Wikipedia:Peer review/Religious language/archive1

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Religious language[edit]

This peer review discussion has been closed.
I created this article out of a redirect in March; I made it a DYK and then GA and I would like to see it achieve FA in the next few months. I would really appreciate any feedback anyone has.

Thanks, ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 18:58, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

Brianboulton comments: Thought-provoking stuff, if not particularly digestible. I have read it through once, understood some but by no means all, and will go through it again, more slowly. Here are a few initial points:-

  • I am a little concerned by the lead. I am not sure that it meets the requirement to provide a broad overview of the article; rather it seems to be more an introduction to the subject. The first sentences read like the opening of a philosophy textbook (or possibly of a post-graduate dissertation); they do not, however, draw the general reader in. What, for example, is this reader to make of the second sentence: "Discussion of religious language considers how God can be described, if traditional conceptions of God (as incorporeal, infinite, and timeless) that could render God indescribable are accepted"? While I am not suggesting that a dumbing-down of the article text is necessary, I do feel that, whatever the intellectual complexities of the subject, the lead needs to be as user-friendly as possible.
  • I had difficulty, too, with the short "Problem of religious language" section. The first three sentences I understand perfectly, and I could just about follow Simone Weil, but was completely mystified by Sallie McFague.
  • Many of the authorities quoted are contemporaneous or nearly so. In such cases it is common to use the literary present tense when referring to their works. Thus in McFague's case, she "notes" rather then "noted", "argues" rather than "argued". The same could be applied to most others, though not to ancients such as Thomas Aquinas.
  • Nitpicky point: some of the page ranges have hyphens rather than ndashes.

I will try and post more in a few days. Brianboulton (talk) 16:22, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments, Brianboulton. I'm glad you've had a look - some parts are certainly quire confusing, a point I missed when reading my own writing. I've improved the introduction and tried to improve the problem of religious language section; let me know if there are other improvements I could make in those areas, or if there are bits you still find difficult. I'll look at the latter two points later when I have more time. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 18:24, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Comments: just started a read through, will probably post more comments.
  • "The stranger claims to be leading the resistance and the soldier develops an unshakable faith in the stranger, even though he is seen to be fighting for both sides – there is nothing that would undermine the soldier's faith in the stranger." This sentence is a bit confusing to me, primarily the middle clause. Who is fighting for both sides? Mark Arsten (talk) 19:52, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks - I've tried to clarify that. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 20:17, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
Ok, looks clear now. Mark Arsten (talk) 19:24, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Analogies of games
  • "Donovan proposed that the debate between religions exists and the occurrence of apologists demonstrates that religions interact with each other and so cannot be treated as isolated language games." Is there a good way to tighten this sentence a bit?
  • There's a bit of repetition of words in this section, particularly "language". See if you can cut back on how many times you say that here. Also "played by a greater being who 'plays' characters and individuals." (and I'm not sure the single quotes are right here).
  • " should not be viewed in isolation because it makes statements about secular events" I'm not sure about the use of "it" here. Mark Arsten (talk) 19:24, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for those comments, Mark. I've had a look at the language games section and made the improvements you suggest. My only problem is the repetition of language in that section - I'm not sure sure where I could reduce it (perhaps because it's my own work). What would you recommend? ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 20:03, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, that is tricky, I'll check again, not sure if I know how either.
Challenges to religious language
  • General comment, I'm not sure if the comma is needed in the "that, if" statements.
  • Feel free to revert my copyediting if you want.
Myth
  • "Paden believed that a myth must explain something in the world which reference to a sacred being or force;" Did you leave out a word here?
  • Might want to check if the single quotes are used correctly here. Mark Arsten (talk) 21:31, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks again. I think I'll leave that "that, if" commas in as they are grammatically correct and make the arguments clearer to follow (I think, if you think it's unclear, let me know). Your copyediting look good - thanks. I've fixed the bit on Paden (I'd put "which" instead of "with") and I've slightly reworded the end of that sentence to make the quotation accurate. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 19:12, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Ok, that might just be a preference issue on my part, no problem.
Analogy
  • You start three consecutive sentences in the middle paragraph with Smedes, see if you can rephrase a little.
  • "He argued that various models of God" Who does "He" refer to here?
  • Make sure you're consistent in how you write centuries.
Lead
  • Why the repeated bold in the first paragraph?
  • "Traditionally, religious language has been explained as via negativa, analogy, symbolism, or myth each of which describe a way of talking about God in human terms. " Should there be a comma between myth and each here?
General
  • Diety, Hick, Wittgenstein, and Simple seem to be repeat linked.
  • I see you have information from Christian, Jewish, and secular philosophers, any hope of finding Muslim or Eastern philosophers? The perspective of Gnosticism might be interesting too. Although, if there aren't sources about it available, don't worry.
  • Otherwise, this looks pretty good, not much to take issue with as far as prose goes, and it's fairly understandable for such a complicated topic, good job. Mark Arsten (talk) 03:01, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for your feedback (again!), I really appreciate it. I've made most of the simple changes you've suggested - I'll take a look for Islamic and Eastern philosophers now. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 18:38, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
I've been improving it further recently; I've managed to include some ideas from Islam, Buddhism and Sikhism, as well as some alternative approaches. If someone could look over those, I'd be grateful. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 21:15, 24 May 2012 (UTC)