episcopal Church". Tb (talk) 08:10, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
I understand the policies of Wikipedia. Bytebear (talk) 00:51, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
Excellent. So when the wikipedia page has a different title from the official name, and the wikipedia page's title is different for good reasons, which name should we use here? And, when the wikipedia page has a different title from the official name, and this seems to be a mistake, which name should we use here? Tb (talk) 03:34, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
This page should be a reflection of that page. This is essentially a list, and as such should match what subjects it represents. If you are not happy with the Wikipedia title, then change the article first, and then change the list. Bytebear (talk) 05:57, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

I don't see any reason not to use the article titles for the list. Beyond that, are the non-parallel names really an issue. The Example given above doesn't quite work - there is no Patriarch of Greece, so the churches of Constantinople and Greece are not, in fact, all that parallel to one another. john k (talk) 07:15, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

(RFC Response) I think the general rule should be to use the article title - especially in cases where the true official name is not in English, which I expect will be almost all of these churches. When the editors of an article have knowingly chosen to use a common but unofficial name, that should be the most common English name for the church, and thus merit inclusion here. If there is also a lesser known official English name, then that name can be listed separately, in the form "Official Name, commonly known as, Article Title", with the link on the title. I'm sure you all love getting a divergent opinion, but this is what I think will serve our readers the best. GRBerry 22:16, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Definitely use the official name. Only makes sense. Fooglemaster (talk) 16:06, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Yes. They should. If the wikipedia article name is not the official name, the wikipedia article should be moved, but the official name should be used, with links to the wikipedia name. Yahel Guhan 05:20, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

But what if the official name is not the wikipedia article name, and the details of the case mean that the article should not be moved? An example is Episcopal Church in the United States, for which the official name is just "The Episcopal Church." Tb (talk) 16:29, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

I don't have anything to add to the substantive discussion, but since it's been asserted a couple of times, I feel the need to point out that "The Episcopal Church" is not the official name of ECUSA. It's merely a change (and a rather unfortunate one, given the plethora of "Episcopal Churches" in the Anglican Communion) in the way ECUSA brands itself in the media. It's a PR policy change, not a name change, much like when "ECUSA" began to displace "PECUSA" as the common abbreviation. The official corporate name remains the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America. Actually, come to think of it, that might indeed be relevant here. Note that the aforementioned link is red. We clearly don't expect many people to search for ECUSA that way. Perhaps we ought to apply the same logic to the "Patriarchate of Echmiadzin and All Armenia." Carolynparrishfan (talk) 18:21, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Carylnparrishfan is quite incorrect. There are two official names for the Episcopal Church given in the church's constitution: "The Episcopal Church" and "The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America." Moreover, the change came not as part of any PR effort, but as an official amendment to the church's constitution. DFMS is the name of the national church's civil corporation, but is not the name of the church itself, which is, as is stated in the constitution (and at Episcopal Church in the United States, either TEC or PECUSA. Tb (talk) 18:28, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm a newcomer to this area, but my two cents are that - like with categorization of denominations - it might be best to follow the lead of individual article editors, who are presumably the most interested and well-versed in the denominational status and title of each church. In other words, if you prefer the official name of church, argue for a move on the talk page for that specific church, and then if that succeeds change the link here. TrickyApron (talk) 15:37, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Presumably we're talking about which name to list first, as there's no particular reason all relevant names can't be listed like "Church C (also called Church D)". Taking that into account, I think that it would probably make most sense to use the name of the extant article, if there is one, first, barring obvious exceptions like the Episcopal Church in North America. In cases like that, where the official name does not sufficiently differentiate the body from others in the minds of outsiders, use the unofficial, but clearer, name first, and the official name second. John Carter (talk) 21:27, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Many have commented without really understanding the case, but the general consensus seems to be to use the name of the Wikipedia article, and if that name is incorrect, to fix the other article first to have the right name. In cases where the article uses a non-official name for good reason, we should follow suit here and also use the same non-official name. Tb (talk) 22:36, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Latvian Orthodox Church

A citation is needed proving the autonomy of the Latvian Orthodox Church. Orthodox wiki said that it is not autonomous, which made me curious. Deusveritasest (talk) 07:43, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Orthodox wiki is irrelevant. According to Latvian Orthodox Church it is semi-autonomous. You fail to understand that this page here, List of Christian denominations, is a part of Wikipedia, and should conform to the assertions made elsewhere in Wikipedia. It is not the primary place to fix things--fix them on those other pages, and if the changes stand the test of time, then fix them here. This is not the place to start. Tb (talk) 08:12, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Moldovan Orthodox Church

A citation showing the autonomy of the Moldovan Orthodox Church is also needed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Deusveritasest (talkcontribs) 07:54, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Orthodox wiki is irrelevant. According to Moldovan Orthodox Church, it regards itself as autonomous, and was granted autonomy by the Russian church. The Romanian Orthodox Church (presumably) disputes it. Tb (talk) 08:13, 2 March 2008 (UTC)


You're saying if I find those claims questionable that I should take that matter to their main articles rather than debating it here? Deusveritasest (talk) 23:59, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

That's exactly what I'm saying. I have no great issue with what names are used, but I believe that this article should track the names of the wikipedia articles. If those are incorrect, the solution is to fix them and then make this match. Tb (talk) 03:27, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
And, by the way, that's basically the bailiwick of the relevant wikipedia projects, who may well have already thought about this question, but I have no information either way. Tb (talk) 04:13, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
Oh, and this page, like List of Religions should take a generally expansive view for the same reasons. If there is a jurisdiction which is making a disputed claim, we should simply list it and mark the claim as disputed, at least, in the cases where the claim is backed up by at least one undisputedly genuine group. That is why the OCA and the Moldovans should be listed here. Tb (talk) 04:15, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Restorationism vs. non-Trinitarian

Recently an editor split out the LDS movement into "non-Trinitarian" instead of "restorationism." While both classifications are accurate for the LDS Church, it is not for the movement in general. I also believe classifications of religion should be less about doctrine, an more about history. If you look at 1830 Mormonism, it was very trinitarian, and only later did the unique doctrines of the LDS Church evolve (although it all stemmed from Joseph Smith). Also, the Community of Christ a sect of that movement is strictly trinitarian and does not fit the proposed classification. The restoration movement came from the second great awakening, which clearly Mormonism was a part of, but because we are talking about more than specifically the LDS Church, the movement is better defined under "restorationism". Bytebear (talk) 18:19, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

I agree with you that the page is ok as is, but I would like to see more under "restorationism" than is there at present. I believes it's not NPOV to say that LDS are non-trinitarian, btw. From the perspective of nearly all Nicene churches, that would be correct, but the LDS understand themselves to be trinitarian IIRC. Why are the Stone-Campbell people not under Restorationism, for example? Tb (talk) 18:47, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
So do the LDS get to define "trinitarian" to mean what ever they want it to mean? I do not think the word would exsist apart from the meeting to define it in the 4th cent.
Restorationism meant something different to Stone-Campbell then LDS. Since this page is not about the term I think it best to just use term in the various parts of the list in some way like we have.
You make some good points but the LDS movement would dispute Mormonism being a part of the second great awakening, (as would I as best I understand it/them). I believe classifications should be in part what they are like now, and churches coming from the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement have much more in common with 95% of other protestants than with 99% the LDS movement churches.--Carlaude (talk) 18:58, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
They most certainly were influenced by the second great awakening. At least Joseph Smith references it in his quest that led to his First Vision. The problem with your assessment is that "what they are like now" is not uniform. There are hundreds of various denominations within the Latter Day Saint movement, and although The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are by far the largest, it is not the only church in that movemnet. The second largest, the Community of Christ (formerly RLDS) has very little in common with the LDS church, for example. Other than the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, their doctines are very different. I would actually say that your conclusion of 99% of the LDS movement churches is a bit off. In the movement there is one dominant church with 13 million members. You are being blinded by that one church. The CoC has 300,000 or so members, and is the second largest church, so if you take just those two churches, you see they are very different. And the CoC has much more in common with traditional protestantism, trinity and all. Other branches of Mormonism are extremely small, like under 500 members, and they are as diverse as ever, some coming from the "Prarie Saints" and some from the "Rocky Mountain Saints." Some are trinitarians, some are not. Many, including the CoC, never practiced polygamy. Some still do today, (although the LDS Church hasn't for over 100 years). So, to group them all under "non-trinitarianism" is false. But they all do claim a restoration of Christ's church. And they all did spring from the religous furvor of the second great awakening. Bytebear (talk) 19:12, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
I think it is worth noting that the Latter-day Saints are the most non-Trinitarian of any group that calls it self Christian.--Carlaude (talk) 19:27, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't think it is. There are many Christian groups who reject Nicene doctrine. LDS are certainly more trinitarian than Jehovah Witnesses for example, as they do see the Holy Ghost as a personage, rather than an invisible force. In fact, if you are going to debate trinity vs. Godhead, then you will see the similarities are actually quite striking. Mormons do believe the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are ONE GOD. That is doctrinal. I would use "nicene" or "credal" Chritianity over "Trinitarian" as it isn't the doctrine as much as the methods that defined the doctrine that are the real issue. Mormons reject the creeds of the 4th century. That is much more important than the doctrinal nature of God. Bytebear (talk) 19:59, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
Incorrect! Mormons not only reject Nicene doctrine, but also see Father and Jesus as different individuals ("persons" in the modern english meaning of the word), thus rejecting the very idea of a triune God. Further, they believe that the God revealing himself in the Bible is only one of myriads of gods all ruling in their own universes, and that we can eventually become one of them. Therefore the whole Mormon idea of divinity is so far from that of mainstream christianity that the nontrinitarian nature of LDS movement cannot be overemphasized. -- (talk) 13:04, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
I have no doubt that the main LDS church is non-trinitarian. At the same time, some offshoots may no be such, for example, the Community of Christ and other Prairie Saint groups. Accordingly, I've reverted your edit, but added a note to express more clearly the non-trinitarian nature of most such groups in an NPOV way. Tb (talk) 19:25, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Oh, and your reference is completely bias, and a little anti-Mormon. The same arguments of polytheism are used againt Christianity by Muslims all the time. Kettle, meet pot. Bytebear (talk) 20:02, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
I apologize for being unclear in my word choice above. What I meant is best expressed as 99% the LDS movement congregations (of course that number would seem to need a new estimate of 98% or so).
Joseph Smith may references the second great awakening in his quest but in that First Vision he was told to totally ignore all churches on earth (such as those people in the second great awakening). --Carlaude (talk) 19:42, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
I guess I need to know how you define "restorationism". If you define it as a specific movement (i.e. the Restoration Movement), then LDS are tangential, but not pivital to the specific Stone-Campbell movement. But if you are talking "restorationism" vs. "reformation" vs. "protestantism" meaning the organization claims to have restored Christianity rather than reformed the existing church or protested Catholic rule, then Mormonism fits squarely in that category. I am ok with having LDS as a separate heading, but it should be mentioned that they are seen as a restorationist group. Bytebear (talk) 19:55, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Now that I see User:Carlaude's reorg, with LDS as a major heading, I think I like it. It isn't perfect, but it's probably about the best we can do. A similar problem about "current character" and "historical origin" involves the clear separation now between Anglicanism and Methodism here. Certainly we can't put the group under Non-trinitarian. And it seems clearly that all these groups belong in one category; it seems bizarre to me to split up the various parts of the Latter Day Saint movement. Given that, a separate grouping seems to be clear and unambiguous. Tb (talk) 19:28, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Presbyterian and Reformed

I see that a reformed churches like the Dutch Reformed Church are listed as Congregationalists. This is not a good classification. Reformed Churches from (mainly the Netherlands) European continent have a Presbyterian form of church government and are therefore definitely not Congregationalists. I suggest to rename the Presbyterian header into Presbyterian and Reformed or so. Also in the real world one can see these two groups operating side by side in organisations as the WARC and ICRC etc.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:12, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Well, that wouldn't work quite right because we'd have a "Presbyterian and Reformed" under the existing "Reformed" header. At first blush, I'd say just move them to the Presbyterian catgory, but that also might be confusing since they don't have the particular Anglo-Scottish history of those groups. Is there a third label that would be good? Or is it fine to just put them under Presbyterian? Tb (talk) 14:48, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
I see what you mean. Mmm, `Continental Reformed' then? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:43, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I think "Continental Reformed" would be just the thing. Tb (talk) 14:21, 10 March 2008 (UTC)


Why are the Rastafari always deleted? Rasta is based on the bible, in contrast to Voodoo and Obeah (which are listed here)? (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 10:24, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

I think it is rather a stretch to consider Rastafari part of Protestantism, which is where it was added. If anything, it belongs under New Religious Movements. But it's not clear it belongs under Christianity at all. Tb (talk) 14:26, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
This can indeed be debatted. I put them there, because historically they are connected to the African Initiated churches. But now I will re-add them further down. (talk) 09:47, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
If LDS/Mormonism is included, then Rastafari should also be included. It is probably about as distinct a denomination as the LDS groups. Both have some unique practices, beliefs and doctrines. --Fremte (talk) 01:41, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
It's not that it has unique practices, beliefs, and doctrines. Except for saying that Haile Selassie is Jesus, it basically doesn't mention Jesus Christ at all--at least, not on the page. There is some re-use of Christian terminology, but I don't see any real attempt to connect with Christian tradition. By contrast, the LDS claim, at least, to be the true religion as taught by the historical Jesus Christ. Tb (talk) 20:49, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
No. Some will say Rasta will say Hailie Salassie is Jesus incarnate, but not nearly all, most say he is a representative of JC. Just as some few Christians will not identify Jesus as a saviour, just as an example. The point is that LDS believe they have a prophet who gave them a new revelation, well so do the Rastafari. Have a look at Nyabinghi
"I'll never forget no way, how they crucified Jesus Christ
I'll never forget no way, how they sold Marcus Garvey for rice
I'll never forget no way, how they turned their back on Paul Bogle." (Bob Marley, So Much Things to Say). --Fremte (talk) 17:44, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

List Limits

Does anyone think it's a bit odd that Lutheranism has 107 entries, mostly of the form Evangelical Lutheran Church in/of nation X,Y,Z...? Similar patterns of growth can be seen in many other categories. Have any policies been proposed to limit the growth of the list? Since a Denomination is just a group with a name, the practical scope of this list is unlimited - thus criteria might be helpful. See Lists in Wikipedia. TrickyApron (talk) 22:55, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

The list of, for example, Eastern Orthodox autonomous and autocephalous churches, and Anglican provinces, is useful and helps to elucidate things. At the same time, too much expansion makes things harder to see. List of religions has the pair of rules that it is expansive about "what counts", and only things with articles in wikipedia should be listed. That works well enough there, but here more detail is useful. Only three Anglican provinces lack articles, and that should be easy to fix. At that point, maybe we should adopt the same rule here? That also helps with the annoying task of verifying that the categorization of groups is right: some tiny group that has no article and no clear info on the web, how do we tell? So maybe we should make sure there are no obvious lacks (by writing suitable articles), and then prune every red link? Tb (talk) 23:22, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
Lol, there were no missing Anglican provincial pages; the links here just had incorrect names. I should have bothered to check that sooner. :) So I have no objection to a no-red-links rule for this page; text similar to that at the front of List of religions could be used. Tb (talk) 23:30, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
Definite yes to pruning every red link. As for the Orthodox and Anglican churches, they illustrate another problem: they duplicate information found in the main articles under Anglican_Communion#Provinces_of_the_Anglican_Communion and Eastern_Orthodox_Church#Orthodox_churches_in_communion, except in a less detailed and probably less well maintained form. Presumably the main articles have editors who are well-versed in the area and concerned about making sure every church is listed and has an article - is it really worthwhile to repeat their efforts here? TrickyApron (talk) 23:32, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
I think so; the article isn't too huge there, and growth is very slow so there isn't a problem of those sections expanding. They are as big as they are going to be; perhaps in our lifetimes two or three more items might be added. Tb (talk) 00:00, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
Here's the text from list of religions modified for this page:
Note: As there are countless denominations, many of which cannot be verified to be significant or real, only those denominations with Wikipedia articles will be listed in order to ensure that all entries on this list are notable and verifiable.
How does that look? TrickyApron (talk) 23:35, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
Looks good, but I think that "or real" may be sensibly dropped. Tb (talk) 00:00, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
Done. TrickyApron (talk) 03:36, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
The last two paragraphs of the lead hinted at criteria for the list; I integrated the former with my note and turned the latter into a note also, emulating list of religions. TrickyApron (talk) 03:43, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Implementation of the proposal is now complete. Whew. Time for bed. Tb (talk) 04:41, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Jesus Freaks

I's like to add the Jesus Freaks (youth movement), but I have no idea where to fill them in. Can someone with more knowledge on the classification of christian denominations help, please? (talk) 14:07, 29 June 2008 (UTC)


An editor recently moved the Mar Thomas Church out of the "uniting churches" section of Protestantism, and into a new top-level section called "Indigenous Churches". I moved it back. First, what's wrong with "Indigenous Churches"? Well, the problem is certainly that nearly every group on the page is indigenous, depending on the exact definition. The Mar Thomas Church is a reformed church; part of the heritage of the ancient St. Thomas Christians of Kerala, but not more indigenous than the (Roman) Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Oriental Orthodox churches which trace to the same lineage. If anything, the Mar Thoma church is most closely allied with Anglicanism these days, but it is not a member of the Anglican Communion, so it doesn't belong in that section. The placement under Uniting Churches captures well its similarity with the other Uniting Churches of India--though not quite, given its liturgy--but also isn't quite right because it didn't originate in a union of other Protestants. Accordingly, it might best go under "Miscellaneous/Other". Tb (talk) 18:45, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

My edit of 11/23/08

Tb, I'm wondering what exactly are your problems with the version I posted last night? I thought it was a pretty good revision, so I'm hoping to talk this through with you. Deusveritasest (talk) 00:21, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

I apologize; I was moderately confused. It was the edits by Alexyalex which were so controversial and objectionable to me. Your edits, if I am clearer now, were twofold: changing organization names to -ism names, and getting rid of "main article" links in favor of direct links. WP:HEAD indicates that section headings should not have links for accessibility reasons. (I also think they look bad, but that's not as strong an argument.) So the manual of style requires that we keep the links out of the headings. As for the -ism names: the article is a list of denominations, not of -isms. If we turn it into a list of -isms, then a whole thorny can of worms is open. So the idea is that as we descend down the "specificity" tree, as soon as we hit something that is an actual organization of some kind, we switch from -ism abstract noun to a concrete noun naming the particular organization. Finally, you deleted the explanation of "Catholicism" used in the article, but I understood that to simply be a bit of cleanup of Alexyalex's controversial changes. Again, I apologize for my confusion in lumping your changes together with Alexyalex's; my edit history comment was actually about his changes and not yours. Tb (talk) 00:38, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Actually the changes of churches to ism's in the beginning part of the article was the what was done by Alex. I had nothing to do with it. But, in so far as the Protestant churches are grouped according to their tradition ("Lutheranism", "Methodists", "Baptists", et. al), then I don't see what is wrong with bringing the Catholic section of the page into conformity with that. So, as to what I actually did.
First, I was the one who got rid of the Catholicism section. And I personally don't think it's a good idea to group all of those initial traditions under "Catholicism". This is because, for one, most people identify "Catholicism" with Roman Catholicism and thus such a usage could be highly confusing. Also, using the term "Catholicism" to identify all the "Apostolic" churches is not universally agreed upon. For instance, if you asked an Eastern Orthodox Christian what Catholicism really was, he/she would probably tell you that it is Eastern Orthodoxy. So I don't really think that's a good usage. Most academics, on the other hand, when speaking of the branches of Christianity usually identify them as "Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism. Thus, I don't think there's really anything wrong with segmenting up the initial Apostolic traditions in the first half of the page.
The second change I made was to add a section for the Old Catholic tradition as the second section right after the Roman Catholic.
The third change I made was made in the context of observing that the various church groups in the "other Catholic" section, almost all of them could be identified as Roman Catholic, Old Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Oriental Orthodox. Therefore, in a similar fashion to the Protestantism section, I put each of the Apostolic churches section into two parts, the first being listing the particular churches of the mainstream communion of that tradition (such as the Roman Catholic Church, the Union of Utrecht, the Anglican Communion, etc.), and the second being all of those who are not recognized as being in full communion with the mainstream church (such as the Palmarian Catholic Church, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church, the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, etc.).
Lastly, I got rid of all of those statements in the like of "the Roman Catholic Church considers itself part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church" because many of them were flat out wrong or generalizing and beyond that they simply weren't even relevant. So, with my major 4 changes described, I hope I can hear your comments on them. Deusveritasest (talk) 07:14, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Well then, I don't need to apologize; your changes were the highly objectionable ones I was complaining about. :) To the first: you can't simultaneously say that everyone thinks "catholicism" == "roman catholic", and then say that the EO claim the label. The Protestantism section does not have a two-fold organization as you describe, by the way. The article is not "highly confusing" given it's clear explanation of its usage of the term, which is indeed, one of the usages already in the "Catholicism" article in wikipedia, and is perhaps the only usage described there which we could use here. Statements like "most academics" are unhelpful, and indeed, most academics ignore the unusual corner cases or the ones they are unfamiliar with. Non-Anglican academics are usually woefully ignorant of the way Anglicanism is positioned about this sort of thing, for example.

To the second: To the extent that the Old Catholic churches form a distinct subcategory under "other/roman", I don't mind a separation of them in some clear way. But there are only a couple entries. In any case, I don't object to a suitable change along these lines, provided it isn't grouped with the reorganization you were hoping for.

To the third: your use of "almost all" is kind of funny; about half are Anglican. But tho the point, the labelling you want is already there now. We already have them identified by the principal tradition they are connected with historically. Can you offer an explanation for why your proposal would be an improvement?

To the fourth: If any of the statements were incorrect, the solution is to repair the inaccuracies, and not to remove all of them wholesale. Because the relations are sometimes confusing, it is helpful to have a brief sentence that gives some context.

And, to conclude, I'm worried that you are being a tad disingenuous. Perhaps it was merely a side-effect, but your changes had the effect of removing the label "Catholic" from the Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox churches. This is extremely problematic, and unsettles a long-standing compromise. The basic top-level categorization has been extremely stable and workable (and, I might add, produces a good short list for the TOC), and I think that powerful reasons--more than just saying, "it's confusing"--is necessary to justify unsettling the status quo. Tb (talk) 17:28, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

I am not sure about the claim made by Deusveritasest that "most academics...usually identify them as 'Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism'"--where would the Old Catholic Church fit in such a scheme? Perhaps "most academics" are being sloppy?--Bhuck (talk) 12:01, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, they are. Most academics aren't really even aware of the reality of the Old Catholic tradition. However, I can assure you that most sources I have read in my lifetime on the breakdown of branches of Christianity have given that very three-fold formula that I spoke of. And the point of mentioning this is in pointing out that the "Catholicism and Protestantism" dual break down of the branches of Christianity is rather odd, unusual, and not all that helpful to common folk, I do not think. As such, I think the solution should simply be that when we speak of further tradition not thought of in the "RC, EO, Prot" formula, that we should simply add on additional branches to the list rather than trying to simplify them. Deusveritasest (talk) 22:02, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
So, if most academics are being sloppy in this regard, we don't really need to fret about it, and certainly we don't need to copy their sloppiness. The point of this page is to categorize, to list, to structure. Actually, we don't have a dual breakdown in this list; we have an eight-fold breakdown, which is designed to be useful. We don't just want an alphabetical list of churches, we want a structured list. But what really intrigues me is the idea that it is more helpful to "common folk" to reproduce exactly the assumptions they began with. The job of an encyclopedia is not to simply repeat to "common folk" what they already thought they knew, but to attempt to represent, accurately and consisely, a topic as it is, even if that is different from what the "common folk" thought. Importantly, the identification currently made at the head of the "Catholicism" entry is of cardinal importance for exactle the groups listed there, which indeed share some extremely important commonalities in history and structure. They are sensibly and logically grouped together, especially on a page which is principally about self-identification and juridical structure. I am, however, finding it difficult to distinguish this conversation from the old one, in which some folks have decided that only the RC church should be labelled "Catholic", especially since the end result of the edits is nearly identical in effect. Can you clarify: is this a repetition of that previous discussion? And, if it is not, can you distinguish it for me so that I can better understand your goal here? Tb (talk) 22:23, 25 November 2008 (UTC)