User:Robertinventor/Writing for a SUBPOV in the topic area of Religion

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I've collected some examples of writing for a POV and SUBPOV in religious topics to accompany my Essay on Reliable Sources in Buddhism and a Proposal. Here they are:

So, how do you write articles on religion, given that they have to present a POV shared by members of that religion and often not shared by others outside of the religion? Well we can go to the examples in articles on Christianity to see how it is done. What you do is to state who has this POV at the start. Then write from that POV within the article. It may have POV challenging sections but the article as a whole is written from that POV.

Example: Resurrection of Jesus[edit | hide all | hide | edit source]

"The resurrection of Jesus is the Christian religious belief that, after being put to death, Jesus rose again from the dead. It is the central tenet of Christian theology and part of the Nicene Creed: "On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures".[1]"
"In the New Testament, after the Romans crucified Jesus, he was anointed and buried in a new tomb by Joseph of Arimathea but God raised him from the dead[2] and he appeared to many people over a span of forty days before he ascended into heaven, to sit at the right hand of God.[3]"
"Paul the Apostle declared that "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures".(Template:Bibleref2) The chapter states that such a belief in both the death and resurrection of Christ is of central importance to the Christian faith: "And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain."(Template:Bibleref2)[4] Paul further asserted "And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied."(Template:Bibleref2)"
"Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, two days after Good Friday, the day of his crucifixion. Easter's date corresponds roughly with Passover, the Jewish observance associated with the Exodus, that is fixed for the night of the full moon near the time of the spring equinox.[5]"

There are of course several WP:SUBPOV's about this, which are listed in the section Resurrection of Jesus#Views of other religions later in the page. So we can examine these as a good way to see how to handle SUBPOV's in the Buddhism topic area. Minor WP:SUBPOV's such as the Gnostics and the Bahai faith on this topic are described briefly. Major WP:SUBPOVs are given their own separate articles, with a brief one paragraph summary.

Judaism's view of Jesus[edit | hide | edit source]

"Among followers of Judaism, Jesus is viewed as having been the most influential, and consequently the most damaging, of all false messiahs.[6] However, since the traditional Jewish belief is that the messiah has not yet come and the Messianic Age is not yet present, the total rejection of Jesus as either messiah or deity has never been a central issue for Judaism."
"Judaism has never accepted any of the claimed fulfillments of prophecy that Christianity attributes to Jesus. Judaism also forbids the worship of a person as a form of idolatry, since the central belief of Judaism is the absolute unity and singularity of God.[7][8]Jewish eschatology holds that the coming of the Messiah will be associated with a specific series of events that have not yet occurred, including the return of Jews to their homeland and the rebuilding of The Temple, a Messianic Age of peace[9] and understanding during which "the knowledge of God" fills the earth,[10] and since Jews believe that none of these events occurred during the lifetime of Jesus (nor have they occurred afterwards), he is not a candidate for messiah."
"Traditional views of Jesus have been mostly negative, although in the Middle Ages Judah Halevi and Maimonides viewed Jesus as an important preparatory figure for a future universal ethical monotheism of the Messianic Age. Some modern Jewish thinkers have sympathetically speculated that the historical Jesus may have been closer to Judaism than either the Gospels or traditional Jewish accounts would indicate, starting in the 18th century with the Orthodox Jacob Emden and the reformer Moses Mendelssohn. This view is still espoused by some."

Islamic view of Jesus' death[edit | hide | edit source]

"The issue of the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus (Isa) is rejected by most (not all[11]) Muslims, but similar to Christians they believe that Jesus will return before the end of time.[12] Most Muslims believe Jesus was not crucified, but was raised bodily to heaven by God, a similar belief is found in the Gospel of Basilides,[13][14][15][16] the text of which is lost save for reports of it by other early scholars like Origen (c.185 – c.254). Basilides (Βασιλείδης), was a leading theologian of Gnostic tendencies, who had taught in Alexandria in the second quarter of the second century. This stream of teaching was first condemned by St. John, the apostle of Christ in his first epistle, chapter 4, under the category of the spirit of Anti Christ, concerning all of those that refute the notion that Jesus came in a body from flesh and blood to redeem the sin of the world. Basilides' teachings were also condemned as heretical by Irenaeus of Lyons (c.130 – c.200),[17] and by Hippolytus of Rome (c. 170 - c.236),[18] although they had been evaluated more positively by Clement of Alexandria (c.150 – c.215).[19] However, this view is disregarded by mainstream Christianity which only accepts the four gospels contained in the New Testament as genuine, the other twenty-eight, seldom publicised, are viewed as heretical[citation needed]."
"Depending on the interpretation of the following verse, Muslim scholars have abstracted different opinions. Some believe that in the Biblical account, Jesus's crucifixion did not last long enough for him to die, while others opine that God gave someone Jesus's appearance or someone else replaced Jesus and the executioners thought the victim was Jesus, causing everyone to believe that Jesus was crucified.[citation needed] A third explanation could be that Jesus was nailed to a cross, but as his body is immortal he did not "die" or was not "crucified" [to death]; it only appeared so (this view is rare).[citation needed] In opposition to the second and third foregoing proposals, yet others maintain that God does not use deceit and therefore they contend that crucifixion just did not occur.[citation needed] The basis of all of these beliefs is the interpretation of this verse in the Qur'an:"

That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah";- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:-
Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise;-

— Qur'an, sura 4 (An-Nisa) ayat 157-158[20]

Historicity and origin of the Resurrection of Jesus[edit | hide | edit source]

"The historicity and origin of the Resurrection of Jesus has been the subject of historical research and debate, as well as a topic of discussion among theologians. The accounts of the Gospels, including the empty tomb and the appearances of the risen Jesus to his followers, have been interpreted and analyzed in diverse ways, and have been seen variously as historical accounts of a literal event, as accurate accounts of visionary experiences, as non-literal eschatological parables, and as fabrications of early Christian writers, among various other interpretations. It has been suggested, for example, that Jesus did not die on the cross, that the empty tomb was the result of Jesus' body having been stolen, or, as was common with Roman crucifixions, that Jesus was never entombed."

Lessons from how it is done in these examples[edit | hide | edit source]

The main points I'd like to draw attention to here, for consideration of editors of articles in the Buddhism topic area is that other WP:SUBPOV's are not mentioned throughout the article, nor are they used to modify the statements as in "Christians say ... however Muslims say ..., and Jews say ...". They differ on so many points in this topic area that an article written like that would be very confusing to the reader. Instead all statements about what Muslims or Jews believe about the Resurrection of Jesus are put into their own separate articles.

Also skeptical views about the historicity of the events, and reinterpretations of them by theologians and others are placed in a section Historicity and origin of the narrative and this also is split out into another WP:SUBPOV article as Historicity and origin of the Resurrection of Jesus. Again this would be confusing to the reader to say all the way through:

"After they found the empty tomb, the gospels indicate that Jesus made a series of appearances to the disciples - but Muslims think that ... and Jews think that ... and theologian x says that what actually happened is .. and theologian y says that ..."

And even more so, it would not be appropriate to rewrite those sections according to what some theologian "actually happened". The reader wants to know what it says in the Gospels first. They may well be interested in the historicity of what the gospels say and alternative accounts, but they would not want an account of the gospels as rewritten according to some theory about what actually happened, at least not as the only account in Wikipedia of the resurrection of Jesus.

Instead these are clearly separated out.

Why the Western academic ideas need to be separated out as WP:SUBPOV articles, but the Therevadhan and Mahayana ideas on core topics can be handled within a single article[edit | hide | edit source]

In the case of Buddhism then for central articles like Nirvana, Four Noble Truths and Karma in Buddhism then there is a body of core ideas that are accepted by all Buddhists in any of the sutra traditions, Therevadhan and Mahayana. So in that case, it does make sense to present these core ideas and then point out the minor differences here and there.

For the Western academics however such as Richard Gombrich and Stephen Batchelor then I suggest that their interpretations are so radically different from those of modern Buddhists in the sutra traditions, that it's as impossible to merge them into one article without confusing the reader hugely. The differences include

  • That they think Buddha didn't realize cessation of dukkha as a young man - modern sutra Buddhists think he did
  • That they think Buddha's aim with his teachings was to end the conditions for rebirth so that after you die then you never take rebirth again. Modern sutra Buddhists don't have the idea of an "afterlife" at all, and in Therevadhan Buddhism then the next thought moment after death is the first moment of your next rebirth. Death is just part of the process, and the idea of an afterlife can't even be formulated in a Therevadhan Buddhist context. So the idea of somehow continuing after death but not being reborn doesn't really make sense.
  • They think that the goal of Buddhists is to enter paranirvana The sutras never present this as a goal of Buddhists following the path - Buddha taught it as a path to cessation, not a path to paranirvana. He also said that when he died he had a choice about whether to enter paranirvana or to remain to the end of this world system, and could have done so if Ananda had asked him to do so before it was too late. Buddha wouldn't answer questions about whether he exists after death, or not or both, or neither. See The unanswered questions
  • They think there must be some missing teaching here about ending rebirth as the goal. The puzzle for western academics is - why did Buddha present them as teachings about cessation when cessation also means you are free from conditions that will require you to take rebirth after death? To western academics that seems the main point in the path. But for sutra tradition Buddhists its the cessation of dukkha which Buddha realized as a young man that is the end point of the path. The paranirvana is "what happens next after you realize the summum bonum" and not what the path is about, and in Mahayana Buddhism then only some Buddhas enter paranirvana at death (we had many frustrating conversations about this on the talk pages).
  • They have a view of inauthenticity - that Buddha did not teach the four noble truths in the form we now have, but a much simpler teaching'. That's how they reconcile their views with the sutras, by saying that the sutras are inaccurate and have been altered since they were first written.
  • Sutra Buddhists have a view of authenticity that the central teachings of Therevadhan Buddhism do go back to Buddha himself, not as a matter of faith but as a result of excellent reasons, based on the ability of the Brahmins to memorize the vedas word for word, as well as extensive historical, archaeological and internal evidence. Even if this was a matter of faith, then it is not unlike the faith based ideas of Christians on the Resurrection of Jesus and still should be presented as their views. Mahayana sutras, everyone agrees are a later development and Mahayana Buddhists are of the opinion they carry the direct inspiration of the awakened mind even so, and of Buddha.
  • Western academics have many issues with the notion of non self - treating it as a philosophical doctrine, saying it is self contradictory, saying that Buddhists really believe in a self, saying we have to have one to take rebirth, saying many things. For sutra tradition Buddhists, it is practical advice, a form of meditation, a hint towards something you need to come to see for yourself. It's not unlike a Zen koan. So we have radically different perspectives there which is why the Anatta article in its current form is so controversial and frequently has attempts to edit it by sutra tradition Buddhists.
This is at least as radical a difference in view as the differing WP:SUBPOVs of Muslims, Jews and Christians on Resurrection of Jesus.
  1. Updated version of the Nicene Creed added at First Council of Constantinople in 381 AD, in Norman Tanner, New Short History of the Catholic Church, page 33 (Burns & Oates, 2011). ISBN 978-0-86012-455-9
  2. Template:Bibleref2, Template:Bibleref2, Template:Bibleref2, Template:Bibleref2, Template:Bibleref2, Template:Bibleref2, Template:Bibleref2, Template:Bibleref2, Template:Bibleref2, Template:Bibleref2, Template:Bibleref2, Template:Bibleref2, Template:Bibleref2, Template:Bibleref2, Template:Bibleref2, Template:Bibleref2, Template:Bibleref2, Template:Bibleref2, Template:Bibleref2, Template:Bibleref2, Template:Bibleref2, Template:Bibleref2
  3. Template:Bibleref2, Template:Bibleref2, Template:Bibleref2, Template:Bibleref2
  4. Stagg, Frank. New Testament Theology. Broadman Press, 1962. ISBN 0-8054-1613-7
  5. Tamara Prosic, The Development And Symbolism Of Passover Until 70 CE, page 65 (T & T Clark International, 2004). ISBN 0-8264-7087-4
  6. Maimonides. Mishneh Torah, Sefer Shofetim, Melachim uMilchamot, Chapter 11, Halacha 4. Chabad translation by Eliyahu Touge.
  7. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6:4
  8. A belief in the divinity of Jesus is incompatible with Judaism:
    • "The point is this: that the whole Christology of the Church - the whole complex of doctrines about the Son of God who died on the Cross to save humanity from sin and death - is incompatible with Judaism, and indeed in discontinuity with the Hebraism that preceded it." Rayner, John D. A Jewish Understanding of the World, Berghahn Books, 1998, p. 187. ISBN 1-57181-974-6
    • "Aside from its belief in Jesus as the Messiah, Christianity has altered many of the most fundamental concepts of Judaism." Kaplan, Aryeh. The Aryeh Kaplan Anthology: Volume 1, Illuminating Expositions on Jewish Thought and Practice, Mesorah Publication, 1991, p. 264. ISBN 0-89906-866-9
    • "...the doctrine of Christ was and will remain alien to Jewish religious thought." Wylen, Stephen M. Settings of Silver: An Introduction to Judaism, Paulist Press, 2000, p. 75. ISBN 0-8091-3960-X
    • "For a Jew, however, any form of shituf is tantamount to idolatry in the fullest sense of the word. There is then no way that a Jew can ever accept Jesus as a deity, mediator or savior (messiah), or even as a prophet, without betraying Judaism." Schochet, Rabbi J. Emmanuel (29 July 1999). "Judaism has no place for those who betray their roots". The Canadian Jewish News. Archived from the original on 20 March 2011. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
    Judaism and Jesus Don't Mix (
    • "If you believe Jesus is the messiah, died for anyone else's sins, is God's chosen son, or any other dogma of Christian belief, you are not Jewish. You are Christian. Period." (Jews for Jesus: Who's Who & What's What by Rabbi Susan Grossman (beliefnet - virtualtalmud) August 28, 2006)
    • "For two thousand years, Jews rejected the claim that Jesus fulfilled the messianic prophecies of the Hebrew Bible, as well as the dogmatic claims about him made by the church fathers - that he was born of a virgin, the son of God, part of a divine Trinity, and was resurrected after his death. ... For two thousand years, a central wish of Christianity was to be the object of desire by Jews, whose conversion would demonstrate their acceptance that Jesus has fulfilled their own biblical prophecies." (Jewish Views of Jesus by Susannah Heschel, in Jesus In The World's Faiths: Leading Thinkers From Five Faiths Reflect On His Meaning by Gregory A. Barker, editor. (Orbis Books, 2005) ISBN 1-57075-573-6. p.149)
    • "No Jew accepts Jesus as the Messiah. When someone makes that faith commitment, they become Christian. It is not possible for someone to be both Christian and Jewish." (Why don't Jews accept Jesus as the Messiah? by Rabbi Barry Dov Lerner)
  9. Template:Bibleverse
  10. Template:Bibleverse
  11. Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices. ABC-CLIO. p. 55. ISBN 978-1-59884-203-6. 
  12. "The Quranic Arabic Corpus - Translation". Retrieved 2016-05-20. 
  13. Com. in Mat. prol
  14. Exp. Ev. Luc. i.2
  15. Hist. fr 4.4
  16. In Luc. Ev. Exp. I prol
  17. Haer. 1.24.4
  18. Ref. VII 20.1
  19. Strom. Iv 12.81; Strom. III 1.1
  20. Template:Cite quran