Template talk:Protestant missions to China

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This box - view talk edit[edit]

Can someone tweak the code so that these admin controls appear within the box boundary? DFH 19:41, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Got it. Thanks!!!Brian0324 20:58, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Watchman Nee[edit]

Someone please delete this box. Watchman Nee was not a protestant.

Please explain. He wasn't a Roman Catholic. Is the inference that he wasn't Christian, or that he did not identify with historical Protestant belief in some way?Brian0324 14:50, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
In this sense Watchman Nee was neither RC nor Protestant: He identified in some aspects with branches of the Plymouth Brethren, many of whom do not classify themselves as Protestant, possibly on account of Darby's doctrine regarding the "ruin of the Church". If I recall correctly what I've read somewhere, during his visit to London, he attended meetings of the Exclusive Brethren[citation needed]. (Presumably this was as well as his association with Honor Oak). It is certainly true that Nee did not represent any of the main historic branches of Protestantism. DFH 19:16, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. I have done a little bit of research on Nee today. He was so oposed to the existence of Protestant denominations that just to call him "Protestant" as a distincion of "being non-Roman Catholic" seems unfit.Brian0324 19:46, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Coming back to this again after a long time. This article states that Nee & the Christian Assembly, founded by Watchman Nee, was one of the fastest growing native Protestant movements in China during the early twentieth century This seems to be an instance of being "Protestant" in the sense of being non-Roman Catholic. This article seems to make the case that the Little Flock was more like the other unregistered Protestant groups. Interestingly, the current head of the TSPM grew up in the Little Flock movement. So, aside from Nee's distance from denominations, I think that one of the main reason to not call him "Protestant" is that his movement was "Chinese", not Western. But, the Chinese Government and Western media see him and his movement as "Protestant", possibly for lack of a better word.Brian0324 (talk) 19:09, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Hong Xiuquan[edit]

Is Hong Xiuquan really a representative of Chinese Christianity - let alone Protestantism? He believed that he was Jesus' brother. His teachings, however they were inspired, clearly deviated from the Christian Bible so much so that he was disregarded by prominent Christians in China at the time. I don't think that he belongs on the template for missions.Brian0324 13:42, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Article doesn't address more current scholarship[edit]

There are a couple of major omissions in this article that need to be addressed: one is no mention of James Legge, the British missionary who was also one of the first English translators of Confucius' analects and other classics of Chinese philosophy. There should be a link included to the Wiki article about him, as well as mention that his work was repeatedly censured by other missionaries who thought his work was too favorable towards Chinese "idolatry." Two is no mention of criticism of the missions by postcolonial scholars like Mary Louise Pratt or even Edward Said. This would be a necessary balance to the overall favorable tenor of the content given here. The article reminds me a bit of the textbooks seen in seminaries and religious schools: it leans too much towards the positive and hardly mentions the Chinese perspective of the missionaries' work. For the sake of good scholarship, more should be done to make the Wiki article more comprehensive. (Fengxi (talk) 20:30, 25 November 2007 (UTC))

Legge is listed in the link on the template to (more missionaries). If you feel he is one of the top 7-10 most notable, that is worth discussing. I'm not sure if he qualifies as much as the ones already on the template who are most widely known. Could you clarify about his impact on China as well as his translation of items into English?

Regarding the criticism, it is addressed in the Christianity in China article as well as the article Mission (Christian) which is linked to nearly every missionary biography article. If there is a specific article critique of Protestant missions to China, it would certainly fit on the template, but the examples of scholarship that you mention do not refer to China or Protestant missions in a significant way that would warrant it belonging to the navigation tool for this series of articles.Brian0324 (talk) 15:15, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Excessive placement[edit]

The nav box should only appear on articles that are listed on the template. Hence the "Part of a series on..." at the top. The {{portal|Christianity}} link should appear on related articles that are not part of the series proper. This is consistent with nav box usage throughout WP - see the current clean up going on with {{christianity}}. Best. -- SECisek (talk) 01:26, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Possibly what might be better is a {{portal|Protestant Missions to China}}, however it leaves a bit of a gap as there is no {{portal|Protestant Missions}} or even {{portal|Christianity in China}}. Still, if the template items have to include the nav box it would be cluttering the page of the Boxer Rebellion and be undue weight to have this template - but it provides valuable background for the movement. Too, there is currently a link on this template to all of the other missionaries as a list. I don't think it is unreasonable to say that all of the biographies are "part of series", either. If WP policy requires it - a portal may be a better option. I am curious if others agree.Brian0324 (talk) 16:34, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Ooh, a portal! How about a general Christian Foreign Missions portal, include Africa and all of Asia, S. America. If that is to broad, perhaps limit the scope to the 19th + 20th centuries? If we tried to start a work group at the wikiproject Christianity, perhaps we could get more help...you are a one man work group right now as it is! I would love to help with a portal...what do you think about the scope, though? -- SECisek (talk) 17:46, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

OK, I can tell that you like portals. I don't think I am confident enough with the html to attempt one myself - it would need a lot of correction if I did.
But if this template could be translated into a portal format it would greatly interest me. I have to confess that a general Christian Missions portal would probably look alot like the Christianity Portal, and as such would be hard make a case for. I would argue that even a time period is vague and unhelpful if it includes such divergent approaches to mission and theology that are typically categorized by Wikipedia as "Christian missions".
The subject of Protestant Christian missions to China is a fairly cohesive one with historical ramifications and a good deal of background material. The case can be made that it was a radically different and significant movement in its own right apart from the Roman Catholic missionary effort, for example. The figures of each had a different goal in view. All that aside, the global Protestant missionary movement of the 1800s - in each region of the world could have its own portal: Africa, China, India, Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, etc. much as Ruth Tucker in her book From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya divides the subject. She gives a fair shake to the efforts of the Roman church as well, but the description of their work is seldom alongside the Protestants in any way. So, if there is a need to clean up this template if it has been excessively placed I would love to see a portal come about, but am not sure how to proceed. My interests in this are a bit narrower but I would like to see all of the related subjects fully treated, if anything to put this into better context.Brian0324 (talk) 21:28, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

I think we are not going to have enough high quality material (in a perfect world, portal articles whould be GA or better) to split it into regional portals - not at first. I also don't agree that we would end up with something that closely resembeled the Christianity portal.

I do like portals and could easily do the code, the question remains the scope. Check out Timeline of Christian missions#1800 to 1849 and Timeline of Christian missions#1850 to 1899 for articles and ideas. Is there a catagory:Global Christian missionary movement of the 1800s or anything like it? I think that would be a good period portal to start with, perhaps in the future we could break it further by region or time. What do you think? -- SECisek (talk) 22:00, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

The following are the sum total of Religion/spirituality portals to date
Anglicanism • Baha'i Faith • Bible • Book of Mormon • Calvinism • Catholicism • Christianity • Creationism • Eastern Christianity • Islam • Judaism • Latter-day Saints • Oriental Orthodoxy • Pope • Saints
I would be disappointed to see only a more generalized portal. If some of the portals in recent entertainment/video gaming and fictional worlds can have a narrow focus and be legitimate within WP, then in this case I would like to see one with the specific emphasis of China and Protestant Christian missions. However, to your point there is much work to be done within this subject to justify the portal with some GA status pieces. I'm at a loss as to what to propose by way of scope at the present. The 1800s has been called the "Century of Missions", but usually in reference to the Protestant movement to the exclusion of others.Brian0324 (talk) 22:24, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

I hear what you are saying about Video Games and Fantasy Land portals, but keep in mind who edits Wikipedia, I want to share this passgae from a fellow editor who responded to a proposal to split off an Episcopal project from the Anglican project we belong to:

I doubt there are enough 'obsessive' editors to make a ECUSA-specific project work. There are very few Wiki Projects that work very well and most of those seem to involve masses of twelve year olds: see Wikipedia:WikiProject Harry Potter. This is not to disparage the Harry Potter fans. I am involved with the project. Wikipedia has skewed demographics.

So pop culture and gamer culture topics attract a lot of effort. Anglicanism attracts some effort. Horticulture and gardening, which I tried to resurrect as a project, attracts no one at all. I suspect ECUSA would be between Anglicanism and Horticulture. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast 04:53, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

I think that is what a Christian Missions of the 19th Century portal/task force would attract, more than Protestant Missions in China and less then Christianity. I'll set up the work group, send you and some other folks an invite and we will see how far we can take it. Look on your talk page in a day or two. I am looking forward to working with you on this. -- SECisek (talk) 23:05, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

The movement of Protestant missions in the 19th Century, despite its global diversity of fields was in some measure a unified response in contrast to the influence of the Roman Catholic church through the Jesuits and other missionaries. To create a portal as you suggest seems to me to be a bit misleading - as if the movement was cohesive among such diverse groups. It could just as easily be called 'Globalization of Western Religions and as such, loses a bit of appeal for me to contribute. Understood that the pool of interest is limited, but the audience is the world and I think that China deserves more.Brian0324 16:46, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

This discussion prompted me to create the Portal:Christianity in China. I did not intend it to replace this more focused template regarding the Protestant missions movement, there - but rather to provide a better place to bring this subject together in one place and provide background & structure within Wikipedia. The template is now collapsible and links to the portal as well.Brian0324 (talk) 16:00, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Robert Morrison image in the navbox[edit]

I've removed the picture, as it looks weird on the pages that transclude this navbox. For example, standard layout for bio pages is an infobox in the top-right, with a picture of that person. When this navbox has the image, every bio page displayed Morrison's picture there...quite unexpected and confusing!


I know he's important (I placed his name in the list of key people, but using his image as the icon for the whole navbox gives undue weight to one particular aspect of the topic, rather than a representative or more general image for the topic as a whole.DMacks (talk) 06:05, 10 August 2008 (UTC)


This template is informative, but very long. On many pages it finishes way past the end of the text (see Carstairs Douglas for an example) and really looks ungainly. It would be better if editors could enable the hide function when appropriate, so that the template would start hidden when the page is first loaded, then be available when readers click "show". Perhaps someone can edit this template to provide such a function (I lack the skills).

If this functionality is already available, can someone please tell me how to do it? Taffy (talk) 09:37, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Replacing this template[edit]

I think it would be better if this template were replaced with a more convential navbox, as the original causes formatting problems and looks ungainly. I have prepared an example at User:Taiwantaffy/Protestant missions to China and will be happy to hear any comments. Taffy (talk) 04:29, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

This is probably the best way to go. I'm still partial to the sidebar, but the navbox does make more sense with so many subjects. I like what you started. I don't object to the re-vamp if you think that it needs it. Thanks!Brian0324 (talk) 13:52, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
OK, in that case I'll be bold and make the switch. I'll do my best to edit the articles it's transcluded in too. Taffy (talk) 09:09, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Right, I've converted about 30 articles that it's transcluded in so far. I will do some more tomorrow.Taffy (talk) 10:19, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
I undid the edit, because the changes that were made were not based on its previous version. If someone think that Rev. R. S. Maclay was not one of the most famous missionaries to China, or that the American Methodist Episcopal Mission was not among the largest missionary societies, please give a sound explanation in the talk page.
Also, I don't see any point at all in linking "Cantonese Roman Type" to "Standard Cantonese". Standard Cantonese is a language; it's not a Church Romanized orthography.
What's more, the term "Fujianese", which was linked to Foochow Romanized, is awkward too: there are thousands of languages within Fujian Province, and Foochow dialect, though spoken in the capital city, certainly cannot represent the whole of them (and nor can Southern Min/Taiwanese). So, if anyone wants to replace this template, please do it exactly from its previous edition. --GnuDoyng (talk) 15:13, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
I have redone the box to include exactly the same options as the old one. If you wish to make further changes, please edit the new template, rather than just reverting to the old unsuitable one. Thanks! Taffy (talk) 02:58, 7 May 2009 (UTC)