Talk:Christendom
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Talk:Christendom

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Rewrite

Dear colleagues,
As you may have noticed, I've taken up the task to rewrite this article in order to improve its quality. First and foremost, we must be clear about what the word Christendom actually means before we start using it. It looks like that until now, some have used it as merely a synonym for Christianity, which it isn't. It's possible, as the text claims so far (without a source, however), that the original Anglo-Saxon word cristendom did indeed mean what we now call Christianity (i.e. the Christian religion), as Dutch christendom and German Christentum presently do. However, that means the word must only be used in that sense in the Etymology section. Furthermore, different meanings of Christendom (e.g. the political system vs. the worldwide community of Christians) appear to be used throughout the story; we can't have that, this confuses the readers. A lot of people appear to think they know what the term means and then go on to write a lot of information without referencing any reliable source. What we need is reference works, professional literature, which confirms the asserted definitions; and we should remove everything that is incorrect. Next, we're able to tell something about the history of the term, and the history of the phenomenon.

What I gather from the accessible professional literature on the topic, especially Hall (1997), Curry (2001) and MacCulloch (2010), is that 'Christendom' was a geopolical system, a community/collective of states which recognised Christianity as the state religion, and the governments protected and promoted it as such amongst their subjects/citizens:

  • "Christendom [...] means literally the dominion or sovereignty of the Christian religion." Douglas John Hall (1997)
  • Christendom is "the system dating from the fourth century by which governments upheld and promoted Christianity." Thomas John Curry (2001). Also: [The situation where] governments "uphold the teachings, customs, ethos, and practice of Christianity."
  • Christendom is "the union between Christianity and secular power." Diarmaid MacCulloch (2010)

These experts agree that Christendom emerged in the 4th century as a result of the institutionalisation of Christianity, especially by Roman emperor Constantine I through the Edict of Milaan (313) and the Council of Nicaea (325), and moreover by its establishment as state religion by emperor Theodosius I in 380. Likewise, the experts appear to agree that Christendom no longer exists, because in the past c. 250 years after the French Revolution, nearly all countries in the world have abolished Christianity as their state religion. This is important, because wherever we'd use a definition of 'Christendom', such as 'the worldwide community of Christians' or 'the sum of Christian-majority countries', then obviously Christendom still exists. This would make it hard to write a story in which the term plays a central role without producing odd and contradictory sentences. A story about a political system should not pay attention to Christian music and the like; unless it refers to that political system, it is irrelevant here, and would be better placed in the article on Christianity. We should start from well-sourced definitions, then proceed to write a text based on reliable sources that actually mention the word 'Christendom' (or clearly imply it), and then remove anything that is wrong or doesn't fit, otherwise it becomes a mess.

PS: The article Muslim world had/has many of the same problems this article has: no clear definitions, no reliable sources, people assuming their own definitions and adding statements that aren't relevant and often not even true. This is English Wikipedia, we have a high standard of quality to live up to, let's fix this entry! Nederlandse Leeuw (talk) 04:22, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

Who is Douglas John Hall?

Again, time after time, editors insist in bringing in their favorite university proffesor or book author as an authoritative figure for an important article. Christendom is a concept that defines a period in history and a group of people far too large to quote individuals with no trscendece in that history or in that group. His remarks could be used but not stating his name as it would imply some degree of relevance. Name explictly Augustine, Aquinas, or some modern acclaimed theologian as John of the Cross or Teresa of Avila not some unknown proffesor in some University. 186.86.30.35 (talk) 16:45, 19 May 2018 (UTC)

Those sources would be primary sources regarding historical Christian doctrines. Douglas John Hall (who is clearly not "unknown" as there's a bloody article about him) is a professional whose job is (as far as popflock.com resource is concerned and put overly simply) to summarize the history of Christian doctrine. Ian.thomson (talk) 19:29, 19 May 2018 (UTC)

I sympathize with the current state of the article, August '19, but also credit "rewrite's" charge of ambiguity: ecclesiastical versus imperial Christianity/

I'm afraid Wiki is up against its own limits, as to Professional sources and all that, which might mean someone's pet professor. Do you recall the Vietnam War: KKK was behind it, I was told at the time: Killing a Kommie for Khrist. It may be that the only thing that remains of either Christendom or Christianity discernible to a general historian is the urge to conquer China (see Goths in England by Samuel Kliger, whose point I've taken and advanced a few hundred yards). That is, the "global war on terror" and the (fading?) urge to conquer China probably exist, in this market age, as a skeleton of a Constantinian Christendom composed of hypocrisy, "concern", and servile careerism. "Well, once we invade the place, we can decide how to set it to rights." As it were. Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea seems to be a metaphor for the divine fisherman failing to land the big fish: the human race. If the fish were a shark, as Hemingway probably would have preferred to talk about--that is, if Christianity were for the most part a predatory thing, in its historical realization in western Europe (east-European/Asian Christianity seems rather charming in its feebleness, albeit "Slavs" are called that because the Byzantines liked them as slaves), it complicates the metaphor but it makes a better story. Let me run with it. The old man catches Jaws and ties it to his boat. A bunch of tuna come along, no. A bunch of vacationing professors come along and deplore the loss of the habitat's natural order. The fisherman releases Jaws and it sinks the excursion boat and eats all the professors. No, that's not it. How about the vine metaphor? Is it a recipe for sociopathy? These two sociopaths meet on a path in the forest and one says to the other, "Let me be your friend." Supply your own punchline. We cannot see Christianity because, aside from Constantine, it got gobbled up by Germanic culture when the two collided, replacing the ur-democratic spirit of the latter (we're all free here in the Folksgemot, the "thing", except for the slaves) with a grand vision (Kliger) of a depraved structure best termed Vikingdom: raiderdom. Hans-Peter Hasenfratz, Barbarian Rites, which opens with Ambassador Fadhlan's encounter with Vikings in Ukraine about the time they'd set up Rus. A disgusting description of a dinner party. And to show the relevance of that, consider Eaters of the Dead, by Michael Crichton, which takes that same account and fictionalizes it in a way so as to leave you unsure if Fadhlan existed and to otherwise dismiss any bad stuff about Vikingdom as squeamishness. Whereas Hasenfratz more or less says he finds the origins of Naziism in these philological ruminations about Icelandic eddas, etc. "Armies of the night". A social order turned into a social disorder which only sustained itself by steadily expanding until it ran into itself. I might justify that last claim by two examples today: Trump's spurious (in my view, compared to Obama's TPP, which was deadly serious in its predatory attitude to China: it excluded China, the FT said it was to "weaken and isolate" China, and the FT then quoted Obama, "Why should China make the rules? We should make the rules.") attacks on China and Iran are being held at bay by western Europe and indeed by a global culture which is not, as a Sudanese lawyer said twenty years ago or so in Maine, the NYC-DC beltway but the people who'd gone to his lecture in Maine on that evening: the international community is not another name for Christendom but is rather its successor: imagine Kafka revisiting the castle after it has been turned into a Disneyland attraction. He says to the concession worker, "Twelve euros for a box of popcorn?" and the young Turk says, "Do you want it or not?" The other sociopath takes the first sociopath by the arm and says, "Hush."Chrisrushlau (talk) 00:28, 19 August 2019 (UTC)


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