Category talk:Non-Orthodox

From OrthodoxWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

I see a serious problem with most of the articles in this category right now, as they don't qualify for the Style Manual's stipulation that such articles be mainly about the group's relation to the Orthodox Church. That is, they should read as though the article title is "Group X and the Orthodox Church." The bulk of the material in these articles is currently not about Orthodoxy at all.

I'm tagging all the articles that are questionable. I propose that they either get deleted or completely revamped. The ones on John Paul II and the Rosary are almost the only ones which fulfil the requirement (though the latter is iffy). —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 16:54, January 11, 2006 (CST)

My 2 cents

Although, as you know I am not Orthodox, I figured I'd put in my two cents worth, since I have done some of the work on a lot of these. Here's my thinking. Certainly you have a good point here. As I was writing them I was thinking that I was putting background informatinon down, which would then be added to specifically as regards to (for instance) Anglican/Orthodox relations etc. I guess that didn't really happen. Here are some things specifically that I am thinking:

  • The article on the Archbishop of Canterbury seems to have some historical validity for being included, since the first many were Orthodox and the current ABC has done some scholarly writing on Lossky and some "popular" writing on iconography
  • I would argue for the inclusion of the article on John Paul II because of his relationship with Orthodox over the time of his pontificate; and for the article on the Rosary (although, probably substantially re-vamped) because of the arguments both for and against its use among Orthodox. That is, I can see an inquiring Orthodox Christian turning here to find out what it's all about.
  • The article on teh Immaculate Conception, I think would be good to keep, specifically, again, because of the controversy.

However, articles like ECUSA and the Anglican Communion (although I put a good bit of work into the latter) wouldn't really hurt my feelings to have deleted, since they have not, largely focused on Anglican-Orthodox relations. Perhaps they can be replaced with an article specifically called "Anglican-Orthodox Relations" or something like that. Then only very basic theological/historical information would need to be included as it relates to the reasons they're not in communion.

Anyway - those are my thoughts. Certainly don't worry about sparing my feelings if any are deleted or seriously modified.

Peace. Joffridus 11:22, January 12, 2006 (CST)

One of the main questions I had was about the differences between Catholicism and Orthodoxy was the Immaculate Conception. I do think the article needs more work, though the external links are helpful (of course, now I know to look for the key for me: the difference in understanding the idea of "original sin"). During the past year, on the OrthWomen's list, I remember there being quite a discussion about the rosary, and whether it would be acceptable to use that tradition as an Orthodox Christian, and what the Western Rite said about its use.
Ideas for inclusion: Buddhism could be made to relate to the Orthodoxy in Japan series; Jehovah's Witnesses, Episcopal Church U.S.A., and Calvinism could perhaps be subsumed into a general article?
I think that my understanding for the Non-Orthodox Category is to have pages explaining the differences in beliefs (and perhaps, in practices) between Orthodoxy and the non-Orthodox groups, such that, for a person coming from a particular non-Orthodox background, the article would explain clearly what is different and why. It might be the scope of another article (or section) to explore the history of the relationship between that group and the Orthodox Church. I am completely at a loss for titles for any of these ideas. —magda (talk) 11:59, January 12, 2006 (CST)
Titles? Oh, that's easy!  :) I think perhaps a major cure for most of these articles would be to move them to "X and Orthodox Christianity," which could cover both relations between groups and also comparisons of belief. My main difficulty with the articles as they stand now is that they're mainly about X with (at most) notes for further references to Orthodoxy. If the article can't be about Orthodoxy, ISTM that it really doesn't belong on OrthodoxWiki. Wikipedia is much better for general articles about particular denominations or belief sets.
I don't think the articles necessarily have to be deleted, but the bulk of their material should probably be summarized. Jeff makes a good point about the Archbishop of Canterbury article, though its contents could perhaps be subsumed into a more general article about the Orthodox Church in the British Isles (or in England). A complete list of post-Schism Abps. of Canterbury seems to me not really needed here, though mention of particular ones relevant to Orthodoxy (like the current one) would be germane. BTW, I mentioned the JP2 article as one which was good.  :)
Articles like the Immaculate Conception one should probably be renamed to "Orthodox view of the Immaculate Conception" or something like that. Such a thing is distinct from heresies which arose within the Orthodox Church (like Nestorianism), whose articles are about the heresy itself and how it was fought. The IC is something external to the Orthodox Church, and the "distance" created by "Orthodox view of X" is, I think, prudent.
All of this is, of course, part of my perpetual OrthodoxWiki philosophy of cutting out stuff that folks could easily find elsewhere from non-Orthodox sources. I certainly don't mean to step on anyone's favorite articles, but I do think we could use some tightening up in this department. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 14:20, January 12, 2006 (CST)
A big part of the usefulness of any kind of Wiki it its ability to hyperlink to related topics. If you talk about Church history, you have to talk about the Reformation. If you talk about the Reformation, you have to talk about Calvin. If you talk about Calvin you have to talk about the 5 points of Calvinism. If you talk about the 5 points of Calvinism, you have to talk about the TULIP acronym, and so on, and so on. Deleting such information simply because it appears to be non-Orthodox is myopic. Forcing users to search outside of OrthodoxWiki for related topics is a disservice. This is an opportunity to write about these topics from an Orthodox perspective.Thedogfather 15:35, January 12, 2006 (CST)
So you're suggesting that policy be changed? I can tell you why it was written the way it was, though. If we open up OrthodoxWiki to articles about topics that are not directly pertinent to Orthodoxy, then OrthodoxWiki loses its distinctiveness, and one could certainly conceivably watch the non-Orthodox material balloon out of control to make this "generic religion wiki" rather than OrthodoxWiki. I absolutely agree that there is an opportunity to discuss these topics from an Orthodox perspective, but the problem is that, as of this writing, at least, what's currently in those articles is general information about the topics without anything from a particularly Orthodox perspective.
Here's the relevant section from the Style Manual: Further, articles on Non-Orthodox Christian religious groups, while necessarily including some general description of those groups, should have as their primary content the relationship and history of that group in relation to the Orthodox Church (from OrthodoxWiki:Style Manual (Point of View)). So, it's not a question of "deleting such information simply because it appears to be non-Orthodox," but rather about maintaining the integrity of OrthodoxWiki as an Orthodox source. For example, an article explaining the TULIP of Calvinism would be inappropriate, but an article detailing an Orthodox critique of TULIP would be in keeping with our established policy.
In order for OrthodoxWiki to be useful, it has to be limited. These are the limitations that the administration has put in place. In any event, except for your userpage, you've been editing articles here a total of only two days. Perhaps you may wish to examine the Style Manual thoroughly and familiarize yourself with our practices a bit further before indicating that there should be policy changes. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 16:00, January 12, 2006 (CST)
I wasn't aware that joining OrthodoxWiki meant that I was not allowed to express an opinion. I have been duely chastised. It will be a long time, or never, before I contribute again.Thedogfather 11:53, January 18, 2006 (CST)
FWIW, chastisement wasn't the aim. It simply seemed that you were unfamiliar with our longstanding standards and policies, and your limited contribution level seemed to confirm that apparent unfamiliarity (which is why I mentioned it). Anyone may express an opinion (evidenced by the fact that yours wasn't edited out). —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 12:36, January 18, 2006 (CST)
I don't think the problem is that articles on heterodox ideas (TULIP, et al) are inherently bad; rather, unless they have Orthodoxy somewhere in them - a response to, or a comparison with - they are better done on a bigger scale, ie on wikipedia, and there is no need for duplication here. However, if there is something Orthodox in the article (response, comparison, etc), then there is a good reason for them being here. Otherwise, it's easy enough to link the specific articles up with the equivalent wikipedia articles. --— by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 16:25, January 12, 2006 (CST)
Aha! What we have here is a deep philosophical divide between Deletionsists and Inclusionists. I'm sympathetic to both sides, and, although I have inclusionist tendencies, I generally regard myself as a "conservative deletionist" as far as OrthodoxWiki is concerned. I think we should keep Immaculate Conception and any material in Category:Non-Orthodox that refers to a groups' relation to the Orthodox Church, although maybe we should merge some of this stuff together until such a time when some invests in creating a whole article dedication to "x and Orthodoxy." Summaries of other groups' history or teaching may be appropriate and it might be wise to store some of what is unused for later. I am not worried about people having to go off-site for more up-to-date or complete information about another group, and I stand by the Style Manual. It is not our job to maintain this kind of stuff, and referring to Wikipedia or one of the Other wikis for this kind of stuff would probably be more ideal. OTOH, I'm for keeping anything relevant to Orthodoxy -- and I think the Immaculate Conception article is important here. I suspect many Orthodox folks who critize this teaching don't even know what it is! — FrJohn (talk)
See also meta:Deletionism and meta:Inclusionism.
Jehovah's Witnesses is definitely a heresy that is incompatible with Christianity in general and not just Orthodoxy (even Protestant Churches are denouncing it). On the other hand, the Immaculate Conception is a (non-essential) flawed dogma that appeared in the Catholic Church, a traditional old Church with valid Apostolic succession that no truly wise one can ever deny, and with a unique ministry (part of God's plan, I believe), reaching out to many parts of the world that are otherwise underserved/unserved by the Orthodox Church. I am very much relieved to see this attempt to reorganise this category. I have never been convinced with the classification of both the Rosary and Jehovah's Witnesses under the same category. It was a bit odd.


The general consensus seems to be in favor of the limits on non-Orthodox subjects set in the OW:SM. I thus propose the following measures:

  • Renaming all the articles to reflect that they are about Orthodoxy and their subject.
  • Editing them to remove material which does not address the subject's relationship to Orthodoxy, except for two paragraphs of introductory material.

Especially regarding this latter subject, I think it would be good to create a new subsection of the Style Manual to address articles on Non-Orthodox subjects, incorporating the two-paragraph rule into it. What do y'all think? —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 06:29, January 19, 2006 (CST)

I think that this seems a reasonable course of action. Joffridus 16:30, January 20, 2006 (CST)


I am not sure if this is the right place to comment or not. If the articles in this section reflect a 100% exact and identical explanation of what has already been defined or explained elsewhere, then I agree that the information would be...redundant, and as such unnecessary.

However, the question concerning these articles aught to be (IMO) whether or not the articles help clarify the relationship between 1) the Orthodox Church 2) the Topic or group in question.

I would suggest that the nature of the articles is that they help clarify the information specifically as it relates to orthodoxy - contextually. In other words, material should be considered for retention and inclusion where it clarifies and/or Amplifies the definitions or explanations given in other articles. That would be one way that additional information could be made available to others. To rename the articles is not necessarily a problem, though I would urge further that the articles be retained rather than deleted.

I think it will take time for others on the net to learn about this section here, and that time could be used to continue to improve, change, refine and enjoy the articles already posted. (JMO).


Re: Naming

Dcn. Andrew and all -- I'm for the editing, and the two paragraphs (as long as there is some flexibility here), but I'm not really in favor of renaming every article. I think it adds extra weight or length to the wiki and is truly unnecessary since this is the implicit focus of all the articles on the wiki. This is already clear in our guidelines and in general practice (though I understand that the impetus for this proposal is that this is not always clear to everyone). I think we can enforce this simple through constant reminders and a good category description.

I acknowledge that "Non-Orthodox" is a tremendous category including all kinds of different things, but it doesn't bother me. It's a reasonable catch-all for the project we're engaged in here. If at some point in the future, we have a lot of articles on "Groups endorsing a heretical Christology" or that could be categorized as "Articles which related to the ongoing discussion between Orthodoxy and Catholicism" we can break them off into a subcat. — FrJohn (talk)


On a related topic (and this still may not be the place to address this), I have a deep concern that the material presented on the Orthodox proposed to be presented on Wikipedia in accordance with the Mainstream Chalcedonian Bias (MCB).

I have a hard time agreeing that the Mainstream Chalcedonian Bias (MCB) is itself, free of bias. As such it would seem potentially to be a contravention of the principles of neutrality of Wiki.

I am not an Orthodox. Having said that I do not object to Mainstream Chalcedonian Bias (MCB) as it is claming to represent Orthodoxy. I can agree - for this discussion - that Mainstream Chalcedonian Bias (MCB) represents the general tenor of Orthodox perspective as it stands today.

What is much problematic however,is the supposition that Mainstream Chalcedonian Bias (MCB) is historically based, and can be proven and demonstrated to be from actual documents that can be authenticated historically.

To claim that the Mainstream Chalcedonian Bias (MCB) is the legitimate descendant of the original churches that were in those original geographic locations seems very problematic, to say the least.

I do not mind the point of view that expresses that MCB is the POV of many Orthodox. What seems to be a more fundamental problem, is the supposition that this POV is based in actual historical data. Historic Data (though there are many definitions) would have to mean data which is in hard copy, demonstrably prior to 1850. It would have to be much closer to original sources. I am thinking about how to reconcile MCB with the underlying premise of neutrality of Wiki.

And for the record, I believe that most Orthodox are sincere. And my own goal is one of historic accuracy, nothing less - nothing more. I will look forward to the comments of others. (and if this is not the right place in Wiki for these comments, I will appreciate the input of where to direct these concerns).



Theo, first off, we're not talking about Wikipedia here at all. One rationale for having a separate site is that we do not believe a "secular" or purely rational NPOV can reflect adequately an Orthodox understanding of reality or truth. I'm not sure what you mean by "To claim that the Mainstream Chalcedonian Bias (MCB) is the legitimate descendant of the original churches that were in those original geographic locations seems very problematic, to say the least." -- The historical succession is clear. Sure, not every single aspect is 1:1 (and we can talk about that), but I think we are indeed making a claim to substantial continuity. I don't think we're threatened by historical accuracy here. The glory of NPOV is that we can address things descriptively, and are continually challenged to cite sources and base oua rguments in fact. You're absolutely welcome to do that, as long as you respect the basic character and purpose of this wiki. Whatever happens on Wikipedia is outside of my concern. Hope that helps! — FrJohn (talk)

My own misinterpretation

To likely obscure matters further, what I think makes the most sense to me (depending on whether or not I've recently had a head blow--do not prune trees alone) is that some of these non-Orthodox topics are likely to impinge upon the lives of Orthodox Christians today. Thus, it's a good idea to include the Orthodox viewpoint of them. The Immaculate Conception is one such topic--at least in the USA, where I get told about once a season by some Roman Catholic or another that the Church really does believe all the RC doctrines and is just uppity about obeying the Pope of Rome. Thus, an Orthodox view of the matter could be useful. Just War perhaps is not well-formed, but Just War still is the fundamental moral underpinning of warfare in the USA. Among Americans (and a large proportion of an English-language Orthodox Wiki will be Americans), we are taught that our wars are not merely necessary or acceptable, our wars have to be morally mandated. That is, they must be positively virtuous in conventional American culture. The closest thing that conventional American culture admits to seeing war as no better than a necessary evil is to reject warfare, altogether. It must either be virtuous or prohibited. There is no middle ground of "temporarily permissible by circumstance, but never to be desired". Instead, we are taught, as Americans that, for a war to be permissible at all, it must be virtuous. This presumption is not, from my understanding, Orthodox, and an Orthodox Christian might be helped by an explication of the Orthodox perspective, one that makes it far less easy to simply salve ones conscience and not worry about the effect of warfare upon our souls yet also does not take the simple solution of absolute prohibition. Dogface 12:52, February 20, 2006 (CST)