Theology subforum?

Thomas

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I desire it ... Lunamoth suggested it ... Path_of_One talked of 'walled gardens' ... any other takers, I wonder?

As I see it (correct me if I'm wrong) here someone can pose a question or make a statement about a given doctrine (of any tradition) ... discussion is limited then to inquiry about the nature of the doctrine, rather than simply going for it because I don't agree with it, or happen to think so-and-so's religion/philosophy/whatever is a load of bull, or I've had a blinding insight in the bath which completely trashes thousands of years of philosophical investigation, wisdom, and hard-earned experience.

For example, if a Catholic Doctrine was under discussion, then the dialogue is governed by the idea that it is perfectly reasonable for a Catholic to hold that doctrine ... whether you choose to believe in it or not ... and the same rule applies for all.

If we can get to a consensus, then maybe we can badger our esteemed Administrator-General.

Thomas
 
I desire it ... Lunamoth suggested it ... Path_of_One talked of 'walled gardens' ... any other takers, I wonder?

As I see it (correct me if I'm wrong) here someone can pose a question or make a statement about a given doctrine (of any tradition) ... discussion is limited then to inquiry about the nature of the doctrine, rather than simply going for it because I don't agree with it, or happen to think so-and-so's religion/philosophy/whatever is a load of bull, or I've had a blinding insight in the bath which completely trashes thousands of years of philosophical investigation, wisdom, and hard-earned experience.

For example, if a Catholic Doctrine was under discussion, then the dialogue is governed by the idea that it is perfectly reasonable for a Catholic to hold that doctrine ... whether you choose to believe in it or not ... and the same rule applies for all.

If we can get to a consensus, then maybe we can badger our esteemed Administrator-General.

Thomas
As long as there is still a more general forum for the religion in question which would allow a bit more wiggle room for creative dialogue-not attacking harangues- I'm fine with it. Sort of having both an "in-the-box" and an "out-of-the-box" option.:D earl
 
Namaste Thomas,

I think that is the nature and the purpose of the entire site. We've just not learned how to police it without also squashing egos and eliminating what could eventually turn into great discussion by banning.

Would not the same issue occur in a new box?

Just because we disagree on nuance, definition, tradition, does not mean I do not respect your right to believe what you do.
 
Well, as I suggested it I think it's a great idea. And the guidelines Thomas laid out above would be helpful, IMO.

wil, I think we've seen that among the forums we have now there's not really a place for focused discussion on theology. For example, discussions about Trinity in Christianity often turn into discussions about the validity of tradition and what happened at Nicea. As mods, we don't tend to want to discourage such discussion; we want to welcome the range of views of all members regardless of the religious forum. But, it makes it unwieldy for someone who might want a thread that focuses on the theological arguments. A disucssion about the Christian Trinity in a theology forum would, I hope, not be side-tracked into these other arguments. I think of it as sort of a counterpart to the philosophy forum we have.

earl, I think your in-the-box/out-of-the-box metaphor is pretty good. I also would not want to see any limitation to the conversations in our 'regularly scheduled forums.' :)

Another note: Theology would of course not be limited to Christianity. And I would think it could be up to the OP to set the scope of the topic.
 
Hi Earl —
As long as there is still a more general forum for the religion in question which would allow a bit more wiggle room for creative dialogue-not attacking harangues- I'm fine with it. Sort of having both an "in-the-box" and an "out-of-the-box" option.:D earl
Yep. Hopefully the two might actually counterpart each other. Contrary to what some might think, there's often a great deal of experience, insight, wisdom and sound thinking behind the doctrines of the great traditions. ;) The one could help illuminate the other ...

Thomas
 
There exists a fishbowl discussion method whereby you can't bring up something previously stated accept for the purpose of reference and adding to it.

Sometimes the discussions get into a did, didn't, did, didn't with participants ignoring the salient points of the previous poster and rehashing items which deflect the discussion.

I don't know how you stop that.
 
I don't know how you stop that.
The 'problem' with IO is that it's an open shop, so it is something one has to live with. Other boards avoid it by setting a standard which must be met, the quality of discussion is usually more concise and to the point ... but there's less of it. It depends what you want.

I'm suggesting that a subforum can be managed under a tighter code of conduct, and so easier to manage along those lines.

Thomas
 
Well, as I suggested it I think it's a great idea. And the guidelines Thomas laid out above would be helpful, IMO.

wil, I think we've seen that among the forums we have now there's not really a place for focused discussion on theology. For example, discussions about Trinity in Christianity often turn into discussions about the validity of tradition and what happened at Nicea. As mods, we don't tend to want to discourage such discussion; we want to welcome the range of views of all members regardless of the religious forum. But, it makes it unwieldy for someone who might want a thread that focuses on the theological arguments. A disucssion about the Christian Trinity in a theology forum would, I hope, not be side-tracked into these other arguments. I think of it as sort of a counterpart to the philosophy forum we have.

earl, I think your in-the-box/out-of-the-box metaphor is pretty good. I also would not want to see any limitation to the conversations in our 'regularly scheduled forums.' :)

Another note: Theology would of course not be limited to Christianity. And I would think it could be up to the OP to set the scope of the topic.

Ditto. :D I like the idea. There are times I have questions about doctrine or tradition in a religion and I want discussion within the box to better understand the box. I like the idea of an area where that is acceptable and everything doesn't dissipate into tangents and debate. (Though I do love that in other areas, but would love a category where it's more tightly reined in.)
 
That sounds a very good idea to me Thomas. I hope it's implemented.
 
I'm curious, Thomas - in what way would a Theology board differ from existing boards?

Meaning, would there be any specific topic areas to be covered there that could not necessarily take place under other headings?
 
I'm curious, Thomas - in what way would a Theology board differ from existing boards?

Meaning, would there be any specific topic areas to be covered there that could not necessarily take place under other headings?
It might be considered to be a place of serious study with formal guidelines--emotionally motivated attempts to derail the thread would be considered inappropriate there.
 
Anyone want to take a stab at a rough draft of the COC for the proposed Theology Board? I'm particularly interested in the definition of what constitutes legitimate theology.

Chris
 
The main negative I think of for a theology subforum would be that it might be a rather slow forum, as fewer people tend to want to do "God-talk" in a more scholarly way.

Chris, just saw your comment. As I would envision it, each OP in the forum could define the topic so no one is trying to limit what qualifies as theology, just as we don't try to limit what qualifies as philosophy. It would be more a matter of the approach to discussion being more doctrine/scripture/scholarship-based.

We could take the same approach in the forums we have now just by being stricter about staying on topic, but personally I think that would be too limiting to discussion if we did that everywhere.

2 c
 
I think apart from being stricter about being on-topic, a theology forum would be the "inside the box" perspective. So, for example, a thread about the Trinity in the Christianity forum is open to everyone (atheists included) to put forth their thoughts and sometimes their disgruntledness and debate. A thread about the Trinity in a theology forum would put forth the guidelines (lay out the box, as it were)- for example, that one is discussing the concept from a Catholic perspective. So the discussion would be more scholarly and within the box. One would need to engage not only the topic at hand, but from a certain scholarly or traditional perspective.

It would allow for threads that are more about scholarly fine points from within traditions, and also allow for threads that are more about seeking information from each other and delving into the depth of individual traditions rather than sharing our own ideas on a subject and debating at a more off-the-cuff level.

So, for example... a thread on Trinity in Christianity forum, I would be fine getting into the fray from a Druidic perspective. A thread on Trinity in the theology forum, say put forth by Thomas from a Catholic perspective, I couldn't debate from a Druidic perspective or throw in my thoughts as a mystic, but I could delve into the tradition of Catholicism and ask questions, probe, explore what that tradition had to say about the matter, including debate from a scholarly perspective from within the tradition itself.

It's narrowing the playing field so we can go deeper into the subject matter.

Kinda like our regular forums are (for the most part) at a lower division level (Christianity 101) and the theology forum would be upper/graduate level discussion (Christianity 400-series).

It would also provide a place that gets rid of a lot of the debate so that there is a space to go to just discuss information and certain traditions without sifting through tons of people's emotional responses, debate, biting at each other, etc.

I think both are valid and useful ways of entering a topic, but useful for different reasons, so I'd like to see a theology forum.
 
Hi Brian —

The main difference is the theology subforum would not be a place to voice one's opinions, either about one's own faith, or another's ... that's the current activity of the main boards ...

So the TSF would follow closer along academic lines ... in discussion a point of doctrine, one would be expected to post references in support of, or in contention with, the point under discussion.

For instance, this very afternoon, Path-of-one has asked me to clarify the Catholic distinction between Christian theism, pantheism and panentheism ... which I will endeavour to do, but on the main boards everyone is free to jump in and offer their comment, so you end up with a plethora of personal definitions of what pantheism/panentheism is, and invariably a fair number of reasons why the Catholic Church is talking rot/should be done away with/is not Christian anyway ...

None of which helps the dialogue between Path and myself.

Likewise, Earl has asked regarding the distinction between 'God' and 'Godhead' in Eckhart, which will inevitably involve mentioning the Trinity (perhaps not, perhaps I'll find a different tack) ... and the next thing is I'm told the Trinity is a totally fabricated doctrine, or a perversion of a prior doctrine, or just something the guys made up over tea with Constantine at his villa in Nicea ...

Now maybe I should just simply ignore such comments, but my care is that my faith is being misrepresented, either maliciously or erroneously, and if I say nothing, someone might assume that my silence is taken as agreement ...

In the TSF, we can politely say ... sorry, but we're sticking close to the topic, if people want to sound off or whatever, then the other boards are there.


Thomas
 
Good idea, Thomas - I hereby declare that we should have a Theology board under Belief & Spirituality, and that Thomas should be the moderator for that board. :)
 
I'm all for it, especially if Thomas is willing to ride herd on it. I've participated on more strict theological boards before, and really it seemed that the main task was hardly about limiting topics, but rather focused on an expectation that participants put forward a good faith effort to actually DEBATE the issues on topic. I'd suggest, therefore, that a sticky comprising a basic primer on what debate actually entails might be helpful on the Theology Board.

Chris
 
Well, Thomas, hope this doesn't mean you'll stop dialoguing in the more "unruly," less theologically- inclined forums. Afterall, that's where I'll probably hang out mostly since I'm not too keen on and/or knowledgeable re theology per se & I'd miss dialoguing with you otherwise.:) earl
 
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