Wikipedia:WikiProject Christianity/Planning

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Project organization[edit]

Arguably the most successful WikiProject running is Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history. One of its apparent advantages is the fact that it breaks down its rather large scope into a fairly large number of functional "subprojects", dealing with the largest regional and topical groupings. This allows for people whose primary interest is a particular field (in our case church) to concentrate on their area of interest. Do the rest of you think that this project would benefit from a similar organizational structure? If yes, the structure of the project might potentially be altered to allow greater focus on the following subjects. Any parties wishing to indicate their support should do so by adding their signature below the name of the listing. We would optimatlly like at least five names before starting a group.

Denominations, etc.[edit]

Other fields[edit]

Major "fields" within Christianity might also be reasonably broken out into separate groups. I would think, up front, that this might include one for biographies of major Christians, Christian literature (fiction and non-theological), Christian theology (already extant), Christian graphic arts, maybe one for "electronic media", Christian music (extant in several groups), architecture, and ritual (including clerical garb, liturgical practices, etc.).


There might well be groups for the basic subject of history. It had already been suggested at least once that there a group dealing specifically with Early Christianity, and others might reasonably exist for the era of the Protestant Reformation, and possibly other eras as well.

Hoiw about a Project group on Christian History? --Carlaude (talk) 01:41, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
Sounds reasonable to me. When and if we see five individuals interested in working in the field, I would think that would be enough to start a group. John Carter (talk) 17:24, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
I'd be interested in working in this group. Ltwin (talk) 04:32, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Others, vague ramblings[edit]

It would, remotely, be possible for a group on Mary (mother of Jesus), given the amount of content related to her, and even more remotely other individual Christians as well.

We already have an extant Wikipedia:WikiProject Bible, to deal with that subject which is of major importance to not only Christians but Jews and Moslems as well. This raises a possibly contentious point. It would certainly be possible that members of some non-Christian groups might object to content related to the Bible or other interreligious materials having the Christian content overemphasized, in terms of importance or amount of material in an article relating to the Christian content. For such content, however, there already is a Wikipedia:WikiProject Religion/Interfaith work group which regretably isn't particularly active.

Project functions by, gasp, "outsiders"?[edit]

This project, like all projects, exists to help editors working to improve content. This includes such activities as assessment, peer review, copyediting, etc. It might very well be the case that either in general or for a specific article, we might best benefit if someone from some other, non-Christian, group were to perform such activity. The books of the Old Testament clearly benefit from a Jewish perspective, for instance, as do the books of the New Testament. In some cases, help from Moslems, Zoroastrians, Hindus, and others might be useful as well. Also, at least potentially, those other groups might benefit from having some help from the Christianity projects as well. Perhaps, and I mean just perhaps, it might be beneficial if we took advantage of and maybe assisted the Religion project in such matters.

Assessment rankings[edit]

One of the sticking points for a group of this size is the "importance" assessments for individual article. A member of a small, newish church will clearly consider his church, the "right" one, to be very important, while others will consider it less so, given its size and possibly comparative lack of broader impact. I have noted that Wikipedia:WikiProject Novels has a page devoted to determining what "importance" grade to give articles. I suppose we could try to do the same thing. I think most of us would agree that any denomination/group would have its main article as the most important. The other, predictable, major subarticles on that group, dealing with its history, ritual and practices, structure, theology, etc., would probably be the next grade down. Other articles, dealing with ecumenical or nondenominational matters, would probably have to be discussed individually. Would any of you be interested in taking part in some discussion of the importance ratings for these "core" group articles and others?

Sorry for the length of the above. Any and all parties should feel free to respond or comment on these matters, regardless of how long things become.

Finally, he shuts up. John Carter (talk) 17:24, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Is there intrest in these departments? I am not so sure. I was thinking of folding down at least one dead workgroup rather than creating more. Then again I was against the new banner until I saw how it worked in practice. Thoughts? -- Secisek (talk) 00:01, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
Basically, the way I think it would work best would be to see if there were sufficient interest in any of them to justify creating them. Some of them, like, maybe, Christian fiction, church architecture, etc., would probably be joint efforts with the other relevant projects, if they were ever created. I'm going to leave notices on the talk pages of some of the more directly relevant articles to see if there is sufficient interest in them, however. John Carter (talk) 16:23, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
I could participate to Eastern Catholic Churches Sub-Work-Group because I've created 27 Articles about EC patriarchs. But I never participated to a work-group, so I cannot help a lot. A ntv (talk) 16:54, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
I, too, am happy to help out with Eastern Catholic Churches. I'm also availbale to help out with Catholic and Orthodox areas as well. Majoreditor (talk) 17:34, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
to Secisek: Which group was it you were thinking of maybe deactivating? I can't think that there might not be grounds for discussion of deactivating one or two. John Carter (talk) 17:55, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Iglesia ni Cristo for one. There has been no activity there for years the scope is almost non-existant. -- Secisek (talk) 01:06, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

I was actually thinking of Syriac Christianity myself. I would personally favor deactivation of it first, because Iglesia, for better or worse, is very clearly defined. Syriac Christianity is a collection of churches and other material which generally falls within the scope of other existing Christianity groups. But I wouldn't have any objections to discussion to activate one or both, if that is how opinion ran. John Carter (talk) 01:24, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
And, for what it's worth, here's my reasoning for considering other, additional, groups. Basically, it seems to me that if there are already 100 articles on the subject, with the prospect of more, it would probably benefit the editors involved in that subject to have a separate group, to help manage the content and other related materials, like templates, going with that subject. If there are 1,000 or more articles, then it would look to me like there were getting to be a dire need for a separate group, because that amount of content is almost impossible to manage without separate assessments. But that's just one persons thinking, of course. John Carter (talk) 01:27, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Syriac Christianity and Oriental Orthodoxy, which I am more less the only active member of, could be folded with Eastern Orthodoxy and the Eastern Catholic churches into an Eastern Christianity Project ala the portal. Also, Iglesia ni Cristo is a project that exists to service a category with 18 articles. No wonder there is so little activity. --Secisek (talk) 02:29, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Agreed with Syriac Christianity. I think the Oriental Orthodox would object to being called "Eastern" Orthodox, but if we renamed that group "Christian Orthodoxy" or something similar they might have fewer objections. Regarding Iglesia ni Cristo, I have no objections to seeing that one disappear as well, at least at present. There doesn't seem to be much RS information available on the subject, and there's no real reason to keep that group going. Any other opinions? John Carter (talk) 14:35, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

We put the call out for members for Iglesia ni Cristo on a number of ocassions and got no takers. Fold it back for now. As for the Oriental Orthodox, calling them "Eastern Orthodox" would be a big error. However, they are a part of "Eastern Christianity" - as the portal and the current navbox point out at present. It they were all combined, the scope of an "Eastern Christianity project" would then match the portal and give the Eastern Christians that are part of the Roman Catholic Church a project, too. Just a thought.-- Secisek (talk) 10:47, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

I have very little involvement or knowledge of non-Protestant Christianity but Secisek's above comment sounds reasonalbe to me. Also if there are inactive groups then there is no reason to clutter Wikipedia with usless stuff. Just my opinion. Ltwin (talk) 04:38, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

We should probably move on folding Iglesia ni Cristo back into the parent and I propose setting up an "Eastern Christianity wikiproject" with a scope including Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, Syriac Christianity of every kind, the Eastern Churches of the Roman Catholic Church, and the Assyrian Church of the East. -- Secisek (talk) 09:39, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

The founder of the Iglesia ni Cristo group has been inactive for some time. At least one of the other members is an active administrator, and I've asked for his input as well as the other listed member, but right now there's 33% support of something to be done with that group. Regarding an Eastern Christianity group/project, I could easily see that working. Maybe the best way to go is to propose mergers of the Oriental Orthodoxy and Syriac Christianity groups into the Eastern Orthodoxy Project. I'll go ahead with that now and see what kind of responses we get. John Carter (talk) 16:11, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Here and now I support, just remember the rename "Eastern Christianity". This already is the scope of the portal as well as a Nav-box and will hopefully be aceptable to all. -- Secisek (talk) 04:31, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Importance rating[edit]

Importance varies a lot between projects, and between Christianity projects. WP:NOVELS has a page specifically devoted to determining which articles are of Top priority to that project. Would the members of this project be interested in doing the same? John Carter (talk) 22:23, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

We already have the Core topics work group, where such discussion takes place. I think the Top article are the ones that appear on the "Part of a series" template. --Secisek (talk) 02:38, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
True, but that group only deals with the Top importance for the larger project, and it's a bit harder to determine what to place in some of the templates for the individual churches or other fields. And it also leaves alone the question of what counts as "High" importance to the parent project. I personally think that a good case could be made that both Billy Graham and Fulton Sheen might be more important to the Christianity project than the main articles on some of the churches that already have groups. A better case could probably be made for Pope John Paul II being such. Working out the comparative importance rankings is something that would probably help the parent and descendant projects here. John Carter (talk) 14:26, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
I would really like to see the importance rating better defined. In my view taking into account the ratings from the individual projects will not work. The Christianity parent project should have its own general definitions for defining the importance of articles. This subject has come up in the rating of Martin Bucer. John Carter took into account the ratings of the daughter projects but that method has some faults (see Talk:Martin Bucer#Christianity importance rating). His method ended up ranking Bucer at low-importance. But if one takes the parent project definition that "Most people involved in Christianity will be rated in this level" then Bucer clearly is at mid-level importance. In addition Bucer is one of those rare cases who had an impact in several areas of Christianity, but was not a leader of any major denomination. So should he be placed at low-importance because of his ecumenical leanings? I would request a reassessment of Bucer's rating. --RelHistBuff (talk) 11:12, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

I believe I am one of the few editors who bothers to rate project class (and often - if I have some knowledge of the subject - importance) on almost every article. I will say I do tend to use John's system. The "Top" class is open to debate in our Core topics group and I think those articles should also be the articles on the project nav box or footer. In the subprojects, this is also true - however every project will have "top" articles that are not in the parent's core topics. I would generally mark these as "High" for the parent. If one or more subprojects score an article "High", it is probably "mid" here. Subproject's "mids" and "lows" are going to be "low" here, too. This is a guide and excepetions are made - an article of mid importance to a large portion of Christianity may be high here. That said, I am unsure Bucer meets that cut. His name is almost unknown among Christians today outside of scholarly circles and his direct influence is difficult to see at this point. It is a great article and maybe one of Top importance to a "Reformation" project, but it would be no higher than "mid" here and I am fine with low, too.

Remember, it is far more important to have a proper class assigned to an article than a proper importance, esp. once an aricle is out of the Top priority. It isn't worth a lot of debate. Right now 70%+ of all tagged project pages - almost 19,000 articles - have NO importance at all. --Secisek (talk) 04:00, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Agree that there are probably other things to do that are of higher priority. But I raise this specific point for this article because I believe this article should make Wikipedia 1.0. No one has addressed the point I made that if two major denominations make it a mid (while others make it a low) then the averaging formula being used would make it a low. This is not correct. Perhaps one could argue that if only one denomination made it a mid then the argument to make it a mid in the parent project is pretty weak. But what happens if two or three make it a mid? There should be a strenghening effect. (i.e., having several mids enforces that it should be a mid in the Christianity project). I truly disagree that the article should be of low-importance. There are plenty of books just dedicated to Bucer (the same cannot be said of many articles that are already at mid-importance). --RelHistBuff (talk) 17:55, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
You are of course free to nominate any article for inclusion into the release version yourself. However, as someone who has done a bit of work with that group, I can say that their criteria for inclusion do not necessarily reflect those of any existing WikiProject, so our importance evaluation, or any project's importance evaluation, is basically irrelevant to them. Also, I notice that, on the list of 30,000 articles to be included in the next release version, however they were chosen, that article is not included. To be included in any release version requires having two "reviewers" review the article in question and approve its inclusion, and that article might have some difficulty, potentially, in getting two people approving it. But, like I said, feel free to nominate it anyway. John Carter (talk) 18:12, 29 March 2009 (UTC)


I note that MILHIST has a contest page for use in developing articles. Maybe we could set up a similar contest here? John Carter (talk) 22:23, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Is it like for best article of the month or such?--Carlaude (talk) 23:09, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
That would be one way of going. Another alternative would be for "contributor of the month", based on some other criteria, whatever they might be. The details are clearly available for discussion. I personally think that it might be a good idea to give a little more recognition for articles that are of greater importance, but the details there might be problematic. I see that MILHIST awards "points" for the amount of improvement done on an article. Maybe we could award the monthly award based on number of points gained in that month, considering both amount of improvement and "centrality" of the article, giving a few more "points" to more important articles. John Carter (talk) 14:12, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
I am sure there is some way to use this idea, but a lot of the "cental" Christianity articles have more edits than improvements already-- more heat than light. I think we need something to improve the mid-level importance articles more. --Carlaude (talk) 23:39, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. Part of the problem is, basically, the more important articles tend to get the greater number of useless edits. If we could find someway to collaboratively improve them, that might reduce the number of useless edits. Part of the problem I see with working on the "Mid" importance articles (or, for that matter, the "High" ones) is getting a system we can all agree on for determining those importance ratings. That's part of the reason I proposed something like WP:NOVELS has to determine importance rankings. At the very least, we might be able to get a few people to help decide what the existing standards for the various importance levels are. Also, we could, potentially, consider not only the articles of greatest importance to Christianity, but also of the various "subprojects" we have. That might get a bit more attention to some of the weaker articles there. John Carter (talk) 23:47, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
It should be something like:
  • Groups are Low Importance unless they are shown to have more than 10,000,000 memebers/adherents.
  • Groups are Mid Importance if shown to have more than 10,000,000 memebers/adherents.
  • Particular books of the Bible are Mid Importance.
  • Most church buildings, diosees, and "Christianity in XXX" articles are Low Importance
  • "Christianity in XXX" articals are Mid Importance if it is a nation where Christianity is more that 50% of the population and the nation in in the 100 largest in population.
  • Most articals on people are Low Importance unless they are referenced in and important to articals from pages related to two different denomations, or they founded a group of Mid Importance
Before you attack these ideas... please keep in mind the idea here I want to show... not so much the particulars. This way an article that does not even exsist can be judged in advance for its importance.
(Maybe we can also take nominations for articals that should be rated higher and at least 3 people from a committee need to agree. My main concern is to not rate (high) a bunch or articals that are important to a just partular Christianity denomation just because a lot of those Christians are here on Wikipedia to vote.)--Carlaude (talk) 04:14, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
Carlaude's ideas seem to me to be basically good ones. One factor I would myself add would be the comparative age of a group. So, for instance, content regarding the Assyrian Church of the East, because of its much longer history as a separate entity and, if I remember, higher numbers years ago might get ranked more highly than its current numbers would indicate. I'd also like to at least try to find a way to help the various "subprojects" to engage in importance assessments as well. If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them.
Another possibility. I tend to think that, if an article is placed on the navigation template for a given subject, generally a church/denomination, that article should be of "Top" importance to the project. That would presumably be why the article was included in the template. I know that in some cases articles might be included because they address comparatively slight matters regarding a subject which aren't addressed elsewhere, but if people were to think that an article doesn't belong on the navigation template because it addresses to minor a point, then it might be possible to include some content on the topic of the article in one of the other articles that is on the template.
Lastly, as several of you may have noticed, we have around, oh, 30,000 articles now. The minimal separation of articles done by the existing assessment categories doesn't make it particularly easy to find the better or worse articles at any particular importance ranking. I think Wikipedia:WikiProject China has separate categories for each importance ranking within a quality ranking, so only, for instance, the Top-importance Stub articles will be found in that particular category. It might take some effort to try to adjust the banner to perform such actions, but would the rest of you think that it would be worth it to do so? John Carter (talk) 14:32, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes separate categories for each importance ranking within a quality ranking sounds useful.--Carlaude (talk) 03:38, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Overlapping Will Result[edit]

The problem with trying to categorize all groups is it doesn’t always work. For example, the category Sacred Name Groups does not fit in with the Assemblies of Yahweh, as they categorize themselves by another more fitting term, ‘Messianic Israelites’. Also, the AOY would then be included in other categories, including [edit] “Sabbath-Keeping Churches, Non-Adventist”,Orthodox”… while Jehovah Witnesses would be included in Sacred Name Groups etc, becoming a little confusing. I’ll see if I can the opinions of those who have worked the AOY article to find what their view is. In Citer (talk) 15:06, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Overlapping is inevitable, and probably not always a bad thing. Wikipedia:WikiProject Former countries has a "layered" set of subprojects, and copying their system might be the way to go here, allowing where indicated a "subproject" of a subproject to exist as well. Mechanically, adjusting the project banner to take into account that an article would fall within the scope of several groups wouldn't be much of a problem, I think. And, remember, those are just suggestions. If there's not sufficient interest for a proposed group, but there is interest in a child group, it would certainly be possible the "child" group could be created before the "parent". John Carter (talk) 14:17, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Reference lists?[edit]

As most of us know, there are a lot of books and sites dealing with matters of Christianity. Do the rest of you think that it would make any sense to try to generate lists of some of the better sources available for use by the various work group and projects out there? I think it would probably help out most of the Christianity groups if we were able to give the groups a list of the most highly thought of books dealing with the subject.

One of the big problems we have with the number of articles we have is that many of us try to develop the more narrowly-focused articles rather than the more important, but more difficult, parent articles. If, for instance, I knew of an excellent, highly regarded overview book for the Iglesia ni Cristo or Local churches (affiliation), or something like Christian art, an interested party could maybe use that book to help develop the more central, important article, while at the same time provide additional information on other notable topics in that field, either by expanding or creating articles on them. Having people work in that way would definitely help us in improving all our content. John Carter (talk) 17:55, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Navigation boxes[edit]

This may strike some of you as odd, I don't know. But I'm at least beginning to think that one of the best ways to deal with the articles of some of the churches or belief families that we work with which don't have a lot of interested editors is to create a navigation template for them which can link the most important articles to that particular faith. As an example, the navigation box for the African Initiated Church could be made to include links to all the articles related to that subject which are most required to get a full and complete understanding of that subject. Pretty much by definition, this will include links to whatever the "parent" faiths would be, either Christianity or whichever significant faith family it may have arisen from, as well as links to the most important unique ideas or atypical ideas it might have, the most important individuals in the history of the movement, the various church bodies which might be involved, etc. I would think that only those articles which would be counted as "Top" importance to a dedicated group dealing with that subject, as those articles are the ones which are being linked to in that way from not only the "parent" article on the subject, but also all the other most significant articles.
Actually, this might do some degree even help us avoid proliferation of groups for subject which don't have many specifically interested editors, because the template would effectively serve as a serious of links to the most important articles for people interested in developing content on that subject. Thoughts? John Carter (talk) 14:27, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

I think this is a great idea that I have already been using, but the navboxes are becoming very unpopular with some of the more influential editors. I suggest we create both a true navbox and an identical footer forr each project. The imposing navbox can be used on articles that lack infoboxes and the footer can be used on the other top articles in the series. I did this to great effect for Anglicanism and Ancient Egyptian Religion. Did you see the history of theologoy template I made last night? If you aprove of the links, I'll tag the articles as top for theology. -- Secisek (talk) 17:55, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
You probably know more about that field than I do, so I'm taking as a given all the articles you've included there. In general, I like the looks of the template, though. No objections to tagging from me! John Carter (talk) 18:03, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Editor training program[edit]

Always being on the lookout to stealtry ideas of others, I've noticed that the Military history project is trying to start a way to help editors become better at fields other than their general field at Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Academy. Granted, as that is a comparatively new effort, its hard to tell how successful it will ultimately prove to be, but would the rest of you be interested in having something similar here? Any and all responses are welcome. John Carter (talk) 17:10, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Portal maintainance[edit]

I wonder what the rest of you think of the idea of trying to put most of the content of the various portals we work with on automatic rotation. It might make it a bit easier to keep all of them current. And there are a lot of them:

I have been working on this for quite some time. I will continue to do so and I support the idea. Part of what got me intrested in the projects was finding material for the portals. -- Secisek (talk) 19:30, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Nearest articles to GA status?[edit]

One of the potentially easier things we could do as a project would be to try to help bring some of our articles up to GA or FA. If there are any GA reviewers out there, I think it might be useful if they could review the various B class articles we have and maybe give a quick review. We could try to bring some coordinated effort into bringing maybe the B class articles closest to GA up to that level, potentially helping out the articles and the visibility of the project, or projects, themselves. Any opinions? John Carter (talk) 16:08, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

I like this idea and would be interested in getting involved.I wouldn't mind reviewing articles. Ltwin (talk) 03:04, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Other wikis[edit]

There seem to be quite a number of other "wikis" out there dealing with the main subject of Christianity. Most of them can probably be found at [this page. Anyone interest in transferring verifiable content from here to there, or there to here, is more than welcome to do so. Would many of you be interested in helping transfer such information? John Carter (talk) 14:23, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Classification of churches[edit]

There is an ongoing problem with how to classify and categorized various churches. I have taken the categorization system Gordon Melton used in the preparation of the list here. Anybody who sees missing churches is encouraged to add them or mention them on the talk page. Thank you. John Carter (talk) 15:09, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

what about the Catholic Church? Do you not consider it a Christian Church?. Your list does also miss all the Old Catholic Churches, as the Polish National Catholic Church. The Orthodox group is a "all-in-one": you should divide at least in the four groups: Eastern Orthodox (Byzantine heritage), Oriental Orthodox, Churches of the East (Assyrian heritage) and Eastern Catholic Churches. I think that any classification of the Christian Churches (or denomination?) leads to harsh debates, polemics and clashes. What is the use of such classification? Is it strictly necessary? A ntv (talk) 16:29, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
The Assyrian heritage Churches are not even "Orthodox", they are just Assyrian (heritage). Gordon Melton, if I recall, calls that whole group-- "Orthodox"-- by the name "Liturgical: Eastern" instead. --Carlaude (talk) 17:09, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I have the book I used as the source in front of me, and I see no listing for "Assyrian" churches. Also, the titles for the groupings I used are the exact ones used in the book itself. John Carter (talk) 17:14, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Like I said, I knew there were omissions. And while noting that the Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox aren't subdivided, I also don't know that I see any particular OO churches. As a Roman Catholic myself, of course I consider it Christian, but it is a single entity, and as such not really a part of any "family" of denominations. However, feel free to propose any additions to the list, like Catholicism, to the list, probably on the talk pages. However, specifically regarding the Eastern Catholic churches, they are all subunits of the Catholic Church, and as such don't need to be listed separately. Regarding the usefulness, please note that many/most of the denominations are included in one or more of the sets in Category:Christian denominational families, and it would probably help to have some sort of "layout" for inclusion in the various groupings there. John Carter (talk) 16:37, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, each classification is full of POVs. For example to consider the ECs as subunits of the Catholic Church is a terrible POV and it doesn't fit at all what such churches think of themselves. Or to create a sub-section "catholicism" is a POV: the Catholic Church (but this simply is a example) considers itself nearer to the Orthodox Churches than to most Old Catholic Churches which has female clergy. If you want I can help you (I know the not-protestant churches), but I still dont see the need to create so many occasions of clashes. I suggest not to formalize any Wiki-classification of Churches: it involves too many and opposite POVs. A ntv (talk) 16:49, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
You did note that the chart is more or less verbatim from a text from one of the most highly regarded individuals around on the subject of religion in the US, right? If you want to accuse Gordon Melton of being a POV pusher, by all means do so. However, as the categories already exist, and were created by people other than me well before I created the list in question, I think it makes sense to give at least some idea which churches are recognized as being "related" to others. Like I said, though, most such comments should be placed on the talk page of the list itself, so as to leave room on this page for all the other subjects. Thank you. John Carter (talk) 16:56, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
The system looks fine, but not every Wikipedia situartion needs or can handle the same level of detail as you have here. Gordon Melton, for example, developed the system for publishing his big fat (two) volumes, and often grouped them by heritage. Most Congregational/UCC churches,for example are not thay into Calvinist doctrine now days. List of Christian denominations seems in more need of this the Category:Christian denominational families. Don't forget we can do things with Categories that you cannot with a printed book and we should use this fact to our advantage. --Carlaude (talk) 17:09, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
You may be correct in saying that the lists of denominations needs more work. I have tended to note that, in general, lists are updated less often than they need to be, particularly when the categories exist. However, saying that we need to do work elsewhere as well does not mean that there is no to do anything here, where it will probably be attended to more quickly. John Carter (talk) 17:17, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, 1) the subject of religion in the US is itself a POV because the world is bigger than the US. 2) such classification seems to be written looking mainly at the protestant denominations, but it lacks at all tools to classify not-protestant bodies (that perhaps dont interest the research of Mr Melton, but in the world represented the majority. 3) What we shall debate in this page is if a formal Wiki-classification of bodies shall be done. A ntv (talk) 17:05, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
And, as noted, the categories for Category:Christian denominations and Category:Christian denominational families, with subcats, have existed long before the page I just created did. The page was created only for the purpose of making it easier to determine what sort of "denominational families" various bodies have been seen by others as falling into, to make it easier to ensure that the main categories don't get too large and that everything is categorized in a way consistent with at least one reliable outside source. John Carter (talk) 17:12, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
I think that the only way is to leave to each editor of a certain denomination to choose in which cats their body is, without formalizing any classification structure. Who will add/delete a cat shall justify his edit case by case. A ntv (talk) 17:17, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
The downside to trying that of course is that it would be a clear violation of wikipedia policy. We go by what the reliable sources about a body say, not what an involved person who may have a clear COI might say. John Carter (talk) 15:29, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Church of God[edit]

I don't understand what the deal with the POV is. It sounds like some editors think that any attempt to classify a religious body is POV, which would make it impossible on Wikipedia. But I am wondering why the Church of God bodies have thier own section apart from the Pentecostal family? Besides them sharing similar history, I'm not aware of anything that makes them much different from the other Southern Pentecostal bodies. Ltwin (talk) 03:17, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

According to Handbook of Denominations, by Frank S. Mead and Samuel Hill, Church of God bodies do not all share one history with themselves, much less some other family. I would think the idea is to group them by name for the sake of finding the intended Church of God, not that they would be alike otherwise. --Carlaude (talk) 04:08, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Selection of articles for portals[edit]

I am starting a list of all the articles related to Christianity of FA, FL, A, or GA class at User:John Carter/Christianity portals. I hope that we can use this list to help "sort" which articles get used in which portals, and thus prevent the unfortunate possibility of one article being included in two different portals at the same time. As of this writing, the list still isn't done, but it should be finished by the end of the day. Any input from any portal maintainers regarding which articles they would like to include in their portals would be more than welcome. Thank you. John Carter (talk) 15:32, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Possible expansion of Narnia task force[edit]

The Wikipedia:WikiProject Novels/Chronicles of Narnia task force has been rather inactive lately. I have proposed that its scope be expanded a little, possibly to include Lewis' other fiction, possibly to cover the larger field of Christian fiction in general. Anyone who has an interest in working with any such subject is encouraged to make any comments they deem appropriate here. Thank you for your attention. John Carter (talk) 23:00, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Reading list[edit]

Hi. I know a lot of you are going to be going into summer break from college, and a lot of others are just going to be going on vacation sometime in the summer. And what do a lot of people do on vacation? Well, they read something. Well, if you have any interest in any books relevant to Christianity in any of its forms, we now have at least the beginnings of a possible reading list at Wikipedia:WikiProject Christianity/Reading list. I'm hoping that only books that are either very well received as fiction and in some way relevant to Christianity or highly regarded as nonfiction sources for some subject relevant to Christianity get added there. Anyway, just an idea. John Carter (talk) 20:20, 7 May 2009 (UTC)


I am going through trying to create a list of the various subcategories related to Category:Christianity. In the process of doing so, I am finding a rather large number of categories which are at best underpopulated, possibly likely to remain so for the near future. Many of these categories have as few as one or two articles. I would think it would probably serve the purposes of the project better if we had fewer such categories. One example of possible overcategorization might be Category:Japanese Jesuits, which has only two articles. I think it would probably work just as well, if not better, to use the two categories Category:Japanese Roman Catholics and Category:Jesuits instead, to reduce the amount of almost excessive categories. I would personally think that, in the event that there are directly relevant other categories which can replace these small categories, like the example above, that removing the small specific categories might be beneficial, and certainly make things easier. I would personally think that, with the possible exception of the categories for major denominations, most of these categories should have at least three, possibly four articles to be kept.
Also, I note that I am repeatedly finding categories relating to Anglicans by nationality, like Category:Japanese Anglicans, included both in the parent Category:Japanese Christians and the more specific Category:Japanese Protestants. This dual categorization strikes me personally as being excessive. Would the rest of you think that these Anglican categories would be better placed in the main category of Christians by nationality, or the child category of Protestants by nationality? John Carter (talk) 16:36, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

As for the Anglicans I am sure there was a CfD not long ago over putting Anglicans in the category tree under Christians, Protestants, or both. The result was both. --Carlaude talk 19:00, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
I do agrree that there are many of underpopulated subcategories of that form: Category:Occupation by nationality where there is a small overlap often due to it being a small nation, or for another reason.
I assume that the attemt at justification for it would be the policy on complete categorization. I cannot find such a policy and think it is now gone as a policy-- all the more reason to remove some of these.
I guess they would need to be listed on CfD-- but if one had time I would think it could often be best to create Occupation by continent Categories, such as Category:Asian Jesuits, --Carlaude talk 22:07, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
That possibility exists, if those new categories themselves have sufficient articles to make them viable. Right now I am just in the process of finding out what all categories are out there and then we'll have a better idea of just how many will have to be discussed. Based on what I can see now, related to the geographically based categories, there do seem to be a very large number of such very small categories. John Carter (talk) 22:38, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Consultation on renaming article: Roman Catholic Church --> Catholic Church[edit]

Wikipedians at Talk:Roman Catholic Church are discussing the merits of changing the article name as such.
Roman Catholic ChurchCatholic Church. Please share your opinions there. --Carlaude talk 12:15, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Categorization of members of religious orders[edit]

I've noticed that the various categories for Jesuits, like Category:English Jesuits, are all included as subcategories of the relevant categories for priests. I have a few concerns about this, particularly as there is a good chance for creation of categories for other orders as well, because not all monks are in fact priests. Would the rest of you think that a separate category for members of religious orders and religious orders should maybe be created for use in categorizing these religious order categories? John Carter (talk) 22:57, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

I understand the concern, but do not understand what you are proposing above. Can you restate it or give an example, etc?--Carlaude:Talk 07:48, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, perhaps shifting the categorization to a subcat of Category:Roman Catholic orders and societies might be the easiest way to go, and as necessary adding separately a priest category if applicable. John Carter (talk) 14:34, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Coordinator election[edit]

I think the time may have come for new elections for people for the coordinator positions. If there is no substantial disagreement, I think maybe we might open up for nominations at the middle of the month, for elections to take place the first half of next month. Any opinions, positive or negative? John Carter (talk) 14:14, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

I'd be happy to help - but what are the coordinator positions and what is the procedure for elections? NBeale (talk) 08:25, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm setting up the pages for candidacy today, which will contain the procedural matters. Basically, what the coordinators try to do is keep the various projects and subprojects functioning as groups. This could include anything like just making sure the lists of FAs, GAs, etc., are kept current, or trying to see that requests for various services, like peer review, assessment, portal upkeep, or whatever are performed when requested, or basically any number of other functions of the project and its various subprojects. Personally, I'd like to see if possible enough coordinators to ensure that each of the various related projects are kept active, as that would be the best way to ensure the workload doesn't get too heavy on those who are doing those tasks. John Carter (talk) 16:06, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Popular pages[edit]

I just noted that the bot which gives us the Wikipedia:WikiProject Christianity/Popular pages list also gives out individual lists for each subproject of Military history which has apparently requested it. Would the rest of you like to see more specific lists for some of the projects and work groups, and, if so, which? John Carter (talk) 18:59, 7 July 2009 (UTC)


And yet another idea occurs to me. There have been comments off and on over time about the project perhaps engaging in some sort of collaboration effort. The one downside I personally see to such a collaboration is the fact that very few, if any, important topics relevant to this project have only a single article about them, so that even if people were working on the same topic, they might find that they aren't working on the same article. It might be possible to arrange some sort of topical collaboration, for, perhaps, working on developing the central articles related to a given subject like Baptism, for instance, or maybe the Jehovah's Witnesses, or whatever. We could potentially use the popular pages printout and/or the articles including the topical template for the subject as a guideline for which articles to work on. Thoughts? John Carter (talk) 19:08, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Historiography of early Christianity[edit]

Over at Talk:Catholic Church, we have discussed on a couple of occasions the need to discuss the historiography of early Christianity, possibly in a separate article. On numerous occasions, I (and others) have stressed the need to keep that article a summary-level article, relegating the details to subsidiary articles. IMO, this approach is absolutely valid but it suffers from the fact that the historiography of early Christianity is currently dispersed across a number of articles and "the history of the history" is thus almost impossible to piece together from the existing articles. For example, if a reader didn't already know who Walter Bauer and Bart Ehrman were, it would take an intrepid and astute reader to figure out that they were important figures in the development of the modern historical perspective of early Christianity. Even if you disagree with their theories, it is important to know who they are (were) and what their theories are.

For this reason, I have decided to start working on an article that will eventually be titled Historiography of early Christianity. To this end, I have collected bits of text from a number of articles such as Early Christianity, History of early Christianity, Saint Peter, Paul of Tarsus and Primacy of Simon Peter and compiled them into this draft article. Since this initial draft represents only an hour or so of work, it is really still in the very early conceptual stages. The draft is a poorly-structured mish-mash of information and is in desperate need of an organizing framework. I invite all who are interested to review my draft and provide comments. I would particularly appreciate feedback concerning the organization of the article and any key topics that I have missed.

--Richard S (talk) 16:43, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Comment requested on WP:RS dispute on baptism pages[edit]

I would like to request comments on this dispute over WP:RS.--Taiwan boi (talk) 08:39, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Comparing clergy in global contexts[edit]

There are some trouble in coordinating articles about clergy in wikipedias from different languages, both within the various wp's, and especially in the interwikilinking. The reason is that clergy is organised different in different countries; not only depending on different varieties of Christianity being dominating. E.g., the official Lutheran churches in Germany, Sweden, and Norway seem to have somewhat different church organisations, which leads to not completely translatable terminology.

You may note e.g. that Parson iwlinks to the dewp article de:Pfarrer. Now, both names may go back to the Greek παροικία (directly or by means of translation), but that does not mean that they are absolute synonyms. The enwp article almost only concerns clergy being called "parsons", which mainly reduces its aim to the Anglican churches. Similarly, the dewp article mainly focus on clergy being called Pfarrer, which means both some Lutheran and some Catholic priests within German-speaking areas. Now, partly this may be seen as just a question of lack of globalisation in both articles. However, the precise relation of the Anglican terminology to the differences in tithing makes direct translations slightly imprecise. Still, in this case I believe that the iwlinking is fairly reasonable; although I don't quite know how to introduce a section about the German Pfarrers into the parson article, or vice versa.

A worse example is the present iwlinking of Vicar and the Swedish sv:Kyrkoherde. Literary, "kyrkherde" would be translated as "church shepherd", and the title has grown out of a translation of the Latin Pastor ("shepherd"). However, not even within modern Sweden, the two terms "kyrkoherde" and "pastor" are quite synonymous (although both are in use). On the other hand, in the Lutheran church of Germany, "Pastor" is almost synonymous with "Pfarrer". I suspect that the reason for this iwlinkage is the fact that "vicar" to-day often is used informally in a much broader sense within the Anglican church, and that some found this broad sense to be the closest in meaning to "kyrkoherde". Actually, probably historically either rector or parson would be better; there was some considerations of sufficient tithing also in the development within the hierarchy of the "kyrkoherde" position.

I'll probably re-link kyrkoherde to the parson and Pfarrer family. However, from an etymological point of view, this is doubtful, and I'm not sure of what to do with the articles which concentrate on describing several concepts sharing a commonname. Could one add sections about "Corresponding clergy in other countries", or should all be treated separately (so that ultimately each wp would contain one article named "kyrkoherde", another named "pfarrer" a third one named "vicar" ore "vikar", and so on)? Alternatively, should the articles about terms be made to disambiguation pages (somewhat like the Spanish iwsister of vicar, es:Vicario), and there be iwlinkage among the resulting smaller articles about similar concepts? JoergenB (talk) 21:20, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Family Research Council[edit]

Hello, there is a discussion relevant to this WikiProject going on here which involves some users who wish to state that the Christian group, Family Research Council, is in fact a "hate group" in the introduction of the article. Please see the discussion and consider the arguments for or against this inclusion there. Thanks, AnupamTalk 06:13, 10 February 2011 (UTC)