I've been working on this article for a little while. It was listed as a good article in March this year; I've since had it peer reviewed and had additional feedback from other editors. I feel that it is now ready to be nominated as a Featured Article. ItsZippy(talk • contributions) 13:23, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
There are at least two other meanings of "Religious language" that this article doesn't seem to cover. 1. "a language used in worship in a particular religion (e.g. sanskrit, latin, classical arabic etc.)" 2. A speech register of any that is reserved for use in religious functions. This article treats one particular definition of "religious language" found in analytical philosophy as if it were the only meaning of the phrase. I don't even think it is the most common one - at least not within linguistics where the two other ones are the only one's used. I know of several books that use "religious language" in one of the previously mentioned senses. I think that if this article wants to treat only the topic that it currently treats it should be moved to Religious language problem or something like that.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:32, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
I've moved the article to religious language problem (and slightly changed the lead to fit with the page move). I think you're right about the scope of the article, and that title seems to better fit the topic. ItsZippy(talk • contributions) 13:58, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Is it a 'problem' though? The problem isn't necessarily in the language itself but in the interpretation of it. When faced with, say, Ayer's views of religious language (and metaphysical and ethical language too), the orthodox believer need not conclude there is a problem with religious language but rather that there is a problem with Ayer's presuppositions! I'd be very cautious about suggesting something is a problem in the title unless it actually is widely acknowledged and described as such in the sources. —Tom Morris (talk) 15:29, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Hmm, I see what you mean. I was hasty in changing the name last time, so I'll wait for further discussion. Tom, I think I agree with your view about the word 'problem'; however, as Manus said, I religious language on its own is to broad in scope. Would a religious language (philosophy) be appropriate in this situation, do you think? ItsZippy(talk • contributions)
Not at all sure. 'Religious language (philosophy)' might be okay, or indeed 'philosophy of religious language'. I'd probably have to be slightly more familiar with the sources to know. Maybe even 'Philosophical accounts of religious language', although that's a bit of a mouthful. Perhaps WikiProject Philosophy and/or WikiProject Religion might be able to help. —Tom Morris (talk) 22:09, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
I think that it is normally phrased as a problem of logic and semantics. I don't think the "philosophical accounts" works.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:40, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Philosophy of religious language might work: the topic falls under the wider scope of philosophy of language, and is specified to the religious aspect. I'll leave a note at the Philosophy WikiProject (though they tend to be slow to comment on things). I'm wondering if it's worth continuing the FAC or withdrawing it, resolving the name issue and renominating it in a month. As an irregular here, advice would be appreciated. ItsZippy(talk • contributions) 14:04, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
If you're convinced of what the name should be, move it and continue the nom. If you're not, open a RfC/RM/whatever to get more input, and in the meantime withdraw and renominate once the name issue is resolved. Nikkimaria (talk) 01:23, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
┌────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘Ok, I've moved the page to philosophy of religious language which I believe is both neutral and more refined in scope. I am now hoping that this FAC can proceed as normal. ItsZippy(talk • contributions) 10:59, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Source review - spotchecks not done. Nikkimaria (talk) 15:19, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Schweid & Levin or Levin & Schweid? Taliafero & Griffiths or Griffiths & Taliaferro?
How are you ordering multiple sources by the same author?
Missing citation information for Hoffman 2007
FN42: page formatting
Be consistent in whether page ranges are abbreviated
Check alphabetization of bibliography
No citations to Fasching & deChant 2001, Stiver 1996
Missing last name for Lacewing's coauthor
Be consistent in whether you abbreviate publisher names
John Wiley & Sons or John Wiley and Sons? Nikkimaria (talk) 15:19, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Support I peer reviewed this a month or so ago, and all my comments were dealt with. The subsequent edits seem to have improved the article further. This is a tough subject, but I think the nominator has done a commendable job with it. Mark Arsten (talk) 23:38, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
Leaning oppose I tried to read this article but my brain was hurting in the middle of the first paragraph. I think at least the intro needs to take a step back and be more engaging to a casual reader if this were to be a FA. Nergaal (talk) 22:29, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
I just looked again, and I noted that the lead does seem to be longer than most articles of its length. Perhaps trimming it down could help its readability? Mark Arsten (talk) 18:40, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
I have substantially reduced the length of the lead, and also attempted to simplify and clarify some of the more complex bits. Does that look alright, or does it need further work? ItsZippy(talk • contributions) 17:27, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
Looks better but to be honest I think you should aim to trim another quarter of what is now (3 para instead of 4?). Nergaal (talk) 18:42, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
FWIW, I just read the lead and I think it is perfectly clear and appropriate. Before reading it, I knew nothing about the topic. Leonxlin (talk) 01:50, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
┌────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘ I'm nervous of taking too' much out of the lead, because I don't want to over-simplify the issues. To me, four paragraphs seems much more appropriate than three (and I think it breaks up the lead nicely into: an outline of the problem, classical and alternative explanations, challenges, and language games/parables). What do other people think on the length and clarity of the lead, since I shortened it yesterday? Nergaal, are there any specific parts which are less clear or overly long that you think I could work on? ItsZippy(talk • contributions) 16:35, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Late reply, but I agree with the changes to the lead, looks good. Mark Arsten (talk) 03:15, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Source review: I set out to verify every seventh note. I ended up verifying items 7, 14, 21, 35, 42, 49, and 56, using Google Books preview and Amazon's "Look inside". These features were not provided for item 28 (Singh 1990). For 63 and 70, the specific pages cited were not available, but the sections those pages were in fit the context.
Overall, pretty impressed. Often the article has clearer language than the sources themselves. Leonxlin (talk) 18:31, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
The parenthetical "lacking substance" gloss for incorporeal is somewhat patronizing since the word is nontechnical. Though I wouldn't want it changed if editors have come to agree on its being there.
Religious language is a philosophical problem because of the difficulties in accurately describing God: May I suggest arising from in place of because of?
For example, God may be described as incorporeal or ineffable (without substance and indescribable). This sentence is a bit odd. First, because God's being incorporeal has just been identified as a problem, and now it is being touted as a solution to the problem. Second, it says God may be described as ... indescribable. Perhaps this was intentional.
Reading through the article, I don't see any obvious problems.
Support, per above. Leonxlin (talk) 19:20, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Leaning to support. Leaning (and not full) support because I was not able to read the full article. On first reading, the lead seemed difficult to me (I am completely naive about the topic). However, as I went on to read the text, the concepts gradually cleared. There is no doubt that it is difficult to summarize such a difficult and vast topic in the lead. The author has done a good job.--Dwaipayan (talk) 00:39, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. Leonxlin, I have resolved those three issues. For the last one, I used the source to cite the definition of the via negativa, then found a better one as a source for the example I gave, which is now clearer. Dwaipayan, thanks for your support; is there anything I could do to further improve the article? ItsZippy(talk • contributions) 14:42, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Honestly speaking, I do not know how to suggest further improvement in this case. Admittedly the article is difficult for casual reading; it needs rapt attention. The topic is difficult, and I do not know what to suggest to make it more lucid. However, on repeated readings, the text gets easier to grasp.--Dwaipayan (talk) 17:29, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
"Hare described a madman" - Perhaps a term more technical and less slang than "madman" would be more appropriate.
"Ludwig Wittgenstein proposed a 'calculus' theory of language" - I suggest losing the "scare quotes".
"Wittgenstein believed that religion is significant because it offers a certain way of life" - "a certain way of life" seems vague to me.
"Peter Donovan criticises religious language for failing to recognise that religion..." - This paragraph contains eight references to "religion" or "religious". Perhaps something can be done to break-up the redundancy.
"Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein" - This author is introduced twice this way in relatively close sections: "Logical positivism" and "Analogies of games" just below. ~ GabeMc(talk|contribs) 21:43, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Quick comment Why you state that it talks about "a deity" and then you mention God. You need to clarify if this is about monotheistic or polytheistic religions. Since I don't think this article is about paganism you need to change it to "talk about God", otherwise it is confusing. Regards.--Kürbis (✔) 11:35, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
Thank you both for that; I've dealt with all the concerns. With Hare's madman, I've changed the word to lunatic, which is what the sources use. Similarly, I've changed a 'certain way of life' to a 'particular way of life', which is used in the source. For all the rest, I have done what has been suggested. ItsZippy(talk • contributions) 14:58, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
Support - ItsZippy has done an excellent job with a very difficult subject. I think the article reads particularly well considering the material and it appears to be quite comprehensive (though I do not claim to be an expert on the subject). The article is well-written, researched and is quite neutral. Well done, great work and thanks for this fine contribution to wikipedia! ~ GabeMc(talk|contribs) 00:40, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this page.