Template talk:Eastern Christianity sidebar

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WikiProject Christianity / Catholicism / Eastern / Oriental (Rated Template-class)
WikiProject icon This template is within the scope of WikiProject Christianity, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Christianity on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
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This template is supported by WikiProject Eastern Orthodoxy.
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This template is supported by WikiProject Oriental Orthodoxy.


Is this template necessary? This template may be replaced with {{portalpar}}. Joelito 15:57, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Either that or it should be moved to the talk page, as is standard with ads for WikiProjects. - SimonP 22:22, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Per Template:Christianity, Template:Anglicanism, Template:Methodism, and Category:Religion navigational boxes, I feel this template should be re-written in a manner which reflects the format of these other boxes. Maybe we could start coming up with a list of links for the template?--Andrew c 21:39, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Ok here are some categories that are found on other boxes to get an idea of what we could include: Background, Doctrinal distinctives/Beliefs/Philosophy, People, Largest groups/Churches, Related movements, Influences, Liturgy and Worship, History, etc.--Andrew c 21:43, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Ok, I made a rough draft Template talk:Eastern Christianity/rework, but it seems a little long. Anyone, please feel free to edit it or comment on it here. --Andrew c 02:11, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

This template looks really ugly if it is combined with other vertical templates. It has just been added to Syriac language (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views), I've jigged it around a little but it still looks bad. In that article, the infobox is in first position. I can understand why infoboxes take up that top-right position, they present basic information on the subject. However, this is a navbox, a navigational template, and the general style guideline is to have navboxes as horizontal templates at the bottom of the article. Especially in cases where there is an infobox, this template only serves to clutter the page. Can we not just use the portal box? — Gareth Hughes 19:01, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

noinclude tag

This template includedes a category, Category:Religion navigational boxes, but in a manner that added the category to all the articles, etc., the template was added to. I've wrapped the category link in "noinclude" tags, which remove the category from the articles, but only after they are edited the next time. If someone wanted to go through all the pages that link here and perform a minor edit to clear the pages' cache, that would be very helpful. Gentgeen 18:56, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Gah, sorry about that. I'm trying to go through all the articles that included the old template and repositioning it so the format looks good, and it doesn't seem like I have any help on that. But, I can go through that category and do as you said, because this mistake was my fault to begin with.--Andrew c 00:14, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
Looks like all the excess pages have been cleared up (at least on my end it looks that way). I am also to blame for the same mistake at the Anglican template. My bad. At least I can call this a learning experience, heh. Sorry for the hassle.--Andrew c 00:35, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Imbalanced, necessary?

IMO, the subject is really too complex for this template. The similar one, Template:Christianity, links to multiple overview articles, but Eastern Christianity has realtively few overview articles dedicated to it on WP.

One example of how this template has inherent issues is, for instance, the list of people. It almost seems arbitrary. Thoughts? —Preost talk contribs 23:46, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Well you can see the history of this. I brought up changing the format of the old template to something similar to the ones found Category:Religion navigational boxes ten days ago. Later that day, I made a rough draft based on the articles listed at Eastern Christianity portal. I went around posting and asked for input. I went to half a dozen different Christian project pages, I went to the Eastern Christianity portal, I went to the big Eastern Christianity article's talk pages, and no one wanted to help revise the rough draft. I got a very small handful of users that gave positive comments, and no negative comments, so after waiting a week, I let it go live. I really wish others would have been involved in the creation of this (or at least spoken up earlier if people thought that it was not needed). But, now that it is live, more people can see it, and more people are welcome to edit and change it and make it even better. (The reason I feel the old template was bad is because it felt more like something that went on talk pages, not in the main article, and I felt that Eastern Christianity should have a box similar to the Anglicans and Methodists). I apologize if I was too bold in the creation of this, but hopefully an even better template will be produced over the coming days (and weeks). Feel free to change or remove whatever you want. Like I said, I got most of my content from Portal:Eastern Christianity.--Andrew c 00:21, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
The difficulty is in selecting a balanced list of links. The list of church communions is pretty good, and the "Background" section is pretty good, as well. I'm not sure that a list of people could ever be balanced enough, though with some honing, the list of theological distinctives might be good.
I think what the rest needs is for there to be overview articles written on the various topics, which this WikiProject could help to provide. An article on Eastern Orthodox worship or Eastern Orthodox theology would be good, for instance.
Alas, I think Eastern Christianity on Wikipedia probably suffers from roughly the same level of disorganization that it does in real life! :) —Preost talk contribs 00:35, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
Yeah I agree. Eastern Christianity isn't exactly my fortee, so I think I have gotten myself a bit over my heels on this. Hopefully something usefull and productive, not only to this project, but to the readers of wikipedia, will come from all this. I agree the people listed are sort of random, but then again the ones listed in the Portal aren't much better (if you didn't notice, I trimmed out a good number of people listed on the portal). I think maybe having a list of either famous historical figures and/or a list of the current highest figures of maybe the 5 largest churches would probably be best. Slightly off topic, when going through the articles that transcluded this template, I found a number of lists of Patriarchs of different sects and regions. I'm not sure if that could ever be turned into a template or not, but I think for organizational purposes I think I will work on a list of lists, and maybe start a new category (if one doesn't already exist). --Andrew c 00:41, 28 July 2006 (UTC)


I trimmed the template considerably, but I still think much needs to be done. Unfortunately, what needs to be done is not so much with this template as with what it could potentially link to.

My opinion is that this template ought to be rendered inactive (removed from articles) until it can link to good overview articles. At this point in the development of articles on Eastern Christianity, this template can't be much more than a list of related articles, but such a list, to be balanced, would have to be massive, thus rendering this template pointless.

My vote is that it be returned to being merely a link to Portal:Eastern Christianity or that it be deleted altogether. Wikipedia just isn't ready for it yet. Perhaps it can come back as templates limited to Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Assyrian Church, etc. What do other folks think? —Preost talk contribs 18:59, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

"Eastern Rite" link

The link for "Eastern Rite" leads to a disambiguation page. I suppose ideally it should lead to a general article about Eastern Christian liturgy, or to a section within Christian liturgy, if there were a good treatment of the subject there. Since that treatment does not seem to exist yet, it may be best to drop the link for now. Does anyone else have any thoughts on how to deal with this? Chonak 21:08, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

This should be labeled as "Eastern Catholic Churches". Majoreditor 01:33, 8 January 2007 (UTC)


Is it possible for this template to display in a collapsed format. It takes up a lot of room, and, especially in briefer articles leaves little if any room for images. Thanks. MishaPan (talk) 14:25, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Tradition section

Why are the names of all the Oriental Orthodox Churches in the Tradition list(expt. Syrian Orthodox) Shouldn't There just be Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, and Syriac Christianity? -ܠܝܓܘ Liju ലിജു לג"ו (talk) 14:31, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Should Phyletism and Autocephaly be included under "Theology"?

These two concepts are important although they are properly "Ecclesiological" rather than "Theological" issues. --Richard (talk) 08:07, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Separate templates for the Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodoxy

As the Eastern Christianity article points out, the term "Eastern Christianity" refers to several distinct traditions and Churches that are only grouped together by Western Christians. When this template was created, in 2005, I imagine that Wikipedia did not have enough articles about these various different traditions to justify making a template for each of them, so a common one was created instead. But now, I think we could create templates for the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, etc. similar to Template:Roman Catholicism. So I propose doing that (and therefore "splitting" this template, as it were). Ohff (talk) 01:24, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Well, after thinking about this for several years, and working a little bit on and off in my sandbox, I think I will go ahead with this project. The current Eastern Christianity template should continue to be used as well, for articles that do not fall strictly within the scope of the Eastern Orthodox Church or Oriental Orthodoxy. But it will need to be greatly edited, and I propose changing the template image as well. Currently, this template uses a historical Eastern Orthodox icon as its image. I propose something that can serve as a more universal symbol of Eastern Christianity, such as this picture of iconography from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is shared by several Christian groups. Ohff (talk) 13:11, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
And finally, it's done! Well, the Eastern Orthodox Church sidebar is done. I still have work to do on the Oriental Orthodox sidebar, but I hope that will soon be done as well.
So, over the next days and weeks, I plan to gradually replace this Eastern Christianity sidebar with the EO sidebar on those articles that are EO-specific. After I create an OO sidebar I will do the same on the articles that are OO-specific. And after that is done, I propose that we take a look at which articles are left with this Eastern Christianity template (i.e. which articles cannot be easily said to concern primarily the EO Church or the OO Churches), and reorganize this template to focus on the topics covered by those articles. Ohff (talk) 15:45, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
Update - the Oriental Orthodox sidebar is done as well, and I've added it to a number of articles. Ohff (talk) 04:36, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
And now the last stage of this project is done. I have edited the Eastern Christianity sidebar to focus on the topics that are relevant to Eastern Christianity in general, as opposed to those that are relevant only to a specific Eastern Christian communion. The old version of this template was a more-or-less random mix of topics related to Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy - and they were not the most important topics either, but an odd combination of major and minor subjects. They are included in their own respective sidebars now. Ohff (talk) 06:59, 10 May 2017 (UTC)


I've been thinking about the "communions" tab on this sidebar... For a long time, it listed four main communions: The Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Eastern Catholic churches, and the Church of the East. The latter one is, of course, not so much a communion per se, but rather a single independent Church which has existed in various forms for some 1600 years, and split during the 1960s in two factions. Because the split is so recent, I think it makes more sense to list these two factions together in some way, for example in a line that says Church of the East (Assyrian and Ancient) - rather than listing them separately as if the differences between them were comparable to Catholic-Orthodox differences.

That is one issue I wanted to raise about the way communions are listed on this sidebar. But there is also another issue. Currently, the Mar Thoma Syrian Church is listed separately, as a communion in and of itself. This is technically accurate, because although the Mar Thoma church descends from the OO tradition, it is currently in schism from the main body of Oriental Orthodoxy, and not in communion with any other church. But the problem is, the Mar Thoma church is not unique in this. Actually, as noted in the article Orthodox Church organization, there are many small Eastern Christian bodies in schism that could technically represent separate communions in and of themselves. Should we list them all? That would make the sidebar enormously cluttered, not to mention giving undue weight to small bodies (since every small independent group would be listed, but much larger groups that are part of a mainstream communion would not be listed separately).

So what's the solution? I'm not entirely sure - that's why I want to open a discussion - but for the moment, my idea is to rename the "communions" tab to "main communions", and list only the four major communions from which all the various independent splinter groups are descended. Ohff (talk) 05:07, 4 August 2017 (UTC)

Generally I support your improvements and agree with your arguments. A minor detail: listing Church of the East in the proposed way would not reflect the contents of its article, which indicates that its legacy is claimed by the Chaldean Catholic Church since 15th century, and by the Assyrian Church of the East since 17th century (+ minor offshot Ancient Church of the East since 20th century). Chicbyaccident (talk)
You are right, but I can't think of any better way to list it. The Chaldean Catholic Church, being part of Eastern Catholicism, is already covered by the link to the Eastern Catholic Churches. It would be undue weight to also give it a separate link on the line dedicated to the Church of the East. On the other hand, listing the Assyrian/Ancient offshoots on a separate line from the CotE would be giving undue weight to them. The only option I can see that we might want to consider would be to simply list the historical Church of the East alone, without any offshoots in parentheses. This would have the benefit of not giving any of its offshoots more weight than the others. The drawback is that we would be listing a historical communion without its present-day offshoots in a list where all the other entries are present-day communions.
Overall, it's a complicated issue, but I really feel that the present arrangement is best. Ohff (talk) 01:30, 6 August 2017 (UTC)
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