Book talk:Christianity

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Oriental Orthodoxy and a couple of others[edit]

If you have Protestant, Catholic and Eastern Orthodox, surely the Oriental Orthodox branch should be included as well? Assyrian Church of the East is also in a category of its own; it is a fairly small branch in comparison to the other four but is historically important due to its links to Nestorianism. Similarly the article Nontrinitarianism to some extent "mops up" a range of denominations not included under any of Protestant/Catholic/Oriental Orthodox/Eastern Orthodox/Assyrian, including the rather large LDS (although it mostly covers the nontrinitarian doctrine rather than nontrinitarian churches as a whole). This would still miss the Quakers and a couple of other non-creedal groups who are harder to classify, but it would still be a healthy level of coverage. I can't see any reason why Oriental Orthodoxy shouldn't be included; Assyrian Church of the East and maybe Nontrinitarianism would cover most bases. TheGrappler (talk) 01:05, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Maybe you want to create another book on Christian groups and denominations instead. şṗøʀĸşṗøʀĸ: τᴀʟĸ 21:39, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
That's not so much my intention - if creating a book on denominations, it would probably be better to use the more specific denominations articles rather than e.g. "Nontrinitarianism" that can only broadly outline one aspect of the denominations contained in it. To turn it round another way: if this book is going to contain sections on Protestantism, Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, it really should have Oriental Orthodoxy (and probably Assyrian Church of the East) in it too. If you don't want to do that, perhaps take out Eastern Orthodoxy and replace it with a more general article on Orthodox Christianity, just like Protestantism covers a whole range of groups? (Our best article on that is probably Eastern Christianity; as the disambiguation page at Orthodox Christianity points out, it's a big mistake to assume that "Eastern Orthodox" and "Oriental Orthodox" are the same, or close enough, just because they have "Orthodox" in their names and are big on the rituals and incense... they are very different in history and scope, are in schism, and make about as much sense to put together as Catholicism and Protestantism. Actually, it's perfectly arguable that Catholicism and Protestantism are both West European brands of Christianity with just a few minor changes in beliefs and practices (and very different leadership structure). To an outsider looking in, Protestanism and Catholicism do look extremely similar, and I've known Eastern Orthodox theologians frequently band the two together as "Western Christianity"; thinking that Catholicism and Protestantism are worth distinguishing but the equally schismatic Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches are not, is a form of systemic bias. TheGrappler (talk) 23:47, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
After a bit more thought: I can see that my proposal above might seem to overemphasize the Oriental and Assyrian churches, but they are probably underrepresented throughout the book as a whole. Bear in mind that History of medieval Christianity is very eurocentric (Eastern Orthodoxy is covered in some detail but Oriental and Assyrian only in passing) while Protestant Reformation and Counter-Reformation pretty much exclude all of Orthodoxy. Since the rest of the book shows far stronger coverage to European Christianity, and particularly Protestantism/Catholicism, I really don't think it would be undue weight to include the Oriental Orthodox and Assyrian Church of the East. (Nontrinitarians and non-credal Christians are covered - albeit very roughly - in History of late ancient Christianity and History of modern Christianity.) TheGrappler (talk) 23:57, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
Alternatively, the book could include Coptic Christianity/Oriental Orthodoxy. I would agree that these are under-represented in the book. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 08:07, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, my main contention was that Oriental Orthodoxy should be included (best to include the more general article, I think), with more secondary concerns for (in descending order) Assyrian Church of the East, unitarians and other non-trinitarians (such as the LDS), and non-credal Christians (mostly that would be covered by Quakers, since other "Free Christians" tend to be subgroups of Protestantism, while Quakers don't see themselves in terms of the Protestant-Catholic divide - I guess if you don't have any credal theology, then it makes no sense to state what side of a theological split you believe!) TheGrappler (talk) 16:28, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
I think it would be better to improve the Eastern Christianity-- which is weak in Eastern Orthodoxy, even thou Eastern Orthodoxy is 80% of Eastern Christianity-- and then swap out Eastern Christianity for Eastern Orthodoxy in Book:Christianity. In this way you can cover Oriental Orthodoxy and Assyrian Church of the East. şṗøʀĸşṗøʀĸ: τᴀʟĸ 03:56, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
That's plausible, although Eastern Christianity is a very wide topic with some cross-over with Catholicism. I just wonder whether that page can possibly say enough about the beliefs and practices of the Eastern, Oriental and Assyrian churches. (Obviously population-wise, Eastern Orthodoxy is more "important" but both Oriental and Assyrian churches had more importance at other stages of church history, which are poorly covered by the other chapters in this book). TheGrappler (talk) 16:05, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
Feel free to also improve History of late ancient Christianity, History of medieval Christianity, etc. with infomation on the Oriental and Assyrian churches. That said, I don't think we should expect a Wikipedia Book on Christianity to say all there is to say on Christianity.şṗøʀĸşṗøʀĸ: τᴀʟĸ 01:31, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
The "medieval period" is Eurocentric by definition unfortunately! When we write about "medieval history" we don't generally include what was going on in China or India at the time, for instance. Now medieval history of Christianity is very important and deserves a place in this book, but something ought to be done about the complete lack of information on the Oriental and Assyrian movements. Firstly they were historically very important (bear in mind Eastern Christianity, before the rise of Islam and the conversion of Europe, was commensurate in importance with Western Christianity) and secondly, not including them is cutting off a modern branch of Christianity in a very Eurocentric way. It also adds to the misleading impression that Oriental and Assyrian Christianity is somehow "near enough the same as" Eastern Orthodoxy, which is a misconception. TheGrappler (talk) 17:38, 30 August 2010 (UTC)