User talk:RelHistBuff

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Hi. You are welcome to leave messages here. Unless you say differently, I will respond to your messages here or in the appropriate article's talk page.


Original Barnstar.png The Original Barnstar
For rewriting John Calvin with excellence in both style and content. --Flex (talk/contribs) 16:39, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Please see User_talk:Flex#New_topics. --Flex (talk/contribs) 15:51, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
Huzzah! It made it to FA. Congrats! --Flex (talk/contribs) 16:57, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

The first step - identify the problems[edit]

Over on my talk page, you mentioned "I just wish I can write better the *first* time. I guess I have to keep practising." If you want, I can go through the Calvin article and make a list of problems that recur in your writing. That way, you will know what to watch out for. I know, for example, that I am a verbose writer and I am constantly on guard against that. If you already know your personal writing demons, we can move on to the next step. Awadewit (talk) 02:40, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I would really appreciate that. Thanks again for all your help! If I do it right the first time, then the articles I bring to FAC would be less painful for the reviewers. I know one major problem I have is that I use the passive a lot (a holdover from days when I had a rather political job). I will create a sandbox for the list. --RelHistBuff (talk) 08:51, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
I have played in the sandbox. :) By the way, do you have a good writing handbook? I could recommend a few, if you don't. I usually advise my students to pick one or two issues to work on at a time, as it is impossible to improve ten things at once. So, for example, you could work on "wordiness" while you write the next two articles or something like that. Let me know how else I can help. Awadewit (talk) 03:51, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
(See above) I'm always looking for things to help me help my students. If you have some favorite handbooks, I'd be interested in knowing which they are... Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 04:05, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
I like the Bedford for teaching. :) It is organized well for what and how I teach. Awadewit (talk) 12:37, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Mozart: thanks[edit]

Thank you for your support and help in getting Mozart in Italy to Featured status. I appreciate your help in the effort to expand the encyclopeadia's featured classical music content. My next music project, for later this year, is likely to be List of operas by Richard Wagner, including not only those we know all about, but his many aborted projects, too. Brianboulton (talk) 11:12, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Nav box size and location[edit]

Please comment on this debate here. We are attempting establish a consensus on wide, vertical nav boxs. -- Secisek (talk) 19:34, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

Joseph W. Tkach[edit]

If you would like to see Joseph W. Tkach appear on the main page at WP:TFA, I would head over to WP:TFAR and learn the roles over there. His birthday is a good day to nominate him for.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 05:16, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

March 16 is now open for main page nominations if you are interested.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 09:07, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the heads up. I think I will let Raul decide when it goes up on TFA. There are many notable articles that ought to get there first and if he see a spot to slip in a religion-related article (for diversity reasons) then that would be fine with me. --RelHistBuff (talk) 09:53, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
I think you are misunderstanding. If you want this on the main page, nominating it at WP:TFAR will surely get it there. Raul will almost surely accept it unless he just posted a bunch of religion articles. You should nominate this at TFAR.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 17:03, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Philibert Berthelier[edit]

I have been dealing with some of the red links in the Calvin article (Nicolas Cop, Loci Communes, Edict of Coucy, etc.). AFAICT, Philibert Berthelier the younger is not an important historical figure and has near-zero hope of actually getting a WP page. Hence, I propose we unlink his name, move his father's article back to Philibert Berthelier, and make a brief mention of his son in that article. What do you say? --Flex (talk/contribs) 16:46, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

I don't mind either way. The only reason I created the disambiguation was because of the comment from Ling.Nut. I am by nature an inclusionist though and one can never tell if a stub could grow into something. I can create a stub from the info in the sources. --RelHistBuff (talk) 17:11, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
If you think there's a non-trivial chance that it could grow, go ahead and create the stub. If not, I say we unlink and move. --Flex (talk/contribs) 18:34, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Hilary of Chichester[edit]

Can you do me a major favor and look over Hilary and see what context is missing? He's lining up for his run at FAC and I *think* I caught all the context, but I'm not sure, so need some help spotting things that aren't explained well. Ealdgyth - Talk 14:42, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

OK, will do. I will be off on vacation tomorrow and I will take a paper copy (and a red pen) with me. Hope you can wait a week? --RelHistBuff (talk) 14:49, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
He's behind Ealdred (archbishop) so it'll be a bit. I know the prose is still rough with Hilary, but I'm still hunting for missing bits, that's the main thing (although copyediting won't be sneezed at either!) Hilary has some time ... Ealdgyth - Talk 14:53, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

GA review of Theology of Huldrych Zwingli[edit]

I've reviewed the article and left notes on the talk page. I've put the nomination on hold for seven days to allow the issues to be addressed. Feel free to contact me on my talk page, here, or on the article talk page with any concerns, and let me know one of those places when the issues have been addressed. If I may suggest that you strike out, check mark, or otherwise mark the items I've detailed, that will make it possible for me to see what's been addressed, and you can keep track of what's been done and what still needs to be worked on. Ealdgyth - Talk 03:30, 13 February 2009 (UTC)


  • Finis. The "it reflects a preference..." structure I just posted is the best I can think of. Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR)

nobody knows[edit]

  • nobody knows that "survey" means "comprehensive". The nominators are not Awadewits; they are ...let's say.. not Awadewit.. ;-) Ling.Nut.Public (talk) 09:41, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia would be well-served if there were more like her. --RelHistBuff (talk) 11:05, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
I scratched my support for #2 and added a #3. Cheers... Ling.Nut.Public (talk) 11:20, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

John Calvin[edit]

Thank you for your note; I have modified the assessment to "high", which seems fair enough. On, the assessment is "top"; does not seem to use such a scale on the discussion page, but I doubt anyone can pretend that the subject "fills in more minor details", as indicated by the importance scale of Wikipedia 1.0. Cheers, Schutz (talk) 09:40, 10 March 2009 (UTC)


I think you know my feeling about the article, which is that it will always be vulnerable to the ocasional earthquake and the consequent damage. I watch the article because Luther is seminal to the historical period I'm interested in, but I actually find Luther a baneful character and become depressed if I spend too much time in his company. I also do not enjoy reading the more theological books about Luther, partly because I haven't the skills to tell what is objective analysis and what is "Lutheran" scholarship. However, I'm probably too timorous; and your track record makes you well qualified to attempt the task, if, as I sense, you'd really like to.

I have some biographies, such as Oberman, Brecht, Bainton, but I must say that I haven't found one that convinced me (they all seem strikingly badly written to me). I'm willing to be a sounding board if you undertake this task. If you do, I'd strongly advise you to get User:Slim Virgin onside in advance. She is an exceptionally good content editor (see Rudolf Vrba, which she wrote with User:Jayjg, in my opinion one of the best articles on Wikipedia). If you explain to her what you propose to do and how, I'm sure we could avoid the opposed camps problem the article sometimes fell into in the past. In other words, if there are to be thrashings out about interpretation and due weight, better they take place in a managed process of overhauling the article rather than randomly. qp10qp (talk) 16:07, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Relhistbuf, you once commented to me that you did not think a religion article could pass FA. I propose some changes to the FA process that might make it more fair to religion articles. First, I think that opposers need to be required to state their reason for opposing based on the FA criteria that they think the article violates and provide a source that supports their reasoning for opposing. Second, I think that opposing editors who are known to follow the article's creator around and harrass them should not have their oppose counted unless they have done the first suggestion. An article should not be failed because some people gang up on someone and post ridiculous comments that the person can not reasonably address. NancyHeise talk 01:23, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree with your proposals, but even with the additional rules, I think the people who really want to derail a FAC will still be able to bring it down. Obscure sources that are not worthy might be brought up for example. The democratic nature of wiki causes articles of a general nature or articles that are controversial to be nearly unmanageable in the FAC process. RCC and Martin Luther are examples of this. I don’t really have a solution except perhaps to build on specific topics first and eventually (after many years?) the general topic (the main article) will succeed. So maybe start on articles on one aspect of the liturgy or one of the sacraments or a theology specific to the Catholic Church. With a number of good daughter articles, the main article should be easier to manage. --RelHistBuff (talk) 11:56, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Has RCC failed FAC again recently? Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 06:47, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
No, I believe that one is going through mediation about the name before re-submission to FAC. Nancy had an article Ten Commandments in Roman Catholicism that was recently archived. Although I haven't gone through it deeply, I found the article to be quite informative, a good distillation of the Catechism. But I am fairly pessimistic about the FAC process. The problem with articles on theology is that they tend to be controversial. An article might pass if the theology is esoteric, but something general often leads to theological arguments. I think there are better chances with articles on topics with a fairly narrow scope. --RelHistBuff (talk) 07:49, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks RelHistBuff, I am undecided on whether to participate in any more FAC's on religion articles, the process seems to be stacked against a genuinely informative and accurate product in favor of an article that focuses on every whim of every Wikipedia editor including those who make comments that are not based on modern scholarship. If it were up to the opposer to provide a solid source that supports their oppose, I think the process could improve and encourage real quality articles but that scenario does not presently exist. NancyHeise talk 18:18, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
I think RelHistBuff's advice is sound. If you pick a relatively narrow topic, especially a biography, it should be relatively straightforward. You get the best biographies (that's the key bit), roll up your sleeves, and just graft until cooked. Martin Bucer has had a slight blip but it will certainly make it next time, I believe. Controversial individuals are a real problem, though. Martin Luther has two intrinsic difficulties: a great deal of Jewish scholarship on Luther's antisemitism and on his use by the Third Reich jostles against Lutheran scholarship that often makes little of that aspect, and this leads to POV clashes. Also, the Protestant POV on Luther and the Catholic POV on Luther are miles apart, leading to mutual incomprehension. Instability is a problem because you never know when someone will go a spree rewriting parts of the article to suit their bias. As far as Catholicism goes, you'd probably be best to choose an aspect where you can feel objective, and that might be a well-documented historical topic. Something like a twentieth-century pope article is probably doomed. I hope to do Reginald Pole one day, and I don't anticipate too many problems, though I'll have to somewhat challenge the Protestant narrative of history there. Hoping also to do Mary I of England this year, a much unloved queen whom I've a soft spot for.
We shouldn't be too surprised that broader religious articles are difficult to get through the Wikipedia process, which depends on a neutral point of view. The essential problem is that the borderline between fact and faith is blurred. A Christian will naturally take certain things as true that a non-believer or a person from another faith will not. This was shown in the early church part of RCC where clearly some people thought certain parts of early Christian history were true and others that it was legendary or semi-legendary. The chance of consensus there is almost nil, as one can hold up sources on both sides, and one can believe or not believe.qp10qp (talk) 23:18, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
I have to agree with qp and Rel here, there are just some subjects that while possible to get through FAC, are just going to be more difficult. Every subject has them, including dead medieval bishops. I have purposely left Thomas Becket for much later, as there is SO much on him, from so many viewpoints. Even the hurricane articles, can you imagine trying to write Hurricane Katrina? Q has good advice, also, to work on a biography article. They have the advantage of being somewhat easier to define the scope on, so you have less problems of being blindsided by aspects you didn't expect at FAC. If you're looking for a good biography article to write ... how about Ignatius of Loyola or Martin of Tours, both of whom are influential folks but not so in the spotlight that you're going to have POV warriors. The real trick is reading all the scholarship on a subject, which can take months of study. Ealdgyth - Talk 23:30, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
One thing also that should not be forgotten is that the Ten Commandments article is of real value to Wikipedia and it does not need to have a FA stamp of approval. In my opinion, getting a group of articles on Catholic theology or liturgy to GA or A-class brings much more value to Wikipedia than any one FA. But yes, a biography is an easier way to an FA. I had suggested to you, Nancy, about working on one of the scholastic schoolmen. Or maybe a saint like Thérèse of Lisieux. --RelHistBuff (talk) 08:34, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Qp generally; it is the intersection of religion and theology and controversial history that brings trouble; that was the main issue in the first RCC FAC. Doing Luther using mainly books by theologians and historians primarily interested in religion would certainly be likely to cause difficulties; the perspective of general historians is needed. Ealdgyth's bishops always have this, indeed are essentially political biographies; some possibly neglect the purely religious aspect of their subjects. But his/her guys are hardly controversial anyway. Obviously this vastly increases the range of sources needed for Luther. Johnbod (talk) 13:15, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
I think that the reason why we don't have decent articles on controversial religious topics is because the process discourages them. I think the process could be tweaked via my two suggestions above and this would invite more reliable effort to create decent religious articles. Why can't we have a decent article on Luther? What is there to do but allow for a section that expresses each POV, Jewish, Protestant and Catholic? The rest of the article could be referenced to university textbooks. I will support a serious effort on other religious topics and I hope that others will support my efforts on RCC. BrianBolton told me that RCC gets 150,000 viewers each month. I did not know that. Perhaps if we worked to create articles of popular interest like 20th century popes, Martin Luther, Thomas Beckett and help each other get them through FAC with some reasonable assurance from the FAC director that ridiculous opposes won't be counted - Wikipedia, editors and Readers might get what they really want. NancyHeise talk 20:53, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Becket's one of those lightning rods, Luther would be another (Calvin was a walk in the park compared to dealing with the sheer volume of scholarship on Luther), as is, unfortunately, RCC. I agree we need to get RCC as good as possible, I think the main problem is the sheer numbers of works/articles/books you'd need to digest in order to cover everything needful for the article. Just the history of the RCC would entail familiarizing yourself with an insane amount of writing, with an untold number of POVs. You can't just rely on a few works, a basic reading list would start at about 100, I'd think, and go up steadily from there. Then you add the theological aspects, the organizational aspects, doctrinal aspects, and the amazing thing is that the article is as good as it is. As for your suggestions on how to change FAC, I'm not sure exactly what you were proposing (sorry, foal on the ground is taking a lot of my time, but BOY is he worth it!). Collaboration is the key, I'd think, along with consulting plenty of scholarly works and working with a number of different editors to bring things together. As to who to suggest, I don't rightly know. Ealdgyth - Talk 21:06, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
The bibliography of the Roman Catholic Church article has 81 books and the article was created with the help of legions of editors. My suggestions for improving FAC are here [1]. Ealdgyth, are you saying that you think it is impossible to create an FA on one of these religious subjects? Why can't the same thing happen for an article on Luther? By the way, congratulations on the new baby! NancyHeise talk 22:10, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
(ec) Yes, 81 books spread amongst all those varied subjects. I figure you need to read at LEAST 100 books for the history section alone, if you don't get folks who specialize in the history of the subsections involved. That would mean getting RelHistBuff to work on the Reformation stuff, probably me on the Medieval (with Mike and Deacon alongside) Ioannes for some of the history, PMAnderson for some of the history, Qp for more modern history. Those are just some of the editors off the top of my head. You'd need to read not just Catholic historians but others. Historians that should be consulted include Peter Brown for the late antique world (his work on saints cults is widely read in colleges), MacCullogh for his recent work on the Reformation, Elaine Pagels for early history, etc. etc. A broad based approach to the history section is very advised, which will help insulate you from cries that you've not considered other POVs. I know you have dismissed Erdman, but he's significant and his POV needs coverage. Tyerman for the Crusades, his God's War is quite good as an introduction to the Crusades. All of these may not make it into the article as sources, but consulting them will help convince others that all research has been done. As for the Ten Commandments article, I'm of two minds. To some degree, I think your article was quite good and didn't see that it needed that much more historical coverage. A rename to something reflecting the fact that it covers mostly the current teachings of the church on the subject would probably have resolved most of the problems. While a little more historical information on the truly important changes might have been warranted, there isn't any need to go into great depth and heavy detail on all the twists and turns that the church's beliefs on the ten commandments. (Baby foal pics were on a link higher up on my talk page, if you wanna go and oo and ahhh... (hint hint)) Ealdgyth - Talk 22:37, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
The fight over the Luther article occurred around 2006-2007. Since then no one wants to take the lead in further improving the article for fear of getting caught in an edit war. I wouldn't say it is impossible; nothing is impossible, but it will be very difficult. There are two problems: one is the amount of scholarship that needs to be absorbed and qualified and the other is the controversial nature. The former could possibly be handled by breaking the subject down to specific topics. The latter, however, cannot be easily managed. The problem is not so much in the FAC process, but it is inherent in Wikipedia. Tweaking the rules may help a bit, but it won't stop those who want to argue for a particular POV. Even if an article has a section for each religious POV (one could also add an agnostic POV to the list), there will be arguments over weighting. As for the role of the FAC director(s), he/she will always have a terrible time in discerning what is a ridiculous or simple POV-pushing comment and what is a valid comment. --RelHistBuff (talk) 22:30, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Nancy's two suggested improvements are already a regular part of FAC, not new. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:36, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
The current FAC system doesn't stop some poor articles making it through. What it does do is put a lot of stress on articles on controversial topics. Editors (exception Ealdgyth) often ignore the obscure candidates and flock to the controversial or interesting ones. With all the strong views and blatant misapprehensions about subjects like Luther or the Catholic Church, objections are always going to mount up because certain individuals' preconceptions or opinions aren't adequately (in their view) reflected in the article. Nancy's proposal (which I DON'T think is yet applied at FACs) is that objectors provide good reliable references to back up objections on lack of balance and POV, rather than just say "I think this is a total travesty and POV" An objector on such grounds should be given a brief period to produce the reliable reference for his Viewpoint and evidence as to the WEIGHT of that POV in the literature - otherwise such objections should be visibly struck out. That would allow people to object - but ensure that the objection was sound enough to block the nomination if unaddressed. Xandar 22:50, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

I think one reason I didn't, apart from a few comments on the talk page, get into the RCC FACs was because it looked to me like I'd be walking into a swamp. Clearly Nancy was going to demand references from those she disagreed with, and those who complied were suddenly spending hours and days looking things up to justify their points. To ask all commentators to bring references would, in my opinion, probably kill the FAC process. I think the answer is for the nominator to be sprightly. There are ways of accommodating requests and criticisms while retaining the information one wants. Some people, including myself, deprecated certain sources used: these people could have been satisfied by the tactic of re-reffing the same information to sources they recognised.

I do not think the problem is the FAC system but the nature of religious articles. I've been busy today just fighting fires at Martin Luther, which is not even anywhere near being a Good Article. Lutherans come to the article with certain presuppositions, as do Catholics to Catholicism articles, and the result, when they are challenged, can be genuine incomprehension. But what can we do with references to such sources as The Lutheran Witness? It counts as a reliable source, unfortunately, and it is often used for citations, even though for me it is seriously problematic. For example, it was used to cite the idea that Luther had kind words for the Jews at the end of his life; but the Lutheran Witness article took one sentence out of context and did not tell the readers about the vitriol that surrounded it in the original sermon.

Even well-recognised academic sources can often be problematic. Many of them are written by Luther scholars who take certain premises for granted that Wikipedia shouldn't. I was reading a highly respected book on Lutheran theology yesterday, and it routinely included sentences like "when Luther discovered the true meaning of 'the justice of God'": the author clearly took it for granted that Luther had established the truth with his theology, which Lutherans take as canonical, not that his doctrine was yet one more in the long doctrinal history of Christianity. Yet I'd be laughed out of court if I tried to suggest that Luther's Theology of the Cross by Alister McGrath was in any way a doubtful source—on the contrary, it is seminal.

The history of Luther's life is easy to establish, and the article is good on that; the problem comes with the history of his doctrinal breakthroughs, for which one has to move away from history books, and which no one seems to agree on. There the problem begins: how do I know what is objective commentary? The overlap between theology and history faculties is already an area of contention in many universities. Even the Cambridge Companion has a majority of articles by scholars at Lutheran institutions. When one looks into Lutheran Confessions, including very modern restatements of them, one finds it is part of the Lutheran religion (not just a historical curiosity) that the pope is the antichrist. So, do these scholars believe that? As a non Lutheran and non Catholic, I am bewildered by such a term of reference. If a key point of Luther's theology was that the pope is not mentioned in the bible and not empowered by the keys of St Peter, then how could Luther call him the antichrist, by reference to Revelation? Religion is just a tough subject to be factual about or even to establish the reliable sources for, given Wikipedia's policies.qp10qp (talk) 14:44, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

And this may be why many of my bishops don't have issues, because they usually not "big name" theologians, nor are they people who changed theology greatly. The few that MIGHT be said to have done so (Anselm and Bonaventure come to mind) I've not touched. Even Becket didn't have theological views that are still resounding today. But once you start into theological waters that are at all contentious, you have a lot to deal with, and the potential for big problems goes up exponentiallly. Oddly, Calvin was probably pretty simple mainly because he is so ... uncolorful, and his influence in theology is so much more muted. I'm not saying it's not there, but he didn't almost single-handedly launch a sea-change in the religious and political map of Europe. It'd be like trying to get Karl Marx to FAC (wouldn't THAT be fun!). Ealdgyth - Talk 14:53, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Oddly I expect a decent article on Marx would not have anything like the same difficulties, not least because he had little or no direct involvement in political events during his lifetime. Marxism would be much tougher. Johnbod (talk) 16:11, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
It's the same for Calvin versus Calvinism. In response to Ealdgyth, I thought Calvin was going to be worse than Luther, but after going through the books, I found out that he was more straightforward than I thought. He was a theologian, less a politician. On Qp10qp's point on potentially biased sources on theology, unfortunately sources like the McGrath example are the bulk of what is available. Very few agnostics or followers of another faith would write a book on the theology of a particular religion. What is important is to find highly respectable sources and avoid the "theology" books written by persons of lesser authority. Even if the respectable sources are written with a particular POV, one can still distill the essence and write in a non-POV way; it's difficult, but possible. The same could be done with an article on Catholic theology. --RelHistBuff (talk) 16:42, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
I think the problem of these articles is easier to solve than you all are suggesting simply by using university textbooks and avoiding the fringe theorists like Elaine Pagels. Ealdgyth, I read Pagels, I omitted her as a source because she has a reputation among scholars as a fringe source, she is not a university textbook writer. Our Roman Catholic Church page uses sources from all POV's and avoids those identified as WP:fringe sources - per Wikipedia policy. The most oft cited works are given greater number of citations.
If we can have some clarity at FAC that people who suggest sources that are not univerity textbooks used for history of religious articles, we can finally make articles that Reader, Wikipedia and editors want - those like Luther, Thomas Beckett, Roman Catholic Church. We can stop spending all our time on the obscure subjects that we know will make FA but are not really popular with Readers.
I just want to say also that I agree with Xandar and disagree with Sandy - FAC does not incorporate my two suggestions - at least from what I have seen. I feel as if I have been treated unfairly by FAC, including Sandy. I think that RCC was held to standards that were unwritten and not part of FA criteria and that Sandy gave too much creedence to opposers who clearly could not be satisfied even when their comments were addressed. Ioannis Pragensis was one of those as well as Marskell and Savadin. I think that because these editors were known to Sandy and she respected them more than me, she held their opinions in high esteem even though their comments were unreasonable. FAC needs to change if Wikipedia wants people to make articles that are popular with Readers. NancyHeise talk 16:50, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
I think you'd be better to set such thoughts aside and read through this thread again. It contains many valuable suggestions. Take each comment at FAC as an opportunity to grow the article rather than as a confrontation. The way to negate an oppose is to meet the objections, and there are subtle ways to do this while keeping the content you want. If you argue vociferously with objectors, that rather stands out, and perhaps makes Sandy, who hasn't got the time or the books to go into all the ins and outs of each point, assume that the issues aren't resolved. Any objector can be won over with soft energy and subtlety, or at least nursed to a truce position. qp10qp (talk) 17:05, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
University Textbooks are not the only best sources though. Pagels, although not necessarily a "schoarly" writer, is indeed influential and has an important POV that should be mentioned. The other authors I mentioned also need to be consulted. Brown has written many many scholarly and influential works, you need to include his views. (His work on late antique cults is some of the most important medieval religious studies work done in the last 50 years). To not consult his works neglects an important part of the history of the church. By refusing to consult other sources, you're making it appear that you're pushing a single POV, which puts the FAC reviewers backs up and just leads to more confrontation. Less argumentation and more "What would you suggest it say" would help. (And if Pagels has a reputation as a fringe source among scholars, it must be different scholars than I studied under in college, where I read her in several seminars). Ealdgyth - Talk 17:11, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, I do not profess to be the most amiable FAC nomiator. I am a human being with faults. However that said, I think the article was treated unfairly. My hesitation to bring it forward again or even to create another religion article for the Catholic Church is due to this unfair treatment that I see happening with RCC (and other religion articles). If an article meets FA it should be an FA. If someone opposes because the article does not posess the exact specifics they demand, those specifics should be some part of FA criteria or they should not be considered. If RCC article contains all notable criticisms and POV's why should we have to reference to Pagels if Bokenkotter says the same thing? What FA criteria is being violated by using the more scholarly work than using the less scholarly work? None. But yet, even so, the article fails FA because we don't satisfy the whims of every FAC reviewer. That's unfair and discourages continued effort. NancyHeise talk 17:42, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
"Why should we have to reference Pagels if Bokenkotter says the same thing?" You don't have to. But say you just added a ref to Pagels to the one to Bokenkotter. Voila! You have met the objection and done the article no harm. It's win win. You are one step closer to FA. But if you fight ... qp10qp (talk) 18:40, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Even so, I think it is not unreasonable to ask people claiming that an article is POV to at least produce references to back up their points to initiate serious discussion. With RCC, we faced opposers who literally came in and said "This article is biased propaganda. I oppose." Even pinning such people down to stating specific factual matters that could be gone into was interminably difficult. And even when issues were clarified, several said "You find the references to support my position". If such opposes are given a virtual veto, articles have no chance. Another problem was a few opposers (this time with references) who said, "This is the point of view the article should express on issue X, you may have references that say otherwise, but unless the article takes my set of references as the sole academic consensus, I will maintain my oppose." With one particular opposer I said that their view ould be put in the article as one point of view, but the person would only be satisfied with theirs as the only point of view. Hence another unresolvable oppose. Xandar 00:23, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Featured article review/Witold Pilecki[edit]

Please see my comment - the unreliable online ref has been mostly retired. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 22:52, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

I've added another couple of sources to the article and used them to back up about 7 of the cites to the IPN website. As it stands now, pretty much most of the information starting with the founding the Secret Polish Army, through Auschwitz (which is the key part of his life story that accessible English language sources focus on) until the end of the war is pretty well backed up by sources other than that one website. The main section which relies on IPN extensively is his early life, which accounts for about a third of all those IPN citations. This is mainly because Western/English sources understandably write about what he is best known for - his wartime activity, being a voluntary prisoner in the concentration camp, intelligence reports, etc. - and skip a lot of the early biographical details that aren't as exciting - for that, in addition to IPN, we would also have to find harder to obtain Polish sources. But exactly because that part of his life isn't as exciting as what came after, the early life is not really controversial and I'm not sure if it really needs extra sources (in addition to IPN) to back it up. Basically, I'm wondering how much extra sourcing - and where - is needed here, to retain FA status. Thanks for taking time with this and I very much appreciate a response.radek (talk) 07:46, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Bucer prose[edit]

Will look at it this evening. Brianboulton (talk) 17:04, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

(Later): I have read the first few sections. On my private prose crapometer, which runs from 0 (perfection) to 10 (irredeemable shite), I reckon this article to be around 3.5, which is better than most Wikipedia aricles but a bit too high for FA. Here are just a few examples of things that need attention:-

  • "Almost nothing is known about Bucer’s mother. It was likely that he attended..." Phrasing needs adjustment
  • "By the time he completed his studies in the summer of 1507, he was able to read and speak Latin fluently and in the same year, he joined the Dominican order." Punctuation problems. In fact, numerous sentences seem to me to be oddly punctuated, with commas strangely placed or omitted.
  • "Sensing the potential danger, Bucer formally wrote his will in the form of the aforementioned inventory of books." Meaning unclear
  • "In 27–29 December..." "In" seems wrong; "During...", possibly?

So although I wouldn't use the same robust terms as your FAC reviewer I'd say yes, the prose could do with a general copyedit. And in answer to your forthcoming question, I'll do it, but it may take a few days as it is quite a long article. Let me know if you want me to go ahead. Brianboulton (talk) 21:34, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

I have copyedited up to the beginning "Colloquies" section. I have to break off now, but hope to finish some time on Saturday. In the Early life section I have done some rearranging, with the result that some of the text has become separated from its citation – you may need to attend to this. I'll let you know of other problems when I've done with the copyedit. Brianboulton (talk) 18:17, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks you! Considering all the work you have done, I think you were being overly generous with the points you gave me. I think the scale ought to be reversed i.e., I should being closer to the crap side! --RelHistBuff (talk) 21:37, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

OK, I have finished my copyediting work. I have several concerns:-

  • Particularly in the latter part of the article I sometimes got the sense that the words I was reading were a direct quote. For example the phrase "to edify as many people as possible and offend no one" doesn't sound like your paraphrase. Other examples: "to make his design for the kingdom of Christ come true", and the very last sentence of the article. You have used direct quotes very sparingly; can you confirm that the prose generally, and phrases I've quoted in particular, are sufficiently different in form not to warrant direct attribution to the sources?
  • I have removed and reworded some obvious POV expressions, but there is still a lingering of editorial opinion in parts of the article. It may be worth your going through again, to ensure that the neutral voice is present throughout.
  • This: attack France is a clear example of WP:easter egg linking. Some other piped links might also be suspect.
  • Some of the extend footnotes contain information which might beneficially be included in the article.
  • The bigamous marriage paragraph looks out of place in the Colloquies section. It is chronologically correct to have it here, but this information stands out from the rest of the section. Is there a way in which the circumstances of Philip's bigamy could be more closely related to the colloquies?
  • After my detailed reading of the text I'm inclined to think the lead section should be expanded a little, if it is really to serve as a summary of the whole article.

You would be well advised to read through and make certain that I have not changed or corrupted the meanings through over-enthusiastic copyedits. Please feel free to revert anything which you don't like. Brianboulton (talk) 17:10, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

  • Re archiving, you are probably right about it being shelved early, but wouldn't it be better to address all issues raised before re-nominating? Johnbod (talk) 21:39, 21 April 2009 (UTC)


How is it coming? Do you need someone with reasonably fresh eyes to look it over? I probably will have a few hours later today if you need some help... (have to go get horse food and file some paperwork at the school for the child, but otherwise my early afternoon probably will be free enough) Ealdgyth - Talk 14:17, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Qp10qp is going through a gradual copy-edit. If you are free, another pair of eyes would be helpful. Thanks! --RelHistBuff (talk) 14:28, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
I've finished my copyedit and checked a lot of stuff in Greschat and some more general books as I went along. I also kept Xander's comments in mind and acted on some of them. You've made a lot of improvements since the FAC, and if you think the article's ready to go back up, I'd support it. It's very solid indeed, and, though I find its tight chronological structure a little restrictive of broader theological discussion, it's FA quality now, in my opinion.
By the way, I think it might have been a mistake for you to have transferred a wad of comments from the FAC page to the talk page. I get the impression Sandy doesn't mind copious comments on the FA page, as it's easier for her to check what's going on—so long as they're on topic and its clear who says what and when. I'll ask for her opinion. qp10qp (talk) 19:35, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the ping, Qp ! I hope RelHist has good luck this time through. I don't mind when long conversations are transferred to talk, as long as it is indicated and a link is given, but I would have transferred them to the article FAC talk page instead of the article talk page, to keep all of the FAC info in one place. Also, a link should always be given on the FAC, because when reading through the entire FAC page, one doesn't see the talk page tabs for each individual FAC. Best to both ! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:06, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Ah, the talk page of the FAC itself. Makes sense now; I forgot that it even existed. I did put a link in the FAC directly to the section in the article talk page though. I figured the conversation would have ended up long and drawn out (and it did). I thought it would be cleaner, but I guess there are different opinions about that. Thanks Qp10qp for all your help. --RelHistBuff (talk) 22:13, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Joseph Priestley lead image alignment[edit]

You previously have commented on the RfC at Talk:Joseph_Priestley#RfC on lead image alignment on whether or not the lead image should be left-aligned. A straw poll is under way to determine what, if any consensus have been developed towards resolving the debate. Go to Talk:Joseph_Priestley#Major_options and indicate your relative levels of support for each option. Thank you. Madcoverboy (talk) 17:54, 23 June 2009 (UTC)


RelHistBuff, I will be putting RCC forward for another FAC try this fall with the help of BrianBoulton and the other page editors. There will be a peer review of the page in September. I was told that pages like RCC are very much in demand by Readers and was thinking about how you and Ealdgyth were talking about the difficulties of getting Martin Luther and Thomas Cranmer passed. These are very important articles that I think would be very popular but no one has tried to take them FA because of controversy. I was wondering if you would consider working together on these pages with a diverse group of editors like those who help out at RCC in order to bring them to FA. These editors are of all religions and I think it would be worthwhile to try to collaborate some kind of coordinated effort to get past the difficulties these kinds of articles have faced and which prevent worthwhile editors from spending time on them to bring them to FA.
A coordinated effort could invite editors with known knowledge or resources for the subject or editing skills. A time frame could be set for examining the article all together and coming to agreement in a short period of time on basic material to cover and sources to use. Afterward, article building would ensue with another agreed meeting time for all to examine and post comments to again work out the kinks in a short period of time and then move it to FA to see what happens. I think this kind of effort would result in passage of difficult but popular religion articles that are very much in demand but neglected because of their nature. Please let me know what you think. Thanks, NancyHeise talk 02:50, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Nancy, I would like to help, but unfortunately I have semi-retired. I will occasionally logon to monitor articles and who knows, maybe sometime in the future I will get active again. Wikipedia is rather addictive. In any case, I think you have built a worthy team of editors and you will all pull it through. Congratulations on the Ten Commandments FA! --RelHistBuff (talk) 08:15, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! Enjoy your semi-retirement! NancyHeise talk 03:36, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

know anything about cosmo lang?[edit]

No not really, but it is a very interesting article on which I probably would have commented on. I find English church history quite fascinating compared to Swiss or German. I still logon occasionally to check up on my watchlist, but I am not really active. At the moment anyway... --RelHistBuff (talk) 12:07, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
Me..uh... too.. uh... neither... uhhh. I dunno what my status is. If you ever wanna work on an article, drop me a line. maybe I will. I dunno. Depends on which way the wind is blowing at that moment. Later! Ling.Nut (talk) 12:12, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

Idiomatic English[edit]

"Cranmer was tried for treason and heresy when Roman Catholic monarch Mary I came to the throne" is less idiomatic than "Cranmer was tried for treason and heresy when the Roman Catholic Mary I came to the throne". The word "monarch" is of no use when we know that she was a queen. The absence of a definite article is journalese. "Cranmer was tried for treason and heresy when Mary I, a Roman Catholic, came to the throne" would work as well. Don't think the facts are in dispute, or the characterisation, it is only the diction. —Srnec (talk) 20:40, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

(ignore the idiot on sinus pills who pushed the wrong button please!) Sorry! Ealdgyth - Talk 20:46, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Definite article with separated element now in. @Ealdgyth: Hope you feel better soon. --RelHistBuff (talk) 23:20, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
There is no reason to identify her as a monarch because (i) she has an ordinal attached to her name, which is enough for most people, and (ii) the sentence says she "came to the throne", which means she was a monarch. We cannot say she was "the Romanc Catholic monarch" and then add her name in parentheses because England has had many Roman Catholic monarchs. She was a Roman Catholic, which is the relevant point, hence the current wording. —Srnec (talk) 22:05, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Seasons Greetings and all that ...[edit]

Modern-Knight.jpg Happy Holidays
Wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday Season, from the horse and bishop person. Ealdgyth - Talk 16:37, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

Cranmer and Nicodemism[edit]

Thank you for catching the blunder in my reference to Thomas Cranmer as a Nicodemite. Here is the reference I meant to supply:

Quoting from p. 207:

It is not disputed that Cramer was both a humanist and a serial recanter. From the point of view of Anglican martyrology he clearly redeemed himself beyond any taint of hypocrisy by his comportment surrounding his martyrdom. Perhaps, however, from the Catholic point of view, Nicodemite is not too inappropriate an epithet, since it the term can cut both ways.

If such characterization is really out in left field, then his name must be stricken from the "suspected" list in the article Nicodemite as well. Or, I can repair both references. But I am out of my depth to take the matter much further. Perhaps an expert such as yourself should adopt that article.

Ziusudra (talk) 00:32, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
I put the corrected reference in and integrated the assertion in a preceding sentence. The statement in the source doesn't provide details so it isn't a great support to the claim. Note she mentioned Nicodemite "themes" not that Cranmer was a Nicodemite. One could also consider his final days as being under the category of "anguished personal dilemmas". There may be more on the thoughts of Cranmer in Ayris & Selwyn; I will have to back to the library. --RelHistBuff (talk) 09:44, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Luther book article & the Bucer article[edit]

I noticed you removed my mention of the Luther book article in the beginning of the Zwingli article. The reason I put in the beginning was because the relevant section article lacks discussion of the early part of the controversy. Perhaps you could add it in some way? As for myself, I'm not exactly sure how it fits. The end of the Luther book article summarizes Zwingli's response to Luther in several response writings.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 00:09, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

If there is new material to add, it should go into the main text. For that reason I did add a mention about Dass Diese Worte Christi "Das ist mein Leib etc." noch fest stehen wider die Schwarmgeister (1527) in the Marburg Colloquy section. This is sourced from Gäbler. I believe it was this later work that was Luther's main statement on the controversy. Gäbler did not mention Zwingli's response to The Sacrament of... (1526). I will take a look at Brecht though and see what to add. --RelHistBuff (talk) 08:37, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

Catholic Church[edit]

You commented on the recent sweeping changes to the article. My critique of them and an alternate suggestion is linked at Talk:Catholic_Church#Recent_Major_and_Substantive_Changes_to_this_Article Xandar 14:03, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

John Calvin and Democracy[edit]

I made several comments regarding the sections on John Calvin and the issues concerning democracy and the American form of government. I am not a registered user, and the page is still protected. I have laid out a detailed case for my reasoning. I would appreciate your thoughts. I don't think the article is balanced when it simply states that John Calvin had a "particular" impact upon the American form of government. There are historians who disagree (which I cite) that I believe are more influential and significant than a modern day Tennessee preacher who may or may not have a political agenda. I think the problem is that people are confusing Calvinist work ethic among the later generations of his followers with John Calvin the man. I don't think its intellectually honest to say John Calvin particularly impacted the American form of government. John Knox had as great, if not greater, impact upon it. The sources indicate that Calvinists went on in a direction that were not necessarily indicative of John Calvin's own teachings. Please look at the Discussion PAge for John Calvin again for much more detail. Please respond on the Discussion page for John Calvin. Thank you Oghmatist (talk) 03:48, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Warning, edit warring on Thomas Cranmer[edit]

You have repeatedly reverted my edits wholesale on the Thomas Cranmer article. They were made according to WP:ATTRIBUTEPOV as explained by me on the article's talk page. You do not contest the factual nature of my edits. You commanded me to "stop this" [2] and not to edit the article without your agreement on the talk page.[3] This is ownership behavior. In my last edit I took into account your complaints about what you call the anachronistic use of the word Anglican into account and used Protestant instead and deleted the reference to the papacy which you contested. Your response was once again to revert my edit wholesale. This is edit warring. You are dangerously close to violating WP:3RR. If this wholesale reversion continues it will be reported to admin. Wrotesolid (talk) 16:57, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

You are now in violation of WP:3RR. [4] [5] [6].
Your reversion of the specification of the time frame for the two separate trials and verdicts - for which a reference was provided - amounts to ownership behavior. The word "martyrdom" in the section head amounts to pov. Execution is an objective statement. Martyrdom is the Anglican POV. This has been explained. I suggest you reverse your own last edit. I have posted this issue [7] on the edit warring discussion board.Wrotesolid (talk) 18:15, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
Hello RelHistBuff. You can reply to the complaint at WP:AN3#User:RelHistBuff reported by User:Wrotesolid (Result: ). I looked at some of the edit summaries. It is ironic to do a revert, and then in your edit summary, tell the other party to go to talk instead of reverting. Surely the advice to go to Talk first should apply to both parties? It does appear that you are over 3RR but the other party, with three reverts, is still edit warring. It would be logical to block both parties unless each one will agree to stop the war. EdJohnston (talk) 20:24, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
I responded on ANI. --RelHistBuff (talk) 21:25, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Thank you[edit]

Thank you for your recent help with the Lutheranism article.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 14:46, 10 June 2010 (UTC)


Hi RelHistBuff. Are you interested in being granted rollback rights? It makes dealing with vandalism a little easier. If you think it would be useful for you, let me know and I'll grant the permission. Karanacs (talk) 14:42, 11 June 2010 (UTC)


Hi RelHistBuff, I've given you rollback rights. You'll now see a new link on your watchlist to rollback edits. By pushing that link you will remove all edits by the most recent editor - until you get to an edit by another person. So, for example, if user A makes a vandalism edit, then user B makes a good edit, then user A makes 2 more bad edits, rollback would get rid of User A's last two edits, but not their first one. Only use it for vandalism, and be careful - the link is really easy to push by mistake! Let me know if you have any questions. Karanacs (talk) 14:05, 14 June 2010 (UTC)


Hello, RelHistBuff. This message is being sent to inform you that there currently is a discussion at Wikipedia:Wikiquette alerts regarding an issue with which you may have been involved. Thank you. şṗøʀĸşṗøʀĸ: τᴀʟĸ 10:14, 1 July 2010 (UTC)


Hello, RelHistBuff. This message is being sent to inform you that there currently is a discussion at Wikipedia:Wikiquette alerts regarding an issue with which you may have been involved. Thank you. TuckerResearch (talk) 19:47, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Research into the user pages of Wikipedians: Invitation to participate[edit]


My name is John-Paul and I am a student with the University of Alberta specializing in Communications and Technology.

I would like to include your Wikipedia user page in a study I am doing about how people present themselves online. I am interested in whether people see themselves in different ways, online and offline. One of the things I am looking at is how contributors to Wikipedia present themselves to each other through their user pages. Would you consider letting me include your user page in my study?

With your consent, I will read and analyze your user page, and ask you five short questions about it that will take about ten to fifteen minutes to answer. I am looking at about twenty user pages belonging to twenty different people. I will be looking at all user pages together, looking for common threads in the way people introduce themselves to other Wikipedians.

I hope that my research will help answer questions about how people collaborate, work together, and share knowledge. If you are open to participating in this study, please reply to this message, on your User Talk page or on mine. I will provide you with a complete description of my research, which you can use to decide if you want to participate.


John-Paul Mcvea
University of Alberta

Johnpaulmcvea (talk) 22:11, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

Main Page appearance: Joseph W. Tkach[edit]

This is a note to let the main editors of Joseph W. Tkach know that the article will be appearing as today's featured article on March 16, 2014. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page. If you prefer that the article appear as TFA on a different date, or not at all, please ask Bencherlite (talk · contribs). You can view the TFA blurb at Wikipedia:Today's featured article/March 16, 2014. If it needs tweaking, or if it needs rewording to match improvements to the article between now and its main page appearance, please edit it, following the instructions at Wikipedia:Today's featured article/requests/instructions. The blurb as it stands now is below:

Joseph W. Tkach (1927–1995) was an American pastor who was the appointed successor of Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of the Worldwide Church of God. Tkach was ordained as a minister in the church in 1957, and became President and Pastor General of the church upon the death of Armstrong in 1986. Tkach spearheaded a major doctrinal transformation of the Worldwide Church of God, abandoning Armstrong's unconventional doctrines and bringing the church into accord with mainstream evangelical Christianity. Changes included encouraging members to seek proper medical treatment while retaining faith in God as a healer, permitting interracial marriage, and allowing work on the Sabbath. The changes that he implemented stirred much controversy among those who continued to follow Armstrong's theology. Dissenters labeled the changes as heresy and many left to form new church organizations. His son, Joseph Tkach Jr., continued his work and in 1997 the Worldwide Church of God became a member of the National Association of Evangelicals. Within the mainstream Christian community, some have hailed Tkach's reforms, which brought a church from the fringe to orthodoxy, as unprecedented. (Full article...)

UcuchaBot (talk) 23:01, 10 March 2014 (UTC)


Cornflower blue Yogo sapphire.jpg

Thank you for quality articles about reformers and their thoughts, Martin Bucer, Theology of Huldrych Zwingli, John Calvin, Thomas Cranmer, John Knox and Joseph W. Tkach, for thinking this list is "a bit flashy", for caution in downfall, you are an awesome Wikipedian!

--Gerda Arendt (talk) 02:44, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Thank you :-) RelHistBuff (talk) 14:43, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
A year ago, you were the 797th recipient of my PumpkinSky Prize, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 16:09, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Two years ago, you were recipient no. 797 of Precious, a prize of QAI! --Gerda Arendt (talk) 06:36, 16 March 2016 (UTC)

File:Tkach5preaching.gif listed for deletion[edit]

A file that you uploaded or altered, File:Tkach5preaching.gif, has been listed at Wikipedia:Files for deletion. Please see the discussion to see why it has been listed (you may have to search for the title of the image to find its entry). Feel free to add your opinion on the matter below the nomination. Thank you. ViperSnake151  Talk  16:08, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

File:Tkach3bHWA.gif listed for deletion[edit]

A file that you uploaded or altered, File:Tkach3bHWA.gif, has been listed at Wikipedia:Files for deletion. Please see the discussion to see why it has been listed (you may have to search for the title of the image to find its entry). Feel free to add your opinion on the matter below the nomination. Thank you. ViperSnake151  Talk  16:10, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

ArbCom elections are now open![edit]

You appear to be eligible to vote in the current Arbitration Committee election. The Arbitration Committee is the panel of editors responsible for conducting the Wikipedia arbitration process. It has the authority to enact binding solutions for disputes between editors, primarily related to serious behavioural issues that the community has been unable to resolve. This includes the ability to impose site bans, topic bans, editing restrictions, and other measures needed to maintain our editing environment. The arbitration policy describes the Committee's roles and responsibilities in greater detail. If you wish to participate, you are welcome to review the candidates' statements and submit your choices on the voting page. For the Election committee, MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 13:57, 23 November 2015 (UTC)