Talk:List of religions and spiritual traditions/Archive 2

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Geographic References

I want to talk about this India reference again. I guess all geographic/national references. It should be clear that a religion can exist outside its original birthplace. Dharmic also seems like a perfically acurate description of the religions in that group. Besides if we call the Dharmic religions Indic as well we must call the Abrahamic religions middle eastern. --metta, The Sunborn 04:21, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

That's well and good. However, origins play a significant role in the development of religions. Abrahamic religions have never been called Middle Eastern and that is a facetious comparison (not because it disagrees with my own posit, but because it's simply invalid). The Indian religions are joined at the hip by their common Indian heritage, and Buddhism only left India and developed non-Indian strands after 1500 years. In vast contrast, Christianity, easily the biggest of the three Abrahamic faiths in terms of numbers of followers, immediately following the death of Christ, saw its primary development not in the Middle East but in in the Mediterranean. Not until Constantine's conversion in the fourth century to Christianity was there even a consolidation of the New Testament and general 'Christian doctrine'; before that it was a refractory group of sects scattered around the primarily Latin empire colonies. Hence, calling Christianity a Middle-Eastern religion is retarded whereas even unaffiliated and Buddhist scholars alike will refer to Buddhism as an Indian religion. This final point goes to the idea that general scholarly consensus is an important criterion for information and their presentation on these pages. It is more standard to refer to Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism (and Sikhism) as Indian religions than Dharmic religions when one is speaking in an academic context. We are not writing a religious tourbook. We're writing an Encyclopedia. Frankly, your distillation of the Chinese philosophy religions (I Ching, Daoism and Confucianism) is deleterious to the understanding of people who might not know that they're all Chinese religions. I strongly feel that attempting to ignore geographical, cultural and historical realities contributes not to NPOV but to a biased and factually inaccurate presentation of material. By, in these cases, ignoring the Chinese and Indian linkages one creates lacunae in the material and does nothing to further the idea of objectivity, indeed retrogressing in that regard. --LordSuryaofShropshire 22:23, Sep 10, 2004 (UTC)
Over half of current Buddhism and Sikhism developed from influences beyond greater India. I acknowledge that Theravadan Buddhism developed exclusively inside India. However, there are two other forms of Buddhism that deserve not be labeled "Indian". Sikhism is the result of Hinduism and Islam running into each other. As a result it doesn't deserve that label exclusively either.
I have also linked to this page on the "Pages needing Comment" as neither you nor I are comming any further to an end to this argument. So far it is myself and Nat Krause that have questioned your use of this word. Both of us have had lengthy talks with you over it. I would like to see what everyone else thinks. --metta, The Sunborn 03:56, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Sikhism developed entirely in India! Islam had established itself in India for almost four or five centuries before Sikhism developed and asserting that because Islam originally came from outside and therefore Sikhism is not an Indian religion is the most bogus argumentation I've ever heard. Sikhism was conceived of and molded entirely in India by Indians (primarily former Hindus and some Muslims). No one studying religion would call Sikhism anything other than Indian and all classify Sikhism as a solely Indian phenomenon. So, that's completely invalid. As for Buddhism, the argument seems to have much more validity. Indeed, Zen Buddhism is entirely Chinese. But then again, it developed a proto-strain in Northern (probably Kashmiri regions) of India. The word 'zen' itself comes from the Sanskrit Dhyana. Anyway, don't worry, I and all other people in this consider Zen Buddhism and most forms of Mahayana to basically be Chinese strands. But this doesn't change the fact that Buddhism's primary and most fundamental philosophical development occurred primarily in India for over 1500 years. Things like Dhyana and Zen attest to this. Buddhism is an Indic religion transported to other countries and developed in different ways. So what... because there's a significant and distinctive Indonesian Hinduism, one that has roots many many centuries old and is clearly distinguished from Indian Hindu sects, one is not going to call Hinduism an Indic religion? That's fallacious logic (or better yet, that's not at all logical). What happens if a sect of Shintoism now develops in West Africa and it grows strong and has a following for a thousand years. Are we still going to deny that Shintoism is a Japanese religion? Yes, we might qualify it and say it's a Japanese religion with a major West African strain. Origins mean a lot to religion and much of what makes Indic religions special is their shared cultural context. Dharma is an Indian concept in its inception and was later spread to other countries. I feel you're just upset about nationalism which would be a sort of anachronistic way to look at the names "India" and "Indic" because there, obviously, was no "nation" then. Any sane individual would not confuse these. It is clear from reading the page on Buddhism and Sikhism that this was an India separated into many kingdoms and often wildly different cultures. The India-page itself tells the history. This is the way in which religious and cultural historians have and are classifying these religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism were all completely greater Indian phenomena when conceived and owe much of their philosophical and aesthetic outlooks to Indian culture both religious and secular. --LordSuryaofShropshire 05:23, Sep 13, 2004 (UTC)
So what... because there's a significant and distinctive Indonesian Hinduism, one that has roots many many centuries old and is clearly distinguished from Indian Hindu sects, one is not going to call Hinduism an Indic religion? Yes this is exactly what I am saying, it is as much an Indian Religion as it is Indonesian. Buddhism is as much Indian as it is Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, etc. So why should India get its name on the top? Just because it started there? Then we must put the Middle-Eastern tag on Christianity.
What happens if a sect of Shintoism now develops in West Africa and it grows strong and has a following for a thousand years. Are we still going to deny that Shintoism is a Japanese religion? Yes, we might qualify it and say it's a Japanese religion with a major West African strain. No, we wouldn't call it a Japanese Religion. We would call it something else.
Dharma is an Indian concept in its inception and was later spread to other countries. If that is the case why not remove the India reference because Everyone knows it is an Indian concept to start with? --The Sunborn

I don't really care one way or another how this is settled, but what's with this claim that Buddhism developed exclusively in India for 1500 years? If you look at the History of Buddhism article, it looks like it entered the Hellenistic world after about 200 years, and then developed in the cosmopolitan Indo-Persio-Helleno-Scythian society of what is now Afghanistan for another 300 years or so before entering China. Heck, it only took 1000 years to reach Japan, which had pretty much 0 contact with India until the 20th century. Not that it's important, I guess. - Nat Krause 18:22, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)

On the north-west frontier of the Indian subcontinent in modern-day Pakistan and some points of Afghanistan Indian culture met with Hellenic. No one's saying there was no foreign influence but there is ample reason to state that Buddhism as foundationally-conceived is a product of ancient India and is therefore, at its roots, an Indic religion. No one's denying its international (in that sense additionally East-Asian) background. Most scholars, Buddhist or not, would agree. --LordSuryaofShropshire 04:37, Sep 14, 2004 (UTC)

Unique religions

What is this supposed to mean? I know Rajneeshism is a conflation of mystic Hinduism and Buddhism... Zoroastrianism is an ancient Iranian religion with the same roots as Vedic Hinduism... so in the sense of where beliefs are drawn from, or 'uniqueness' (in other words 'solitariness') of background doesn't apply to them... are we using different criteria for 'unique'? Please explain, someone (I assume Sunborn).--LordSuryaofShropshire 05:38, Sep 14, 2004 (UTC)

Yeah, it is just a place where I put all the religions that I didn't think fit into the above categories, it is proabable that Rajneeshism should go under Dharmic religions. I probably missed it as I added it to the list at the same time as I was categorizing it. Zoroastrianism is definately independant of the other Dharmic religions on many different points. There is no reason to believe that it should be under Dharmic religions, it has no concsept of dharma. Eckankar is a canidate for moving to other places too. I just couldn't think of a reason to put it under Dharmic religions. It might also go under syncretic religions. You could put the process church and the yezidis under a heading "Lucifer is a good guy religions" or something. The cargo cults are a very interesting and unique religion and unquestionably belongs under a title of unique religions. But change it around and I will tell you if I think otherwise. --The Sunborn
Who the heck was saying to put Zoroastrianism or Eckankar under Dharmic religions? I certainly wasn't. I was just saying that these religions aren't 'unique' in that they have backgrounds unaffiliated with other faiths (Zoroastrainism is patently NOT a dharma faith); more importantly, the term 'Unique Religions' sounds odd, inappropriate and obliquely POV. The word unique has equivocal meanings and thus would result in multiple readings by different readers. Many would say it seems to privilege, in a way, these religions above others. I understand, sort of, where you were originally coming from regarding the 'unique' phrasing, but it's a bad terminology to use. I don't propose artificially listing Rajneeshism under Dharmic religions, but neither should it be under "unique religions" (the whole category should be removed). I propose we remove 'unique' altogether and think of other sensible, more useful, ways to categorize these faiths.--LordSuryaofShropshire 17:21, Sep 14, 2004 (UTC)
Yes, exactly, I agree completely! What do you have in mind? This was the best I could come up with. What can you do to make it better. --metta, The Sunborn 01:14, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Well, first we need to do away with "Philosophical Religions". It has the same problem as "Unique Religions" since many sects or strands of Abrahamic and Dharma religions could rightfully be considered "Philosophical Religions" (Vedanta and Zen come immediately to mind). I don't think this artificial ignoring of Chinese religions is helping and we should revert to that. Abrahamic and Indo-Dharmic faiths are major world religions while Eckankar and Rajneeshism are not. Perhaps there should be a large section for religions with less than, say, 10 million adherents. I don't know, some reasonable cut-off. The grouping for a lot of these religions doesn't seem appropriate right now. THis might take some thinking.--LordSuryaofShropshire 03:30, Sep 15, 2004 (UTC)

Category changes

I thought the latest changes were extremely good. Props to Sunborn.--LordSuryaofShropshire 00:18, Sep 21, 2004 (UTC)

I am a fairly useful editor, I am just zealous in arguments. I know it makes some people mad, I just expect everyone else to as zealous. However, I would like more explanation of the word "Indic". It by definition means "of India", however you don't want Rajneeshism listed in the Indic category. Also, I purpose a heiarchy of important groups, from the top down, we will have to shuffle around though maybe. This is important if we want to avoid dual listing. Scientology is also a non-revealed religion but probably belongs with the alien-based religions. All the Indigenous religions could go under non-revealed too. The Orisha religions probably could go under syncretic religions too. So what I purpose is that the categories at the top have more priority than the ones at the bottom. What that will do is act like a filter. If a religion fits a certain set of parameters it is in one group if not, the next set of parameters is tried. So at the bottom will be the uncategorized religions. It would be useful to set out the parameters so we can argue over the parameters rather than semantics. --metta, The Sunborn 14:08, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I don't know if you care anymore, LordSuryaofShropshire, but if you don't respond here within 3 days I will remove the word "Indic" from the category title. If however, you wish the word to stay, answer my previous questions in this category. Namely, However, I would like more explanation of the word "Indic". It by definition means "of India", however you don't want Rajneeshism listed in the Indic category. Why and how does this work? --metta, The Sunborn 03:52, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)

American Atheists, list or not?

It was mentioned awhile back that American Atheists could be listed. Do we want to or not? Opinions please. --The Sunborn


I talked to them, the president didn't like the idea of being called a religion and at the time it made sense. However, on reading futher, they seem much more like a religion than say Brianism. They have official wedding celebrants who can marry people, they give ideas on how to deal with death and "the religions", their symbol is also one of the officially used on American solidier's (and government workers) tombstones. I think they should be listed. --Still just me here

Babism ect.

Alright, do the Baha'i believe in YHWH? as such, the one god? If so they are Abrahamic. However the listing Babism as a form of Bahai is wrong because Bahai came after, they are a form of Babism. And please don't remove the Othodox bahai faith, there are more than 1000 believers, and they are significant in other ways, they stay. -----The Sunborn 20:37, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

1) The term "Abrahamic" defines the genealogical tree of Abraham's family. And as I said Bahá'u'lláh was a descedant of Abraham through his third wife Ketura and the Bab was a descendant of Muhammad so he is also a descendant of Abraham because Muhammad was a descendant of Abraham. 2) And yes, Bahá'ís believe in the God of the Bible - no religion could be more monotheistic than the Baha'i Faith. 3) The Orthodox Bahá'ís have claimed for forty years now that they have a membership of more than thousand believers, yet every insider knows there is only one "leader" somewhere in the US with a handful of very active followers on the Internet trying to tell everyone that they are the second largest group after the "Heterodox Bahá'is". Of course they are the second largest group, because they are the only one, there is no other group. So if I would create a website about my new Bahà'í sect and had I five followers could I make it to Wikipedia? --Saed 20:49, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

No, no, no, the term Abrahmic Religions is clearly defined in this particular case an this article, to be the believers in YHWH. That is what it is set at. It has notthing to do with geneology.
Alright, that is good, we are making progress, now we can list as an Abrahamic religion.
So if I would create a website about my new Bahà'í sect and had I five followers could I make it to Wikipedia? yes, probably. See here my personal list of small religions However unless you have more than insider information the orthodox group stays. ---The Sunborn

Okay, I can live with that :) regards, --Saed 21:40, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC) (PS The page about small religions is pretty impressive)

Jews who liked Christ

Just a comment to IZAK and everyone else. What do we do with the Jewish sects that consideredd Yeshua ben Joseph a Jewish prophet? IZAK removed them and put them into a separate category. I don't blame him, it is just that the Ebionites and the Elkasites were undeniably Jews. I reccomend removing the messianic Jews because they are not Jews any more but Christians and putting the Ebionites and Elkasites under the Jewish heading. Also, the Crypto-Judaism should be under the Judaism section plain and simple. Morisco goes under Islam, and Sabbatianism might want to exist under the uncategorized section. Discuss. -----The Sunborn 09:12, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Hi Sunborn:

  1. Nothing in Judaism says that Jesus was a "prophet" as the era of prophecy ENDED with the writing of the Tanakh at the end of the Babylonian exile about five hundred years before Jesus' life (people use the word "prophet" loosely, but Judaism is very specific about what it means). Once the First Temple was destroyed, the era of prophecy is over as far as Judaism is concerned.
  2. The Ebionites and Elkasites were Jews by birth BUT their RELIGION was a rejection of any kind of normative Judaism. The Ebionites left little for us to know about them, but they were keen on Jesus which puts them outside of normative Judaism then and now. The Elkasites rejected the Torah and went on to attach themselves to a person Judaism regards as a renegade (Jesus)...yes, that is why Judaism and Christianity are separate ( and conflicting) religions.
  3. "Messianic Jews" claim to mix Judaism with Christological beliefs so that puts them in the "Judeo-Christian" category.
  4. Crypto-Judaism is NOT Judaism, for as far as Judaism is concerned, what they did (of course even under duress) amounts to negation of their faith i.e. heresy. As people they were generally treated kindly when they sought to return to normative Judaism (if they could make it), but Judaism never sanctioned their actions and did NOT recognize their "beliefs" and methodologies as any "form" or "brand" of Judaism.
  5. The Moriscos are a product of the mesh of Islam and Christianity, they practiced a type of "religion" (albeit under duress also) that was not in consonance with either Christianity or Islam, so it needs its own category.
  6. Most true Sabbateans were those who followed their leader into apostasy by accepting Islam (yet trying to retain vestiges of Judaism in secret). But it is true that he had followers that remained Jews outwardly and simply accepted him as the "true messiah" (even though he had apostasised to Islam, which makes their acceptance of him suspect and their status unclear theologically to Judaism).

Thanks for your feed-back. IZAK 09:38, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)

The Ebionites and Elkasites were Jews by birth. Exactly, that is the criteria for being Jewish, born of a Jewish mother or a convert. They were not converts but they were born Jewish. Therefore they were a Jewish sect. They didn't accept him as the messiah, if they did, they would have been christians. This leaves them in the grey zone. Prophecy ENDED with the writing of the Tanakh, yeah, what are you to say their era of prophesy ended?
Christians by definition are any people who consider Christ the one and only Jewish messiah. Jews by definition are any people born of a Jewish mother or a convert. Muslims by definition are any people who consider Mohammed the last prophet of Allah. Just because the mythologies of the groups differ doesn't mean they deserve their own category. The groupings should be re-done according to these definitions. -----The Sunborn

Firstly, a word about the usage of "mythologies" it's a loaded word that does not have the agreement of many people as it implies something derogatory to some. Of course, I must agree that there will be opportunities to re-define or re-categorize the belief/s of groups depending on the perspective. You have laid out different vantage points. However, Christians do not consider Jesus to be the "Jewish" messiah, they regard him as THE Messiah or THE "son of god" and even god incarnate via the "Trinity" (his "Jewishness" is usually ignored or suppressed). Jews are considered Jewish in the birth sense as coming from a halakhic Jewish mother, true, however, if and when a Jew adopts or proclaims allegiance to another faith or god that is considered outside of mainstream Judaism by Judaism itself (this is not "mythology", it is reality), then that Jew is no longer practicing Judaism and has become either an apostate or heretic as far as Judaism is concerned and in a spiritual sense it is as if that person had died (even though still physically alive) -- this is the view of classical Orthodox Judaism. Thus those like the Ebionites and Elkasites are not Jewish in the Jewish THEOLOGICAL sense at all (the converse is also true in the spiritual sense, that when a gentile abandons his religion and accepts Judaism and becomes a true convert, then he is no longer a gentile but a full Jew). Reform Judaism may have more liberal views seeing that almost half their following are married to gentiles at the present time. As for the Muslims, yes they accept Muhammed as the last "prophet" but the Dunmeh and the Sabbateans were also secretly keeping up their links to Judaism (as did the Marranos with the Catholics), so that puts them in a "class" of their own. As the old adage goes, "neither fish nor fowl !", and theologically BOTH religions would condemn their beliefs and they would be liable to excommunication from that faith or worse depending on the religious regime of the day. IZAK 08:39, 26 Oct 2004 (UTC)

This is a talk page, don't correct me on my loading of words. I chose that word, and according to the article it is just fine. In the Wikipedia all indigenous religions are listed as mythologies. if and when a Jew adopts or proclaims allegiance to another faith or god that is considered outside of mainstream Judaism by Judaism itself (this is not "mythology", it is reality), then that Jew is no longer practicing Judaism and has become either an apostate or heretic as far as Judaism This may and probably is true. However, the two (or three) groups in question, i.e. the Ebionites and Elkasites, did not change their divine allegence. They were simply heretic Jews (by your definition). I contest that at least the two aforementioned groups should be under the Jewish heading, as heritics or not. I can't stop thinking about the Mormons, they are quite the same in relation to Xianity (purposely loaded). They have other dogma in addition to mainstream Christology. Most of Christianity says no, they aren't Christians, however, from an outside definition they are still Christian no matter what the larger group says. --Saint Sunborn

Hi Sunborn: What you say and advance as "examples" is very risky intellectually.

  1. Firstly, I cannot speak for the Mormons, (by the way, I hear nowadays some of them get insulted by that name and now want to be known as "Latter Day Saints" --- oops, does that mean that you may be a Mormon or "Latter Day Saint" as that is your self-chosen name on Wikipedia?) Be that as it may, you cannot compare Mormons to Jews. Jews can be compared to so many groups that it can be dizzying, especially since the Monotheism of their Torah is what brought BOTH Christianity and then Islam into being. Without Judaism, there is NO Christianity or Islam, as all the premises of Christianity and Islam were established and expounded upon in the Torah of the Jews' Judaism first for a long time. So if you really start this business it would snowball into Judaism=almost everything.
  2. Secondly, I cannot fathom why you are so invested in these two minor obscure little cults that have been dead and gone for almost two thousand years? If one would want to dig up all the breakaways from mainstrean Judaism defined by the Torah, then one would come up with myriads of sick little theologically perverted and prostituted cults and sects that simply belong in the trash bin of history, and even treated as such, when it comes to shedding light on them in an encyclopedia that should have its eye on the total picture when digging up these long-gone, and no longer alive, movements that no-one but Jews for Jesus types would love because of their own agenda of wanting to make all the Jews they know into ""Latter Day Ebionites and Elkasites", which ain't gonna happen anytime soon or ever...
  3. Thirdly, who then is to say what the acceptable definitions of a Jews and Judaism are, or of any religion for that matter? Once the self-definitions are abandoned then we are not really dealing with that religion qua religion, but as something completely different, becoming in effect a different sort of "product" that's "packaged" for a "different market" (a sociologist looks at it one way, a philosopher another, a theologian other ways, and psychologists yet in other ways, each with their own little "note-books of self-centered definitions" unable to see what the "clients/cutomers/believers/natives/patients/victims/subjects/etc" are really up to ad nauseum). This in effect is a limited and limiting secular approach that trivializes religions and people of faith, and in the process loses and lacks the ability to understand them in their own terms for what they are according to the universal standards of the religious laws and customs of the pertinent religion.
  4. Fourthly, Jews and their faith are unique, because Judaism contains both definitions of FAITH and "nationality", or "peoplehood", and there are very subtle borders at work to know when a Jew is leaving the fold and alternately to recognise when an outsider seeks to join and should be accepted. What the Ebionites and Elkasites did through their adoption of beliefs that were universally rejected by ALL the Jewish scholarly and judicial authorities alive at that time, put them (i.e. the Ebionites and Elkasites) beyond the pale and they in effect "de-naturalized" themselves and "cancelled" their own membership willy-nilly by adopting Jesus or that which came in his wake regarding him as a messiah or redeemer of the Jews which he clearly was not for the Jewish people.
  5. Finally, (you may be correct on the whole...even though you want to classify the Ebionites and Elkasites as "nice" "Jews") that all these Jesus-believing groups should simply be classed as Christians, which is what Jesus-believers are called today in ALL their nuanced styles of accepting that fundamental tenet of the Christian religion.

Thank you. IZAK 08:40, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)

No, I am not a mormon, I use Saint in the Catholic sense as a handle actually. Saint Sunborn is a character in a novel that I am writing, and he is no Mormon. I actually put that in my link in an attempt to offend you in some way, or at least make you uncomfortable. Saint Sir Sojun Sunborn is the full moniker.
So if you really start this business it would snowball into Judaism=almost everything. That is a slippery slope argument and therefore a logical fallacy and has no basis in anything.
I cannot fathom why you are so invested in these two minor obscure little cults. I am not so much as invested as interested in categorizing them. I love an accurate list, especially one about religion. See my user page for a more detailed explanation. It would be equally fair just to remove them or link to a separate page for all sick little theologically perverted and prostituted cults and sects that simply belong in the trash bin of history.
who then is to say what the acceptable definitions of a Jews and Judaism are, or of any religion for that matter Quite right.
I suggest we make this article on the major religions, and make another for all the tiny ones that don't affect anything in any way at this current moment in time. Will that fix everything? --The Sunborn

Hi Sunborn: Me "uncomfortable" with someone calling themselves a "saint", heavens no, why should I be? Anyhow it may be a good idea to have a list of "tiny" religions, but the only problem is that once they are cut of from the larger as a category, they will probably just float off into oblivion (and be ignored by bored readers.) I think I have spread out the "lay of the land" as far as Judaism goes here on this particular list. IZAK 09:26, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

That is true. However, as precendent goes on this list the number of sects that you added is quite large. If we did the same for Christianity we would have some 10,000 entries, no joke. We could have two lists, one more for the important religions and sects (as the current version is or should be), and one for all sects, denominations, traditions, religions and whatever and be very long and complete. That actually sounds like a good idea if you want to alliviate bordom. --The Sunborn

You do have a good point. But Judaism has always been "maddeningly complex". I may try to trim the list at some point. IZAK 11:19, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Just an FYI .. List of religions has Sufri listed .. it's Sufi

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=sufri&btnG=Search has nothing abou religon while http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=sufi&btnG=Google+Search does.