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Religion

Build the Open Shelves Classification

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1laena
Feb 23, 2009, 11:50am Top

Includes works on religious texts (e.g., Bible, Talmud), religions, religious ethics and mythology.

2astherest
Feb 23, 2009, 6:35pm Top

If you ignore the 80 numbers devoted to Christianity, what Dewey does is have a category for books that deal with religion in general and then divides up religions by place of origin. So we might have something like:

General Religion
-- Arguments for and against a belief in deity/ies.
-- Benefits of religion
-- Origins of religion
-- Etc.

Specific Religions
-- Religions originating in Africa
-- Religions originating in Asia
-- Religions originating in Australia/New Zealand/the Pacific Islands
-- Religions originating in Europe
-- Religions originating in North America
-- Religions originating in South America
-- Religions originating outside Earth??? This would save reference librarians from dealing with irate flying saucer religionists, but all the religions with transcendent deities might want a place here, which would be awkward ...

Maybe instead of originated we might say "whose first Earthly members lived in"

3tcarter
Feb 24, 2009, 6:22am Top

I think I understand the "even handed" approach of categorising religions by their country of origin, I don't think that this is how people look for books on religion. I strongly suspect that most people know the common name of the religion they are interested in, but might not know its point of origin. So, they would look for Hinduism, Wicca, or Islam.

4Alixtii
Feb 24, 2009, 8:23am Top

What about categorizing chronologically? I can think of lots of problems with this scheme--was Christianity founded in the 1st century C.E., or the 3rd century? Do individual denominations (including the more radical sects, such as LDS, JW's, Christian Scientists, 7-day Adventists, even UU's, etc.) get their own dates (e.g., the year Luther started the Reformation, the year of the founding of the Church of England, or the year Wesley founded Methodism)?

But it makes more sense to me than geography, and none of the problems are really unique--the denomination thing is going to be a problem no matter what, and an unclear date of origin is more or less equivalent to an unclear place of origin, which some religions probably have. (I.e.: Was Anglicanism founded in England, Rome, or Palestine?)

5Suncat
Feb 24, 2009, 10:40am Top

>4 Alixtii:

I thought a major point of the OSC was to help people find books on the shelves. Speaking for myself, I know far less about the origin dates of various religions than I do even about their locales of origin.

6tcarter
Feb 24, 2009, 3:38pm Top

I guess one of the calls to be made here is how many categories there ought to be at this level.

One option would be for every religion to have a mark at this level, but I suspect that this would give to many branches too soon in the tree.

The point / date of origin would give a manageable number of categories but I don't think they would help people looking for books on the different religions.

If neither is acceptable then we enter the murky and possibly controversial area of deciding which religions "merit" classification at this level, and which should be amalgamated.

I wonder whether the Wikipedia analysis of major world religions might help with this discussion?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_religious_groups

This might give a break up into sub categories of:

Christianity
Islam
Judaism
Bahai

Hinduism
Buddhism
Sikhism
Jainism

Taoism
Confucianism
Shinto
Caodism
Chondogyo
Yiguandao

Primal Indigenous
African Traditional

Juche
Neopaganism
Unitarian
Rastafarianism
Scientology

Which, as per the top levels, are grouped by some commonality (in this case geographic) rather than alphabetically. It seems to be a reasonable number of categories to me, though I guess you would also need the general and comparative religion stuff.

7Alixtii
Edited: Mar 2, 2009, 10:19am Top

That's a good list, I think. I agree we do need to think more deeply about how we're going to characterize works that aren't about one religion or which don't take an anthropological/informative approach.

Looking at the books in my library which I've tagged "religion", actually very few fall comfortably into a "each major world religion gets a category" scheme. Obviously some of this is because not all of them should be ultimately classified under religion: many are fiction; the Confessions are autobiography; I'm not sure whether Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone is religion or philosophy. (If it is religion, though, it's certainly not a book on Christianity.)

Theological works like Summa contra Gentiles would fall under the tradition they'd be working in. This seems obvious, but would this hold true of theological works which tend to have universal implications? Is Beyond God the Father really a book about Christianity? Is I and Thou just a book about Judaism? Is The Universe in a Single Atom about Buddhism?

Let's see if we can think through what type of categories we can use for books that don't discuss a single religion head-on.

x. General Religious Thought
x. books on how we study religion (e.g., Critical Terms for Religious Studies)
x. books on how we (should) "do" religion in an intellectual/theological sense (e.g., Weaving the Visions)
x. grand schemes about what religion "is" (e.g., Georges Bataille's Theory of Religion or, if it's not placed under sociology or psychology, Freud's Totem and Taboo)
x. Comparative Religions (e.g., Religious Worlds)

I'm not quite sure where James' Varieties of Religious Experience should go.

8comfypants
Feb 26, 2009, 1:37pm Top

"Primal Indigenous" seems very problematic. "Primal" is potentially offensive, and every religion on the list is indigenous of *somewhere.* Perhaps replace it with a "___ Traditional" for each region, as with African? Or maybe an "other" category for each region would be more encompassing.

9tcarter
Feb 26, 2009, 2:23pm Top

8>I agree that it does seem problematic. A synonym that appears to be used in the Wiki article is "Tribal", but again you could argue that Christianity, Judaism and Islam all have their roots in a tribal religion.

At the moment this category looks like a hold-all for belief systems that don't seem to fit anywhere else. My instinct is to look for how adherents of the religions would self-describe, however I suspect, without being an expert, that most of the literature regarding these religions is about them rather than by them - so self-definition is going to be hard to ascertain.

7> In contrast, almost half of my books are tagged "christian" but none of them are tagged "religion". Having said that, I do like your scheme for categorising works on Religions in general. I might add a category for works that aim to encompass / survey lots of religious traditions. Can we think of a title for category that would comfortably hold Varieties of Religious Experience and Religions in the UK?

10bertilak
Feb 26, 2009, 2:40pm Top

#6:

This list separates Unitarian from Christianity, which is OK by me, but what about LDS/Mormonism?

Is Scientology really a religion?

Does Christian Science go under religion or alternative medicine?

Is wicca neopagan? What about Satanism?

Where does voodoo/Voudoun go? Are the African and American versions still the same religion?

Do Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have a niche here? (their anti-religions books are in the Atheism section of Religion in a bookstore I frequent).

11comfypants
Feb 26, 2009, 3:07pm Top

Mormonism is Christian -- although dividing things by region confuse that a little. Middle East > Christianity > Mormonism doesn't really work...

I would be opposed to an Atheism section. Books critical of religion in general make sense in "General Religious Thought," if they don't fit better in, say, Science.

12laena
Feb 26, 2009, 3:49pm Top

This is a great list! I would suggest a "general" category, and a few other additions (listed alphabetically):

General
Agnosticism
Atheism
Clergy
Comparative Religion
Confucianism
Counseling
Cults
Deism
Demonology & Satanism
Devotional
Eastern
Eckankar
Ecumenism
Education (religious)
Eschatology
Essays (religious)
Ethics (religious)
Ethnic & Tribal
Faith
Fundamentalism
Gnosticism
History (of religion)
Holidays (important in pub lib, TB broken down)
Inspirational
Institutions & Organizations
Leadership (religious)
Meditations
Messianic Judaism
Monasticism
Mysticism
Philosophy (religious)
Prayer
Psychology of Religion
Rosicrucianism
Sexuality & Gender Studies (religious)
Spirituality
Theism
Theology
Theosophy
Unitarian Universalism
Religion & Science
Religion & Politics
Vodun

previous list:

Christianity
Islam
Judaism
Bahai

Hinduism
Buddhism
Sikhism
Jainism

Taoism
Confucianism
Shinto
Caodism
Chondogyo
Yiguandao

African Traditional
(I suggest we stick with "ethnic and tribal" which covers all ethnic & tribal religions and break it down further under there)

Juche
Neopaganism
Unitarian
Rastafarianism
Scientology

13bertilak
Feb 26, 2009, 4:04pm Top

#12 laena:

Yes, it makes sense to me not to mention specific religions in the categories: 'the making of many books hath no end'. In other words, I think your list should REPLACE, not SUPPLEMENT the earlier list.

But then Messianic Judaism should be under Messianism in general (or soteriology?) and Unitarian Universalism should be subsumed in some other category.

Of course there is a big problem with the category Cults: nobody will admit to belonging to one. It is safe to say that Jim Jones or Charles Manson led cults, but Rev. Moon might sue you if you put him there.

And there is the usual PC objection to the term 'Eastern': East of what?

14andyl
Feb 26, 2009, 4:57pm Top

I would definitely take issue with Atheism being listed in Religion.

15polutropon
Feb 26, 2009, 5:12pm Top

>14 andyl:, You would take issue with books about atheism being included under this top-level category, or you would take issue with the inclusion of a second-level category called "Atheism"?

16jjwilson61
Edited: Feb 26, 2009, 8:01pm Top

It's hard to imagine a book on atheism that doesn't address religion. Well, maybe a book on famous atheists, but that would go in biography.

ETA: I understand and fully agree that atheism is not a religion but this isn't about that, it's about classifying books on atheism.

17KarenElissa
Feb 26, 2009, 11:45pm Top

>12 laena: I don't think some of those make much sense as second level categories. I think the second level should be basic religions, and then general categories. Things like clergy, counseling, devotional, holidays, and others like these, should be put underneath which ever religion it pertains to. A book about catholic priests is going to have more in common with other catholic books than it will with a book about a pagan priestess.

18winniek1
Feb 27, 2009, 12:17am Top

Bear with me, I'm working on 3 hours sleep and sheer force-of-will.

Here is how I would modify laena's list:
(basically I would remove all the vague terms like faith/inspirational and those that would be better as subdivisions of religions e.g. clergy, counseling.)

General
Agnosticism
Atheism
Comparative Religion
Confucianism
Cults
Deism
Demonology & Satanism
Eastern
Eckankar
Ecumenism
Eschatology
Ethnic & Tribal
Fundamentalism
Gnosticism
Messianic Judaism
Monasticism
Mysticism
Rosicrucianism
Spirituality
Theism
Theology
Theosophy
Unitarian Universalism
Vodun

I'd be tempted to sort my list of religions into a number of broader categories:
- Judaism
- Christianity
- Islam
- Buddhism
- Hinduism
- African traditions
- Eastern traditions
- Neopaganism, Scientology & fringe beliefs (inc. cults)

I'm not entirely happy with the last 3 categories, but I think that it would be easiest to group the Eastern and African native religions by origin.

The last 3 I lumped together as they don't really fit elsewhere and depending on the library may not comprise as much of the collection.

I would then further divide each general category by denomination:

e.g. Christianity
- Roman-Catholic
- Anglican
- Baptist etc.

Things like prayer/meditation/inspiration etc. could either be placed under the second level categories if they were of a general nature:
- Religion--Christianity--Prayer

Or if the work dealt with prayers of a specific denomination:
- Religion--Christianity--Anglican--Prayer

19tcarter
Feb 27, 2009, 1:57pm Top

My view is that most people will browse and look for books by religious tradition, so these should make up the bulk of the categories at this level, with some categories for areas that span over different traditions, as per earlier discussion. I'm not sure that this applies to the additional categories that have been suggested:

General - This is just a "can't think of anything else bucket"
Agnosticism - useful, but perhaps could be together with atheism, as works in this area are not often clear where they end up: agnostic/atheist
Atheism - see above
Comparative Religion - yep
Confucianism - In religions list already
Cults - these occur in lots of religions and would fit better in the relevant category - unless a comparative study of cults in different religions, in which case fits in comparative religion.
Deism - yep
Demonology & Satanism - possibly - but again different religions have different demonologies and Satanism is a religion in its own right.
Eastern - fairly meaningless
Eckankar - not familiar with this
Ecumenism - inter faith or intra faith?
Eschatology - no - surveys of different approaches to the end times in different religions in comparative religions, those specific to the religion in the religion's category.
Ethnic & Tribal - still not sure of the best descriptor for this
Fundamentalism - no - surveys of different aspects of fundamentalism in different religions in comparative religions, those specific to the religion in the religion's category.
Gnosticism - sub set of Christianity
Messianic Judaism - sub set of Christianity or Judaism
Monasticism - no - surveys of different aspects of monasticism in different religions in comparative religions, those specific to the religion in the religion's category.
Mysticism- no - surveys of different aspects of mysticism in different religions in comparative religions, those specific to the religion in the religion's category.
Rosicrucianism - not familiar with this to comment
Spirituality - no - surveys of different aspects of spirituality in different religions in comparative religions, those specific to the religion in the religion's category.
Theism - possibly, though again this is approached in different ways from different religious traditions. Does the open theism arising from the Christian tradition look different / interact with theism arising from other traditions, if in fact it does arise in other traditions?
Theology- no - surveys of different aspects of theology in different religions in comparative religions, those specific to the religion in the religion's category.
Theosophy- no - surveys of different aspects of theosophy in different religions in comparative religions, those specific to the religion in the religion's category.
Unitarian Universalism - in religions list already
Vodun - in religions list already

20DeusExLibrus
Feb 27, 2009, 2:35pm Top

tcarter, Theosophy is a system of thought, a "secret society" unto itself, therefore I would argue it gets its own heading. You can't split it off into the religions it deals with, as its based on the teachings of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and one or two others, not just an amalgamation of "Eastern" religions.

21tcarter
Feb 27, 2009, 3:17pm Top

>20 DeusExLibrus: fair enough, I bow to greater knowledge.

22astherest
Mar 1, 2009, 8:58am Top

>19 tcarter:

>General - This is just a "can't think of anything else bucket"

No. There are a lot of books that discuss religion in general. Go look at the 201-209s in your public library. (This does include comparative religion. If folks want that to be separate, it's okay, but the way we're going this topic is going to have a huge number of subdivisions under it. Grouping some in logical clumps might help)

I go back to my initial proposal for general with some additions:
General Religion
-- Arguments for and against a belief in deity/ies.
-- Benefits/drawbacks of religion
-- Origins of religion
-- Comparative religion
-- Spirituality which borrows from a diverse group of religious practices or claims to be new but not a religion (unless all the spirituality books are going to get stuck in self-help)
-- Religious studies (general books on the new academic discipline of religious studies)

>Agnosticism - useful, but perhaps could be together with atheism, as works >in this area are not often clear where they end up: agnostic/atheist
>Atheism - see above

See General. Though if the book is one how to live a good life without belief in a deity, but doesn't argue about whether deities exist, perhaps it should go in philosophy.

>Comparative Religion - yep

I'd be glad to hear why this should not be clumped with General

>Cults - these occur in lots of religions and would fit better in the relevant category - unless a comparative study of cults in different religions, in which case fits in comparative religion.

Cults is a no-no word. While it comes from a perfectly benign context, it now has negative connotations which makes it impossible to use in a public library classification system. The politically correct term is New Religious Movements (NRM). Some NRM fit under categories that have already been suggested (example Unification Church can be put with Christianity because they see themselves as the fulfillment of Christ's teachings). However, some folks, like the Urantians, are genuinely new groups which in this system will need their own topic.

>Deism - yep

Is this the Enlightenment Deist movement or arguments for a deity (the opposite of Atheism)? The Deist movement can have it's own topic, though most of it's major proponents will be sitting in philosophy and political science. General arguments for the existence of a deity (unspecified) should go with Atheism/Agnosticism.

>Demonology & Satanism - possibly - but again different religions have >different demonologies and Satanism is a religion in its own right.

Books discussing singly one religion's demons should go with the religion. General books on bad spirits who disrupt people's lives but not from a religious pov probably goes with Occult and paranormal, which I think is still a top level category.

Satanism is problematic. It's a NRM, so it can either get it's own topic or go under Christianity (since it is particularly referencing the Christian demon)

>Eckankar - not familiar with this

It is/was a flying saucer religion. It's not under "UFO religion" on Wikipedia. Maybe it's adherents gave up waiting. We could add "UFO religion" at the secondary level which will mop up some of the NRMs and save them all from having their own secondary topic.

>Ecumenism - inter faith or intra faith?

Agree. Catholic/Lutheran dialog goes under Christianity. Christian/Hindu dialog doesn't have a good place yet.

>Ethnic & Tribal - still not sure of the best descriptor for this

Religions of indigenous peoples in colonized areas???

Might be better to subdivide by region:
Indigenous religions of the Americas
Indigenous religions of Australnesia
Indigenous religions of Africa
But then we get back to the problems of regional origin that were raised in relation to my first proposal.

>Gnosticism - sub set of Christianity

Actually there are Gnostic cults (in the old sense of the word) that are not Christian, such as Mythraism. Certainly the Christian gnostics should be under Christianity. Some of the others might end up in their own category.

>Messianic Judaism - sub set of Christianity or Judaism

If we use the Dewey criteria of "they are what they say they are, not what other people say they are," this would go with Judaism.

>Mysticism- no - surveys of different aspects of mysticism in different >religions in comparative religions, those specific to the religion in the >religion's category.

Then there are all those people like Thomas Merton who feel that mystical traditions are all related and can be practiced across religious boundaries. Dewey sticks them with their personal religion of origin, so Merton is in Christianity. Or we could stick them in the general spirituality group suggested above.

>Rosicrucianism - not familiar with this to comment

One of the Masonic systems. Could probably give all masons together a second level category.

>Spirituality - no - surveys of different aspects of spirituality in different >religions in comparative religions, those specific to the religion in the >religion's category.

See my comments under general

Some things that have been left out

Zoroastrianism

We're also supposed to do mythology, which I would argue are usually stories from religions not currently being practiced and should go under a religion heading:

Religion of Ancient Egypt
Non-Judeo-Christian religions of the Ancient Middle East
Religions of Ancient Greece and Rome
Religion of the Norse
Religion of the Ancient Celts ...

In closing, I'd like to say that Religion is one of the hardest and most contentious schedules in any classification system. You really need to approach it from the point of view that all religious systems are equally valid and deserve to be treated on an equal basis with all other religions, and try to lose terminology and ideas about other religions that arise from your own particular beliefs.

23BarkingMatt
Mar 1, 2009, 9:20am Top

As #22 pointed out, demonology is a subject in just about any religion. I think it would get hopelessly confusing if, for example, we would split the Christian and Buddhist versions from their original religions and lump them together.

I think Satanism - in the sense of La Vey c.s. - should be treated as just another modern cult. Not sure how to deal with these cults though.

As for Atheism / Agnosticism : though I wouldn't call those religions, (many of) the books do deal with religion as a subject. So I do think they should somehow go in this main category.

24PortiaLong
Edited: Mar 1, 2009, 3:21pm Top

>22 astherest:

>Eckankar - not familiar with this

It is/was a flying saucer religion. It's not under "UFO religion" on Wikipedia. Maybe it's adherents gave up waiting. We could add "UFO religion" at the secondary level which will mop up some of the NRMs and save them all from having their own secondary topic.


"UFO religion"? (haven't encountered that before)

With regards to Eckancar -
Soul projection? yes. Past Lives? yes. Dream interpretation? yes. Temples in other planes of reality? yes. UFOs don't seem to a have a big role (other than being listed along with other phenomena that occupy the "Astral Plane" - along with ghosts and psychic phenomena). Oh, maybe you are referring to Gakko the "early Eckankar teacher" - he was from Venus...

Anyway - they are still around -
Official Church website:
http://www.eckankar.org/index.html

But I don't know that they need their own second level entry.

(Although interestingly enough the Eck symbols is now one of the 37 or so religious symbols allowed on US Military Gravemarkers - along with a Wiccan symbol, Atheist symbol, Humanism symbol among others that I have never heard of: Konko-Kyo? Seicho-no-ei? Soks Gakkai? - I have no idea where to find THOSE on your list!)

I'd probably cull out all these groups (cults, fringes) that have relatively low membership numbers compared to the "Biggies" (and no obvious connection to other groups) and put them under "Alternative Religious Movements." I probably wouldn't call them "New" since a lot of them seem to claim that they have a history going back hundred's or thousand's of years (Eckankar does).

(Disclaimer - My MIL is a second generation Eckist.)

25Alixtii
Edited: Mar 1, 2009, 4:33pm Top

The tertiary or quaternary levels included are simply there to clarify where specific topics that have already been addressed in these comments might end up going; obviously all the religions would need to be fleshed out and not just Judaism and Christianity, etc.

x. General Religious Thought
x. Theories of Religion
x. Anthropological Theories of Religion (I'm still thinking of Freud or Bataille)
x. Origins of Religion
x. Phenomenological Theories of Religion (I think Varieties of Religious Experience would go here)
x. Mysticism
x. Methods of Study
x. Characteristics of Religions
x. Inter-Faith Ecumenisms
x. Normative Inter-Religious Arguments (I don't have a better word for this)
x. Feminist Inter-Religious Arguments
x. Comparative Religion (I don't know what the tertiary levels would be; I'm familiar with some meta-religious thought, but not much comparative stuff. Maybe by approach?)
x. Atheism/Agnosticism
x. Deism
x. General arguments for/against the existence of a deity
x. Ancient Religion ("ancient" might not be the right word)
x. Greco-Roman Mythology
x. Norse Mythology
x. Taoism
x. Confucianism
x. Buddhism
x. Paganism
x. History of Paganism
x. Neo-Paganism
x. Wicca
x. Judaism
x. History of Judaism
x. Torah/Talmud/Tanakh/Midrash
x. The Works Themselves
x. Analysis
x. Topics in Jewish Thought
x. Jewish Sects
x. Reform Judaism
x. Reconstructionist Judaism
x. Messianic Judaism (based on "they are what they say they are, not what other people say they are")
x. Zoroastrianism
x. Christianity
x. History of Christianity
x. Hagiography (to what degree would this fall under "Biography"?)
x. Early Church Christian Gnosticism (not including non-Christian Gnosticism; modern-day Gnosticisms would go under "Topics in Christian Thought" somehow)
x. The Bible
x. The Works Themselves
x. Scriptural Analysis
x. Topics in Christian Thought (the traditional Ecclisiology/Christology/Pneumatology divisions are probably too academic, so we'd have to brainstorm what types of topics books in public libraries are likely to address when began work on quaternary levels)
x. Christian Mysticism (whether Zen and the Birds of Paradise goes here, under Comparative Religion somehow, or under General > Theory > Phenemonology > Mysticism, I don't know)
x. Denominations
x. Roman Catholicism
x. Roman Catholic priests
x. Lutheranism
x. Methodism
x. the Wesleyan quadrilateral
x. Mormonism
x. Devil-worship (since the various types of Satanism were brought up; theistic non-LeVey Satanisms might go here)
x. Sociological/Anthropological Accounts of Christianity
x. Intra-Faith Ecumenism
x. Islam
x. New/Alternate Religious Movements (depressingly normative, yes)
x. UFO Religion
x. Church of Satan (unless we want to put this under "Atheism")
x. Masonry
x. Rosicrucianism
x. Theosophy

26astherest
Mar 2, 2009, 7:22am Top

>24 PortiaLong:

Sorry. I was thinking of the guy from Venus arriving in a flying saucer. That's why my search on Wikipedia (wasn't sure I was spelling Eckenkar correctly) failed.

>25 Alixtii:

The anthropological stuff is difficult. All the anthropological theoretical work should go to anthropology under the Sociology top level. (That's what it does now). Currently ethnological descriptions of religious groups, especially those related to New Religious Movements, are in the 200s in Dewey. We'll have to see what the Anthropology people are planning on their end.

27Alixtii
Edited: Mar 2, 2009, 10:25am Top

>26 astherest:

That's a good point, although I'm not sure 100% that I agree with it. If people are looking for an anthropological-type book on religion, I don't know which top-level category they're more likely to check first. I can certainly see Freud's Totem and Taboo listed under Sociology > Anthropology > Religion, but I'm less sure of Bataille's Theory of Religion or Nancy Jay's Throughout Your Generations Forever. 5 people have tagged Jay's book as "religion," while only one tagged it "anthropology"; a full 18 people have tagged Bataille's work as "religion," with only 2 people using the "anthropology" tag (the same number of people who tagged it as "economics"!).

Whereas 29 people tagged Totem and Taboo as "anthropology," 26 as "religion," and 104 as "psychology"; moving it out of the religion category would be fine by me.

Either way, even if anthropological accounts of religion are moved out (and the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced they shouldn't be in many. many cases) that still leaves a need for a space for the phenomenological accounts of religion like William James'.

28PossMan
Mar 2, 2009, 10:33am Top

One aspect that doesn't seem to have been mentioned is that of mixed religions and syncretism (is that the right word). I'm thinking of Brazil where Christianity and African religions have come together to make something different but I'm sure there must be similar cases throughout the world.

29Alixtii
Mar 2, 2009, 12:09pm Top

>28 PossMan:

Probably they'll have to go under one of the source religions. Not pretty or necessarily politically correct, but I don't have a suggestion as to where else they could go without being imperialistic.

30DeusExLibrus
Mar 2, 2009, 1:35pm Top

>>28 PossMan:
Another example of this is actually Zen, which is a blend of Taoism and Buddhism.

31tcarter
Mar 2, 2009, 1:46pm Top

>19 tcarter: just wanting to get a bit more clarity on the language we use to describe cults. My difficulty with using NRM is that the concept of cult within religious thought and writing is ancient, cf your own reference to the cult of Mithras. I could just about live with Alternate Religious Movement, as one could argue that one of the distinctive driving forces behind the emergence of a cult is the development of a spirituality that is over/against the mainstream of the religion that it emerges from. Having said that, there are alternate religious movements that are not cults, and we also need some language left over to describe genuinely new religious movements (see below). Given that, and realising that this is a politically sensitive issue (probably more in the US than the UK), we do have a perfectly good English word, that is well defined, for cults, so why shouldn't we use it?

>28 PossMan: we also have to remember that we are classifying books not religions.

So, books about the process of the emergence of these religions would probably fit in general / comparative religion category.

I think that books emerging from these traditions would need their own category at some level, but I suspect that there aren't very many of these (books that is).

32jjwilson61
Mar 2, 2009, 2:53pm Top

Is the word cult well-defined? In popular culture it just means a religion that isn't widely accepted. In my non-acamic undestanding all religions started out as cults.

33Alixtii
Mar 2, 2009, 3:35pm Top

Having Mithraism on the shelf next to UFO cults would just seem weird to me. I think there's an intuitive difference between new religious movements and old ones that just never caught on.

34astherest
Mar 2, 2009, 5:29pm Top

I'm starting to wonder if I started us down the wrong path by trying to clump things. I'm a clumper by nature and know the Dewey religion schedules very well (which also tends to clump). But if we want something easily extensible, then we don't want the cataloger to have to do a whole lot of digging for background information and philosophical thinking of the kind we're going through here. Maybe we should just list all religions that don't claim an affiliation with something larger under their names in alphabetical order. Thoughts?

>31 tcarter: The word "cult" applied to any religion that someone might currently be practicing used in the context of a U.S. public library is simply unacceptable. The fundamentalists cult watchers and deprogrammers have made the word have not only derogatory but to include the implication that anyone who belongs to such a religion is psychologically/religiously ill and in need of medical/spiritual intervention.

35Alixtii
Edited: Mar 2, 2009, 5:49pm Top

The alternative to clumping is, after a) the general and comparative stuff, and b) the "major" world religions each having a second-level category, having c) an "everything-else" second-level category. I think this marginalizes faiths which aren't sects of major world religions more than the clumping system does, because it rips them of their context. Paganism > Neo-Paganism > Wicca is roughly parallel to Christianity > Protestantism > Lutheranism, whereas Everything Else > Wicca is sort of insulting.

Agreed that using "cult" to refer to modern-day religious movements is out of the question.

36staffordcastle
Edited: Mar 2, 2009, 7:29pm Top

33>
Having Mithraism on the shelf next to UFO cults would just seem weird to me. I think there's an intuitive difference between new religious movements and old ones that just never caught on.


Agreed that such a juxtaposition would be very weird, but you can hardly call Mithraism a religious movement that never caught on. It was widely practiced all over the Roman Empire for quite a while; the operative factor is that it has died out, not that it never caught on.

37Alixtii
Mar 2, 2009, 7:34pm Top

36>

Trufax.

38tcarter
Mar 3, 2009, 9:05am Top

>33 Alixtii: I agree that it might be wierd (although the juxtaposition of the books might actually reflect parallels in the psychology of the development of these religions) and so where are we going to put Mithraism if we're not allowed to use the word cult, and if it's not an NRM?

>34 astherest: I have some sympathy with this, but I do think that it would be good to have a continuity of philosophy across the levels. Currently the top level is not alphabetised because grouping was found to be helpful in searching. For similar reasons I think that there are good reasons for clumping (if that is what you mean by it) in this context. For instance if I'm looking for a commentary on the Biblical book of Daniel I would like the Judaism and Christianity sections to be next to each other. As for the difficulty of cataloguing, that might be something that could be addressed in scope notes?

39Alixtii
Mar 3, 2009, 11:15am Top

>33 Alixtii:: the juxtaposition of the books might actually reflect parallels in the psychology of the development of these religions

But what, really, do those religions which have now died out and those which exist now but haven't caught on (yet) have in common that they don't share with those religions now in common practice?

where are we going to put Mithraism if we're not allowed to use the word cult, and if it's not an NRM?

Preferably somewhere which contextualizes it rather than marginalizes. The trick is to do this without creating too many second-level categories. Religion > Mystery Religions > Mithraism might work; it depends on how many categories we'd need in order to categorize the non-mystery, non-major religions. (Can anyone think of one?) Putting it under "Ancient Religions" won't work; 1st through 4th centuries C.E. might have been a long time ago, but they just ain't ancient. Maybe we could come up with a word for this time period, though.

And I don't think anyone's objected to calling Mithraism a cult. I think it obscures more than it clarifies, since contemporary manifestations of Christianity were also cults (by certain definitions of cults), but the big objection is to using "cult" to refer to currently practiced religions.

40astherest
Mar 4, 2009, 6:39pm Top

>39 Alixtii:

Were you asking for categories of non-major, non-mystery, contemporarily practiced religions?

Here are some off the top of my head:

The UFO religions
The Dadaist (for lack of a better word) "religions" like the Church of the SubGenius
Neopaganisms (among whom I wouldn't be surprised to find some neo-Mithraists)
The Afro-Caribbean religions
Native American religions
There are bunch of syncretic Chinese and Japanese religious leaders around who I don't know much about and may not even be related in a category (Like the Falun Gong folks, and the Japanese group that released nerve gas on the subway. There's also some Taiwanese woman who's name escapes me)

This is why I'm getting a little nervous about setting up categories. We could be at it for quite a while and still miss something obvious to someone else.

41laena
Mar 5, 2009, 10:56am Top

This is an inspiring discussion!

>34 astherest: & 38
Clumping is certainly a good idea for findability, as tcarter explains with the Biblical book of Daniel.

Clumping is different than grouping, which is particularly hard with religion! The Brazilian/African religions are a perfect example of this.

42tcarter
Mar 5, 2009, 11:48am Top

Could we live with this, maybe as a framework to start putting some scoping notes together, with the proviso that it is still up for debate as we go? Tertiary and so on levels as per alextii's note 25.

General Religious Thought
Comparative Religion
Atheism/Agnosticism

Mythology

Christianity
Islam
Judaism
Bahai

Hinduism
Buddhism
Sikhism
Jainism

Taoism
Confucianism
Shinto
Caodism
Chondogyo
Yiguandao

Primal Indigenous
African Traditional

Paganism
Juche
Unitarian
Rastafarianism
Zoroastrianism
Scientology
Alternative Religious Movements

43Alixtii
Edited: Mar 5, 2009, 4:57pm Top

>40 astherest:

No, I was actually looking for non-contemporary religions that might be difficult to classify. A lot of the contemporary religions can either be classed as NRMs or near the religions they grow out of. Afro-Caribbean religions and Native American religions strike me as the only ones on your list which pose a particular difficulty, and they pose a difficulty precisely because they aren't new (and shouldn't be clumped with NRMs)--as such, yes, those two do sort of fall under what I was looking for.

Is there a loose term that could possibly describe these types of religious movements without being overly colonialistic? I think somebody earlier suggested "Tribal religion"--Native American religions would probably fall under that.

44astherest
Mar 5, 2009, 5:05pm Top

>43 Alixtii:

My knowledge of non-contemporary, non-major religions is pretty fuzzy. Assuming we're going to shove all the indigenous European religions under Paganism, I'm not aware of much else besides mystery cults.

>42 tcarter:

Atheism/Agonosticism

I don't understand why this should have a separate category. Arguments for the existence of a diety/ies (as opposed to arguments about the uniqueness or existence of particular deity/ies) are going to end up under general. Why not just broaden that to be arguments for, against or for taking a neutral stance together. Books about how to live a good life without a diety/ies would be better under philosophy.

Comparative Religion

I still haven't heard any reason why this gets its own category instead of going under General. Did I miss something? Though it's certainly not worth arguing over if others feel intuitively it belongs by itself.

Mythology

Whose mythology? What we usually term "mythology" are the stories about the deities of Greco-Roman and Norse paganism. I don't see why their deity stories shouldn't go with their religion. Are there other things people were thinking would go under Mythology?

Primal Indigenous
African Traditional

I don't see the difference between these except that some of them started in Africa and some of them started elsewhere. What about Primal/Indigenous with a scope note that the indigenous European religions are with Paganism?

Zoroastrianism

Not sure why the Zoroastrians are sitting with the Rastafarians and the Scientologists and not up with the other religions of long standing.

Alternative Religious Movements

I don't like the term Alternative. Alternative to what? Most of them will see themselves as the "one true religion" not an alternative. But I can cope with it on a preliminary basis.

45tcarter
Mar 5, 2009, 5:34pm Top

We really could do with some form of voting system I think I'll post something on the process thread. anyway, for now, with the system we have:

>Atheism/Agonosticism

>I don't understand why this should have a separate category. Arguments for >the existence of a diety/ies (as opposed to arguments about the uniqueness or >existence of particular deity/ies) are going to end up under general. Why not >just broaden that to be arguments for, against or for taking a neutral stance >together. Books about how to live a good life without a diety/ies would be >better under philosophy.

I'd be OK with either a category at this level, or under general religious thought. I lean to a top level category for findability. Whilst I don't have much time for Dawkins personally, I know that a lot of people do want to read his stuff, and similar, and might not immediately know that it will be in GRT, but would know that it's going to be under Atheist :-)

>Comparative Religion

>I still haven't heard any reason why this gets its own category instead of going >under General. Did I miss something? Though it's certainly not worth arguing >over if others feel intuitively it belongs by itself.

Again, I'm fairly easy on this, and probably doesn't have the findability issues of Atheism so should go in general.

>Mythology

>Whose mythology? What we usually term "mythology" are the stories about the >deities of Greco-Roman and Norse paganism. I don't see why their deity stories >shouldn't go with their religion. Are there other things people were thinking >would go under Mythology?

I was looking for an alternative to "Ancient Religons" which seemed to have problems, didn't want to upset people with "Dead Religions" and realised that we didn't have a top level category for something that this area is meant to cover. Applying the findability test again, I think that if I were looking for something in the area you describe, I would expect to find it in a section called mythology, though I take the point that all the major religions to have their own mythologies.

>Primal Indigenous
>African Traditional

>I don't see the difference between these except that some of them started in >Africa and some of them started elsewhere. What about Primal/Indigenous with >a scope note that the indigenous European religions are with Paganism?

sounds reasonable to me

>Zoroastrianism

>Not sure why the Zoroastrians are sitting with the Rastafarians and the >Scientologists and not up with the other religions of long standing.

My ignorance, which of the clusters would it fit best in, or on its own?

>Alternative Religious Movements

>I don't like the term Alternative. Alternative to what? Most of them will see >themselves as the "one true religion" not an alternative. But I can cope with it >on a preliminary basis.

indeed

46jjwilson61
Mar 5, 2009, 6:06pm Top

My knowledge of non-contemporary, non-major religions is pretty fuzzy. Assuming we're going to shove all the indigenous European religions under Paganism, I'm not aware of much else besides mystery cults.

Well, there's the Mayan religion, and the Babylonian religion, but to tell you the truth, I'd expect to find those under History for those civilizations. Maybe dead religions should be classified in history?

47astherest
Mar 6, 2009, 7:47am Top

>Voting

Right now I think there are only four or five of us working on this, so voting seems unnecessary. I have two goals. One is to try to keep the complaints that reference librarians have to endure about the religion section to a minimum. The second is to make sure we've thought through all the major issues. I can live with a lot of variation.

Atheism et al.

>I'd be OK with either a category at this level, or under general religious thought. I lean to a top level category for findability. Whilst I don't have much time for Dawkins personally, I know that a lot of people do want to read his stuff, and similar, and might not immediately know that it will be in GRT, but would know that it's going to be under Atheist :-)

I don't disagree about the findability and was going to recommend it be the first thing in General, thus putting it at the front of the religion section. But this way it would be with books that have an opposing viewpoint

General
- General arguments about the belief in deities
-- Arguments for
-- Arguments against
-- Arguments for agnosticism

Or we could do what someone else suggested and do away with General and make them all top level categories

>Zoroastrianism

It's not my strong point either. I think it's a dualistic religion, rather than a monotheism or a polytheism, so I guess it would go by itself.

> Dead Religions

Dead today. Revived tomorrow. There are already neo-pagans, take Odinists for example, who are getting huffy about why their religious stories are with mythology and everybody else's are called religion. There must be some way to get around this.

>46 jjwilson61:
>Well, there's the Mayan religion, and the Babylonian religion, but to tell you the truth, I'd expect to find those under History for those civilizations. Maybe dead religions should be classified in history?

How do you get those nice italics?

I figured the Mayans would go with Indigenous. Most of the other Native American religions are as old (or claim to be).

But I did forget about all the Middle Eastern ones: Sumerian, Canaanite, Assyrian/Babylonian, Hittite.

The objection to Ancient was that the 4th century C.E. isn't ancient (though Ancient Rome is considered to have lasted until the 4th century C.E.) How about Pre-modern and Modern?

Other Pre-Modern European and Middle Eastern religions (3rd millenium B.C.E. to 15th century C.E.)
- Sumerian
- Egyptian
- Canaanite
- Assyrian/Babylonian
- Hittite
- Greco-Roman paganism
- Norse paganism
- Celtic
- Independent mystery religions of the pre-modern period
- Etc.

Other Modern Religions
- Rastafarians
- Afro-Caribbean/Afro-Brazilian
- Eckenkar
- Etc.

48_Zoe_
Edited: Mar 6, 2009, 8:16am Top

1st through 4th centuries C.E. might have been a long time ago, but they just ain't ancient

What are you basing this on? As a classicist, I've always thought Rome was considered ancient.

I'm a bit concerned that as we get into headings like "Other Pre-Modern European and Middle Eastern Religions" a bit of findability could be lost for the average person who just wants something on mythology. I'd rather see a heading like "Ancient Religions and Mythology" that doesn't require a specific judgement of what's considered religion and what's considered mythology, but makes it easy to find both.

49jjwilson61
Mar 6, 2009, 9:43am Top

How do you get those nice italics?

It's just HTML formatting. So to get italics put {i} before the phrase and {/i} after (except replace the squiggly brackets with angle brackets).

50astherest
Mar 8, 2009, 10:13am Top

I checked Wikipedia on New Religious movements, and the scholarly community disagrees on what date limits to set on them. "Debate surrounds the phrase "of recent origin": some authors use World War II as the dividing line after which anything is "new", whereas others define as "new" everything after the advent of the Bahá'í Faith (mid-19th century) or even everything after Sikhism (17th century)." So we're not going to settle this here. Let's drop the term.

51astherest
Mar 8, 2009, 10:35am Top

I'm going to again using tcarter's list in message 42 and the discussion since as a base. What do folks think?

General Religious Thought
- Arguments for and against belief in deity/ies (Scope note: Books on how to live a good life without a deity are under philosophy)
- How to study religion (Scope note: This area deals with studying religion from within the discipline of religion. Anthropological, Sociological and Psycological study of religion are under those disciplines.)
- Benefits/drawbacks of religion
- Origins of religion (Scope note: This area deals the origin of religion from within the discipline of religion. Anthropological, Sociological and Psycological works on the study of religion are under those disciplines.)
- Comparative religion and books that deal with multiple religions neutrally, rather than books about why one religion is better than others. For the latter, see apologetics under the religion considered better. (I'm not sure what we do with books like The Kingdom of the Cults
- Books on general spirituality (Scope note: These books do not reference a particular belief system or reference more than one)
- Normative Inter-Religious Arguments (Alixtii suggested this. I have no idea what books fit in here)
-- Feminist Inter-Religious Arguments

Christianity
Islam
Judaism
Bahai

Zoroastrianism

Hinduism
Buddhism
Sikhism
Jainism

Taoism
Confucianism
Shinto
Caodism
Chondogyo
Yiguandao

Other ancient religions and mythology (Scope note: Includes indigenous religions of Europe and the Middle East not referenced above)

Indigenous/Tribal religions (Scope note: Does not include indigenous religions of Europe and the Middle East)

Modern religons (Scope note: Independent religions arising after the 16th century C.E. not listed above)

52jjwilson61
Mar 8, 2009, 11:11am Top

It seems to me that "Benefits/drawbacks of religion" is an example of an "Argument for and against belief in deity/ies".

53laena
Mar 8, 2009, 1:00pm Top

>51 astherest:
Great list! I wonder if modern religions is a little vague for findability (e.g., people looking for the UFO cult)? But, as discussion above shows, this may be the best way to be inclusive and not derogatory.

54astherest
Mar 9, 2009, 6:34pm Top

>52 jjwilson61:

There's a bunch of material out (I don't know if any of it has made it to book form yet) about how belief/prayer/positive energy/etc. (doesn't matter what kind) can help (or hinder) things like health. Doesn't really read the same as the sometime extremely philosophical arguments that theists/atheists/agnostics tend to get into. But I can see that down at the bottom it's probably the same. I'm okay with combining them.

55astherest
Mar 12, 2009, 9:09am Top

I was going to leave this group anyway because it's too much of a time sink, but I finally figured out why this model isn't working for me (see post #12 here http://www.librarything.com/topic/59757 (the rest of the thread is interesting as well)

Based on what I now understand, Alixtii's post 25 is probably a better model than my latest. I'll leave you folks to work out the details

56tcarter
Mar 12, 2009, 10:09am Top

to be honest, I think we're just about there, there hasn't been much change between the last couple of suggested lists - just a bit of fettling. I probably won't post again now until we are working on the next levels, or some scope notes. I think we're well ahead of the other groups, so it might be some time.

57conners
Mar 20, 2009, 10:45am Top

Please check out this thread (http://www.librarything.com/topic/60594) for a link to the new OSC blog and a call for specific volunteer involvement. Thanks!

58ikus
Apr 4, 2009, 8:55pm Top

I'm a student at Pratt Institute working toward my Master's degree in library science. Me and some other fellow students have been working on building secondary classification levels for a few subjects in the OSC project.

For Religion, I referred to I BISAC a lot, and also looked at different commercial book store sites such as www.allbookstores.com DDC, LC, and even Wikipedia!.
As we know, top-level of Religion in the DDC is problematic because there
is too much Christian bias or dominance(?). OSC seems like a good
collaborative platform to build a more objective and representational classification for religion category.

Besides references that I mentioned above, I tried to be as inclusive as possible and included a category for interfaith dialog, unification church (by Rev. Moon), Vodou (aka voodoo), prehistoric religions, shamanism, etc.

Lastly, this is a first draft and I'm open for any suggestions, correction, criticism and what not. Please, browse through it with patience (it's quite long).

********************* RELIGION*****************************

RELIGION / Aaronic Priesthood (Mormon Church) see Christianity / Mormon
RELIGION / Ancient see Prehistoric Religions
RELIGION / Agnosticism
RELIGION / Antiquities & Archaeology
RELIGION / Archaeology see Antiquities & Archaeology
RELIGION / Atheism
RELIGION / Baha'i

RELIGION / Bible / Biography / General
RELIGION / Bible / Biography / New Testament
RELIGION / Bible / Biography / Old Testament
RELIGION / Bible / Commentary / General
RELIGION / Bible / Commentary / New Testament
RELIGION / Bible / Commentary / Old Testament
RELIGION / Bible / Criticism & Interpretation / General
RELIGION / Bible / Criticism & Interpretation / New Testament
RELIGION / Bible / Criticism & Interpretation / Old Testament
RELIGION / Bible / General
RELIGION / Bible / Meditations / General
RELIGION / Bible / Meditations / New Testament
RELIGION / Bible / Meditations / Old Testament
RELIGION / Bible / Reference / General
RELIGION / Bible / Reference / Atlases
RELIGION / Bible / Reference / Concordances
RELIGION / Bible / Reference / Dictionaries & Encyclopedias
RELIGION / Bible / Reference / Handbooks
RELIGION / Bible / Reference / Language Study
RELIGION / Bible / Reference / Quotations
RELIGION / Bible / Stories / General
RELIGION / Bible / Stories / New Testament
RELIGION / Bible / Stories / Old Testament
RELIGION / Bible / Studies / General
RELIGION / Bible / Studies / Bible Study Guides
RELIGION / Bible / Studies / Exegesis & Hermeneutics
RELIGION / Bible / Studies / History & Culture
RELIGION / Bible / Studies / Jesus, the Gospels & Acts
RELIGION / Bible / Studies / New Testament
RELIGION / Bible / Studies / Old Testament
RELIGION / Bible / Studies / Paul's Letters
RELIGION / Bible / Studies / Prophecy
RELIGION / Bible / Studies / Prophets
RELIGION / Bible / Studies / Wisdom Literature
RELIGION / Bibles / Catholic
RELIGION / Bibles / Evangelical
RELIGION / Bibles / God’s Word
RELIGION / Bibles / Greek
RELIGION / Bibles / Hebrew
RELIGION / Bibles / International Children’s

RELIGION / Buddhism / General
RELIGION / Buddhism / History
RELIGION / Buddhism / Rituals & Practice
RELIGION / Buddhism / Sacred Writings
RELIGION / Buddhism / Theravada
RELIGION / Buddhism / Tibetan
RELIGION / Buddhism / Zen

RELIGION / Canon & Ecclesiastical Law
RELIGION / Catechisms see Christianity / Catechisms
RELIGION / Christianity / Amish
RELIGION / Christianity / Anglicanism
RELIGION / Christianity / Baptist
RELIGION / Christianity / Calvinist
RELIGION / Christianity / Catechisms
RELIGION / Christianity / Catholicism
RELIGION / Christianity / Christian Life
RELIGION / Christianity / Christian Science
RELIGION / Christianity / Church
RELIGION / Christianity / Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormonism)
RELIGION / Christianity / Congregational see Christianity / United Church of Christ (Congregational)
RELIGION / Christianity / Denominations
RELIGION / Christianity / Discipleship
RELIGION / Christianity / Education
RELIGION / Christianity / Episcopalian
RELIGION / Christianity / Friends see Christianity / Quakers
RELIGION / Christianity / General
RELIGION / Christianity / History
RELIGION / Christianity / Holidays see headings under Holidays
RELIGION / Christianity / Holy Spirit see Christian Theology / Pneumatology
RELIGION / Christianity / Jehovah's Witnesses
RELIGION / Christianity / Literature & the Arts
RELIGION / Christianity / Lutheran
RELIGION / Christianity / Mariology
RELIGION / Christianity / Mennonite
RELIGION / Christianity / Methodism
RELIGION / Christianity / Mormon see Christianity / Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon)
RELIGION / Christianity / Orthodox
RELIGION / Christianity / Pentecostal & Charismatic
RELIGION / Christianity / Prayerbooks see Prayerbooks / Christian
RELIGION / Christianity / Presbyterian
RELIGION / Christianity / Protestant
RELIGION / Christianity / Quaker
RELIGION / Christianity / Rituals and Practice
RELIGION / Christianity / Saints & Sainthood
RELIGION / Christianity / Sermons see Sermons / Christian
RELIGION / Christianity / Seventh-Day Adventist
RELIGION / Christianity / Shaker
RELIGION / Christianity / Society of Friends see Christianity / Quaker
RELIGION / Christianity / Theology / General
RELIGION / Christianity / Theology / Angelology & Demonology
RELIGION / Christianity / Theology / Anthropology
RELIGION / Christianity / Theology / Apologetics
RELIGION / Christianity / Theology / Christology
RELIGION / Christianity / Theology / Doctrinal
RELIGION / Christianity / Theology / Ecclesiology
RELIGION / Christianity / Theology / Eschatology
RELIGION / Christianity / Theology / Ethics
RELIGION / Christianity / Theology / History
RELIGION / Christianity / Theology / Liberation
RELIGION / Christianity / Theology / Mariology
RELIGION / Christianity / Theology / Pneumatology
RELIGION / Christianity/ Theology / Process
RELIGION / Christianity / Theology / Soteriology
RELIGION / Christianity / Theology / Systematic
RELIGION / Christianity / Unitarian Universalism see Unitarian Universalism
RELIGION / Christianity / United Church of Christ (Congregational)
RELIGION / Christianity / Unification Church

RELIGION / Clergy
RELIGION / Comparative Religion
RELIGION / Confucianism
RELIGION / Counseling
RELIGION / Cults
RELIGION / Deism
RELIGION / Demonology & Satanism
RELIGION / Devotional
RELIGION / Discipleship see Christian Ministry / Discipleship
RELIGION / Eastern
RELIGION / Ecclesiastical Law see Christian Church / Canon & Ecclesiastical Law
RELIGION / Eckankar
RELIGION / Ecumenism
RELIGION / Education
RELIGION / Eschatology
RELIGION / Essays
RELIGION / Ethics
RELIGION / Ethnic & Tribal
RELIGION / Evangelism see Christian Ministry / Evangelism
RELIGION / Faith
RELIGION / Fundamentalism
RELIGION / General
RELIGION / Gnosticism
RELIGION / Hinduism / General
RELIGION / Hinduism / History
RELIGION / Hinduism / Rituals & Practice
RELIGION / Hinduism / Sacred Writings
RELIGION / Hinduism / Theology
RELIGION / History
RELIGION / Holidays / General
RELIGION / Holidays / Christian
RELIGION / Holidays / Christmas & Advent
RELIGION / Holidays / Easter & Lent
RELIGION / Holidays / Jewish
RELIGION / Holidays / Other
RELIGION / Inspirational
RELIGION / Institutions & Organizations
RELIGION / Islam / General
RELIGION / Islam / History
RELIGION / Islam / Koran & Sacred Writings
RELIGION / Islam / Law
RELIGION / Islam / Rituals & Practice
RELIGION / Islam / Shi'a
RELIGION / Islam / Sufi
RELIGION / Islam / Sunni
RELIGION / Islam / Theology
RELIGION / Interfaith Dialog
RELIGION / Jainism
RELIGION / Jewish Life see Judaism / Rituals & Practice
RELIGION / Judaism / General
RELIGION / Judaism / Conservative
RELIGION / Judaism / History
RELIGION / Judaism / Kabbalah & Mysticism
RELIGION / Judaism / Orthodox
RELIGION / Judaism / Prayerbooks, Prayers, Liturgy see Prayerbooks / Jewish
RELIGION / Judaism / Reform
RELIGION / Judaism / Rituals & Practice
RELIGION / Judaism / Sacred Writings
RELIGION / Judaism / Talmud
RELIGION / Judaism / Theology
RELIGION / Koran see Islam / Koran & Sacred Writings
RELIGION / Leadership
RELIGION / Melchizedek priesthood (Mormon Church) see Christianity / Mormon
RELIGION / Meditations
RELIGION / Messianic Judaism
RELIGION / Missions and Missionary Work
RELIGION / Monasticism
RELIGION / Mysticism
RELIGION / Other Religions
RELIGION / Philosophy
RELIGION / Prayer
RELIGION / Prayer books / Christian
RELIGION / Prayer books / General
RELIGION / Prayer books / Jewish
RELIGION / Prehistoric Religions / Paleolithic
RELIGION / Prehistoric Religions / Neolithic
RELIGION / Prehistoric Religions / Bronze Age
RELIGION / Prehistoric Religions / Iron Age
RELIGION / Psychology of Religion
RELIGION / Rastafarianism
RELIGION / Reference
RELIGION / Religion & Science
RELIGION / Religion, Politics & State
RELIGION / Rituals & Practice see specific religions
RELIGION / Rosicrucianism
RELIGION / Satanism see Demonology & Satanism
RELIGION / Scientology
RELIGION / Sermons / Christian
RELIGION / Sermons / General
RELIGION / Sermons / Jewish
RELIGION / Sexuality & Gender Studies
RELIGION / Shamanism
RELIGION / Shintoism
RELIGION / Sikhism
RELIGION / Spirituality
RELIGION / Stewardship see Christian Life / Stewardship & Giving
RELIGION / Taoism
RELIGION / Theism
RELIGION / Theology
RELIGION / Theosophy
RELIGION / Unitarian Universalism
RELIGION / Youth Ministries see Christian Education / Children & Youth
RELIGION / Vodou (aka Voodoo)
RELIGION / Zen Buddhism see Buddhism / Zen
RELIGION / Zoroastrianism

59_Zoe_
Apr 4, 2009, 9:25pm Top

"RELIGION / Ancient see Prehistoric Religions" makes no sense. I'm assuming that ancient religion should include Greek, Roman, etc., but that's not all prehistoric.

Also, there are way too many second-level categories. I don't see how this would be helpful for the average library user. Many of the second-level categories just make things more confusing. If I want Christian sermons, I'd expect to find them under Christianity, not under sermons; the same goes for prayer books. I'd also expect to find the Christian Bible under Christianity, in the same way that Koran is under Islam. I'm not sure why all aspects of Christianity get their own category, in addition to the comparatively huge number of Christianity sub-categories.

But I feel like all of this has been discussed before. I have to say, I'm disappointed that the general consensus reached in this group seems to have been entirely ignored. Rather than asking us immediately for suggestions about your new list, it would be nice if you read through the earlier discussion here and responded to the issues that have been brought up.

60imbibo
Apr 5, 2009, 1:34am Top

Zoe, even though I'm not working on this list, I am interested in the completed list you guys have come up with previously. Is there a way to post it in its entirety? Forgive me for being slow, but the lists that have been posted seem a bit fractured, as they build on previous lists; maybe this is the source of my confusion.

61_Zoe_
Apr 5, 2009, 8:01am Top

There isn't a definitive form, but there are certain characteristics that have been agreed upon. The lists in messages 51 and 25 are a good start.

Some general principles:

most people will browse and look for books by religious tradition, so these should make up the bulk of the categories at this level (tcarter in #19) This means that sermons, bibles, fundamentalism, holidays, etc. etc. etc. would go under the religion that they're part of.

That's the main distinguishing feature between your list and the earlier ones in this group: you have a much greater number of secondary categories, which I think comes at the cost of findability.

Your list is also extremely biased towards Christianity. As I said earlier, there shouldn't be a whole category for Bibles while the Koran is under Islam. Likewise, having Prayer Books: Christian, Jewish, and General is just wrong; the same goes for sermons. There hasn't been much discussion of third-level categories here, but I imagine that we won't end up with 9 for Islam and something like 40 for Christianity.

62BarkingMatt
Apr 5, 2009, 10:03am Top

And there certainly are some inconsistencies.

If you have

RELIGION / Christianity / Protestant

then all branches of protestantism should logically go there instead of ending up as

RELIGION / Christianity / Amish
RELIGION / Christianity / Anglicanism
RELIGION / Christianity / Baptist
RELIGION / Christianity / Calvinist
&c.

We have already discussed "RELIGION / Demonology & Satanism" above.

Demonology is a part of (almost ?) any religious system but the ideas about it are specific to each religion. It doesn't make much sense to lump for example Buddhist, ancient Assyrian and Christian demonology - they should go under their respective religions (and "Satanism" certainly doesn't make sense outside of the context of the specific religions that use the "name" Satan).

Similar for:

RELIGION / Clergy
RELIGION / Institutions & Organizations
RELIGION / Monasticism

63imbibo
Apr 5, 2009, 10:27am Top

> 59
> 61

Again, not my list, but i like this topic, soooo:

And you're right about the focus on Xtianity...it is heavy on it right now, but it isn't definitive, and that's why she posted here.

Questions.....About findability: what if one was in a religious library? Would it make sense for us to go ahead and insert intuitive levels here? Like If I was in a Xtian library, then the Xtian books would all be top levels, right? I know we don't actually have to put them in right now, but for exploration's sake, that's what I've done for the history category, and it could be fun for any categories. I find that it helps me focus on the second levels when I think about what could be third.

> 62

BarkingMatt, you are correct - (agh! AGAIN - not my level) what if we did this:
RELIGION / Christianity / Protestant / Amish
RELIGION / Christianity / Protestant / Anglican

and so on? That way, libs would be able to take out the designation Xtianity / Protestant, leaving the denomination, or just Amish or Anglican to leave the branch.....all to fit the needs of their institution.

I think a big concern for me is not just content, bur also structure and usability. Thoughts?

64tcarter
Apr 5, 2009, 10:31am Top

The consensus on secondary levels in this group was at message 52. The scheme proposed in 58 goes quite a way into Tertiary levels that we hadn't really gone very far into.

To be honest, as I posted in message 56 I think that any further work - either scope notes for these secondary levels (which I think is more important) or looking at tertiary levels should be based on the consensus at message 52.

I have to add my voice to those saying that it doesn't feel like the work we have already done has been recognised or incorporated.

65imbibo
Edited: Apr 5, 2009, 10:32am Top

> 62

BarkingMatt...also, I see from your profile that you're a Classical archaeologist by training...me, too! Would you be so kind as to look at the History level? I had a bit of a time with the Mediterranean section, and how it would fit into the world scheme, so it's spotty at best.

66BarkingMatt
Edited: Apr 5, 2009, 11:10am Top

Not really my subject either. And you're absolutely right that it's all about making it easy for library users to find the books.

That's why I make a strong plea for making it (for example):

Religion / Christianity / Catholicism / Clergy (e.g. the Pope)
Religion / Buddhism / Tibetan / Clergy (e.g. the Dalai Lama)

instead of

Religion / Clergy / etcetera

Not to nitpick, but because I honestly think that would be more intuitive.

p.s.: as for taking a look at history - sure, but it will have to wait until tomorrow

67jjwilson61
Apr 5, 2009, 11:40am Top

63> Tim has mentioned before the possibility of libraries stripping out the lower levels if they desire so, for example, a library with a small science collection could just shelve all their library books alphabetically by author under Science. But this is the first I've heard of the idea to strip out middle levels. At this point, I don't know if it makes sense or not but it should probably be discussed in a different forum than the Religion thread since it impacts all of OSC.

68imbibo
Apr 5, 2009, 3:30pm Top

> 67

@ jjwilson61: Yeah,that was a big question I had, the middle level stripping. I know that it's stretching the project a bit, but I think the reason I included it as a possibility was that, if this project does indeed take off (hopefully, oh joy of joys), more specialized libraries could use the OSC. As I mentioned in the >63 imbibo: about the possibility of a specialized institution, what if a Buddhist library wanted to use the system, then it would be a given that "Buddhism" would be a top level, right? And if someone was looking for Tibetan Buddhism would look directly for that section. In BarkingMatt's example it would look like this in a general library:

Religion / Buddhism / Tibetan

And like this in a Buddhist library:

Buddhism / Tibetan

Basically, I'm fantasizing about many different libraries finding this system and falling in love. :)

69imbibo
Apr 5, 2009, 3:33pm Top

> 66 BarkingMatt:

Yup, that does seem more intuitive.

70vpfluke
Apr 5, 2009, 4:05pm Top

For smaller issues in the scheme in # 58),

I'm ok with having prayer books in a separate location. I don't keep my prayer books with theological books.

Bibles/Evangelical -- perhaps Protestant is a better word. The biggest difference between a Catholic bible and a Protestant bible (including all Evangelical) is the inclusion by the former of the Apocrypha. Note, Eastern Orthodox and Anglicans have a larger Apocrypha than do Catholics. I'm not sure what "God's Word" means. The children's section of bibles should maybe instead be a subset for paraphrase versions.

For Bible Studies, I would just reduce it down to Christian scriptures (New Testament) and Hebrew scriptures, maybe one for both together.

Islam needs something on the Hadith (maybe this goes with the Qu'ran and Sacred Writings)

The Bible needs a subset for apocrypha and pseudepigrapha.

Does totemism fit under shamanism?

I might put categories like scientology, Eckancar, Rosicrucianism, and rastafarianism under Other Religions. I'm not sure where I would put Unitarian.

Under Religion/Christianity, there needs to be a subset for Eastern Orthodoxy (Greek, Russian, Serbian etc) and for Eastern Oriental Religions (non-Chalcedonic Middle-Eastern Christianity like Armenian & Coptic).

I am not sure about Holidays as a category -- these just might be subsumed under the religion or denomination in question.

Perhaps prehistoric should just be a single category, with another for the 'classical' religions which inform myths in the western world (broadly thought of, but including Greek-Roman-Norse).

71ikus
Apr 6, 2009, 8:11am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

72ikus
Apr 6, 2009, 8:16am Top

My apology if I offended anyone who's been working on building a framework so far. It was not my intention to ignore what's been out there and just throw out a new one. Due to the 'sensetive' and extensive nature of religion per se, I came up with such a huge list. One of my rationale is to include every possible known categories, so I experiemted wit the prehistoric religions.

Being aware of DDC's bias toward christianty, I felf the same way about my list as well. As many of you pointed out, 'christianity' definately needs more work.
Thanks BarkingMatt for your ideas at #62.

I'm going to spend some time this week on the christianity category by refering to some outside sources, and what's been discussed here so far. Any more criticism and suggestions will be helpful!

73jjwilson61
Apr 6, 2009, 9:44am Top

But just throwing out a new list doesn't really do any good unless you say something about how your new list is better than the old one. This is a discussion and you need to take into account what has been said before. So please, compare and contrast the two lists.

74Suncat
Apr 6, 2009, 10:43am Top

This matter, of your quartet apparently ignoring the discussions and work already accomplished here has come up on a number of these OSC threads.

You four joined LT in January and February, I'm assuming to work on this project for laena. You're her students, right? I don't mean to be rude (well, actually I do), but what have you been doing for these past couple of months while the work here has been occurring? I understand completely about the futility of trying to catch up with posts from last year. But has it been impossible to watch what's been going on since you joined, as it happens?

Yes, I'm feeling frustrated. As one of the people participating in the work so far, I absolutely don't have the energy to re-do it all and start over from scratch. I suspect I'm not alone in that feeling.

75Alixtii
Apr 6, 2009, 12:07pm Top

>58 ikus:: Me and some other fellow students have been working on building secondary classification levels for a few subjects in the OSC project.

Usually I wouldn't stoop to snarking about grammar, but I have to say, this makes me real comfortable.

76comfypants
Edited: Apr 6, 2009, 12:26pm Top

ikus, here's more or less what the group had come up with before your post:

General Religious Thought
(Atheism & Agnosticism)?
Comparative Religion
Christianity
Islam
Judaism
Bahai
Zoroastrianism
Hinduism
Buddhism
Sikhism
Jainism
Taoism
Confucianism
Shinto
Caodism
Chondogyo
Yiguandao
Ancient Religions & Mythology
Primal Indigenous (or Ethnic/Tribal)?
Paganism
Juche
Unitarian
Rastafarianism
Scientology
Modern Religions (or Alternative Religious Movements)?

If the group is going to benefit from your outside research, you must bring your work/thoughts/reasoning/etc into the discussion. Start with the above list, and explain why you want to make specific changes. (Or, if you have good reason for thinking things should start over from scratch with your "first draft," present your arguments; and I hope they're good.)

(edited to fix type-os)

77tikkun37
Apr 6, 2009, 10:40pm Top

I seriously doubt that this category can be completed until the group interested in working on it comes to a clear and shared definition of "religion." Without clearly knowing what is being classified I doubt there can be much success in classifying it. I have a suggestion from Paul Tillich. Tillich defines faith as ultimate concern. I think that definition can be extrapolated to religion itself...i.e. religion is concerned with what is ultimate in life and the universe. If that kind of working definition can be adopted it will be easier to know what to include and what to exclude and what to put in a major heading and what to put in a subheading. For example, I noted some concern about including atheism as a heading. Atheism is in fact concerned with ultimates even through it denies the existence of a personal deity. Hence, atheism can be a heading. Personally, I agree with Tillich, again, that there is essentially no such thing as a true atheist since even atheists have an ultimate concern, but that is not the problem here.

My concern is that there has to be some rational basis for what headings are chosen and for the ways they are related to each other. Nor, as a senior librarian, do I think that Dewey is a good starting point. Library of Congress classification is a better model and Colon Classification might be even better. Dewey is very limited.

78_Zoe_
Apr 6, 2009, 10:50pm Top

I think the working definition of religion has been "something that people consider a religion".

79timspalding
Apr 7, 2009, 12:38am Top

How about "something that people would think would be in the religion section of the library."

80jjwilson61
Apr 7, 2009, 12:23am Top

Under that definition science would be a religion.

81timspalding
Apr 7, 2009, 12:25am Top

Funny, but not true!

82jjwilson61
Apr 7, 2009, 10:05am Top

Then maybe I don't know by what is meant by "ultimate concern". And I'm afraid that using it as the basis for classification won't be very helpful.

83_Zoe_
Apr 7, 2009, 10:14am Top

>82 jjwilson61: I think it's a bit unclear what definition you were referring to in #80.

84Alixtii
Apr 8, 2009, 10:07pm Top

Yes, defining "religion" is not something we want to do, should do, or need to do--at least not beyond the sorts of definitions given in >78 _Zoe_: and >79 timspalding:. Presumably the religion section will include different "religions" that wouldn't fall comfortably under a singe definition of religion.

85Halieus
Apr 10, 2009, 5:54am Top

Going to jump in here. My apologies if I appear to be ignoring previous work, but I really did read every line of all of the posts in this thread, thought about them, and even read some other threads as well. (Don't hold a degree in Lib. Sci. either, but have been working in them for 20+ yrs (all DDS tho). I'm an independent consultant that has specialized in improving both business efficiency and time management (by streamlining daily tasks) for the last 15 years.)

78 I think the working definition of religion has been "something that people consider a religion".

Been involved in religious study for quite some time, and am (obviously) biased toward my own beliefs. However, I do attempt objectivity. Most of the people I know with differing belief systems all have consensus in several areas. "Religion" (as I've seen it interpreted) always contains:

A faith or belief that is scientifically unprovable (meaning, with irrefutable data, replicable results, etc.) and incorporates specific ideas on:
1. the origins of life
2. whom (or what) is (or should be) preeminent
3. a system of living, acting, and/or thinking

There are other minor aspects, but these 3 tend to hold true for all of the religions I've studied. There is a problem with using this as a "classification definition" for the subject of religion: it also includes atheism, agnosticism, philosophy, humanism, creationism, evolution, and a host of other things that aren't usually associated with religion. (This is only a problem if not explained.)

Personally, it doesn't offend me to see my beliefs lumped into such a broad categorization, nor have I encountered any "religious" individuals that were overly taken aback by this definition. However, most of the atheists, humanists, philosophers and other "deep thinkers" I've spoken with are offended by this definition. They usually seem to take issue with the fact that we (humans) hold the "preeminent" position in their belief system and some express that they are "above" the need for a "crutch" like religion -- when in fact their refutation of the beliefs of others does constitute a belief system of their own.

I think tikkun37 is correct in that it would be wise to have a consensus on what exactly constitutes "a religion" before attempting to develop a comprehensive classification system for it. Also doubt "comfort of all" is as important as "ease of classification" in a project such as this.

86Halieus
Edited: Apr 10, 2009, 8:20am Top

In looking at the lists above, all seem to adequately categorize religion (even without a working definition) to differing degrees of efficiency, but still leave some rather large "fuzzy gray areas" throughout.

Taking the list from comfypants (in 76 above), what if some of the main headings were relegated to sub- or even sub-subcategories, leaving only the most widely used, broad topics immediately under Religion?
For example:

Bahai /
--> (w/subs- listing major "denominations") *1* (w/subs- listing major "denominations")
Catholicism / *2*
Christianity-Other / *3*
--> JWs
--> LDS
--> Rastafarianism
--> Scientology
General / *4*
--> (Atheism? Agnosticism?)
--> Comparative Religion
--> Juche
Hinduism /
--> (with subs- listing major "denominations")
Islam /
--> (with subs- listing major "denominations")
Judaeo-Christianity /
--> (with subs- listing major "denominations") *5*
Judaism /
Monotheism /
--> Sikhism (with other subs- listing major belief systems)
--> Unitarian
-->
Orthodoxy /
--> (with subs- listing major belief systems)
Paganism / *6*
--> Ancient Religions & Mythology
--> Caodism
--> Chondogyo
--> Jainism
--> Confucianism
--> Neo-Paganism
--> Primal Indigenous (or Ethnic/Tribal)?
--+--> Aboriginal
--+--> N. Amer. Indians, etc.
--> Satanism
--> Shinto
--> Taoism
--> Yiguandao
--> Zoroastrianism

*1* Some religions have denominations, others have sects, schools, etc. for purposes of clarity, have referred to all as denominations.

*2* While Catholicism could be categorized under Judaeo-Christianity, it is one of the major religions of the world and should probably warrant its own designation

*3* "Christianity-Other" could include JWs, LDS, other non-traditional Judaeo-Christian Religions, and "new" "Christian" religions, thus eliminating the problem with a "Cult" classification. Some waves will probably be made by those in these religions if it's presented as a "Cults" classification, rather than a strictly "new Judaeo-Christian" religions classification.

*4* "General Religious Thought" appeared somewhat redundant in a Religion category (to me anyway). Could easily be called General, Miscellaneous, Other, etc. to shorten it and still convey the same meaning. Whatever it's called, this sub-subcategory could easily include whatever other "technically non-religious" belief systems, studies, and ideas (i.e. Environmentalism, Feminist Studies, Philosophy, etc.) that are included in Religion by whomever makes the final decision(s) on where each topic ends up in the entire completed system.

*5* Adventists, Amish, AoGs, Baptists, Charismatics, Mennonites, Methodists, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, etc. (with sects being further subdivided by individual libraries --> Southern Baptists, Regular Baptists, Missonary Baptists, etc.).
{IMO Messianic Jews would also fall into this category, since they accept the New Testament as well as the Torah & Talmud -- Jews reject the NT in it's entirety.}

*6* I don't particularly like using "Paganism" to refer to so such a diverse group of religions, but there are so many smaller religions (and numerous off-shoots of most of them) that seem to be too small to warrant a full subcategory under Religion. This was the only way I could think of to categorize them together without using continental (African, Asian, East Asian, North American, etc.) designations. I'm not familiar with some of these, they may belong in "Monotheism" instead.

=============

If something similar to this example were used, all of the previously mentioned Religions would be contained in about a dozen major subcategories. With so few, it would be feasible to leave the option to each library to determine which other religion(s) were put in the "top level" of Religion, and which should be left in their respective subcategories.

Granted (in this example), many of the sub-sub- and sub-sub-subcategories could end up being monstrous, but I don't think that would be a problem with most libraries (even those in religious institutions) as each would have a major focus on their own belief systems and expect those portions to be large.

No matter which example one uses (this one, or any of the others above), it's still (IMO) most important to know what exactly should be included in (or discarded from) the overall category of Religion.

87PortiaLong
Edited: Apr 10, 2009, 8:26am Top

While I am generally a fan of collapsing categories into broader catagories I have a couple thoughts:

1.) I don't know that Scientology should be found under "Christianity." The Scientologists claim that their beliefs are compatable with ALL other religious systems. So it seems rather unfair to foist them off on the Christians...

Their introductory handbook What is Scientology? states:

"In Scientology there is no attempt to change a person's beliefs or to persuade him away from any religion to which he already belongs."

"Scientology is all-denominational in that it opens its membership to people of all faiths."

"Membership in Scientology does not mean that there is any necessity to leave your current church, synagogue, temple or mosque."

"Scientology respects all religions. Scientology does not conflict with other religions or other religious practices.


2.) It seems counter intuitive to me that you have a secondary category Judaeo-Christianity - that does not include Judaism or Christianity. And a Christianity catogory that doesn't include Catholocism. If the Catholics see a big section "Christianity" I think they are going to expect to find their stuff there - and won't intuitively look around for a completely different section. I think it makes sense to put Judaeo-Christian religious next to each other in the classification scheme:

Judaism
Christianity
- Catholicism
- Protestantism
Islam
Other Judeao-Christian Religions
- sub
- sub

I don't know that much about Unitarianism - my first stab if I were looking for it would be:
Christianity --> Protestantism --> Unitarian
Second stab would be:
Other Judeao-Christian Religions
If I didn't find it their I would have to go to the catologue.

3.) I don't have a mental bucket labelled "Monotheism" - and if I did I would think it included ALL of the monotheistic religions (including Judaism and Christianity) and not just the non-Judaism, non-Christian, non-Catholic, non-Islam ones.

Again, if you wanted to sort out the monotheistic from the non-theistic (Buddhism) and multi-theistic (Hinduism) religious you could do this with the order of the Classifications - so that the mono's end up next to each other etc.

88DeusExLibrus
Apr 10, 2009, 2:20pm Top

There's also the fact that, correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm not sure Rastafarianism is Christian.

89Halieus
Apr 13, 2009, 1:06pm Top

88 -> Rastafarianism isn't "Christian" as I would define it, but it is a mix of Judeo-Christian beliefs and.... well, I'm not sure where they got some of their ideas, but there is an identifiable similarity.

90Halieus
Apr 13, 2009, 7:13pm Top

(Was out of town for the weekend... drove for 9+ hours so had plenty of time to mull on this.)

87 (PortiaLong) -->

1) Personally, I consider Scientology a "cult" and it actually is offensive to me to have them lumped into "Christianity." I was attempting to file them in a place that would be least offensive to the most people, yet still intuitive to locate.

(Regardless of statements in their literature, Scientology does seek to promote schisms in as many other religions as possible, they're also one of the most personally-controlling religions on the planet today. They actively seek converts from every religion, but their belief system is completely incompatible with every type of Catholic and Protestant belief systems I've studied.)

That said, I don't see anything advantageous in placing them in a "Cults" category. I kinda like using "non-traditional" but that would only be relevant to those people with similar beliefs as mine (i.e. non-traditional in the context of western civilization as I know it).

Not 100% sure where they would best be placed, but I put them in "Christianity > Other" in the list below (until more people chime in with their input). Does that fit with what you were trying to convey?

2.) You're correct; only broke Catholicism out of Judaeo-Christianity because it is one of the larger religions in the world. Hadn't considered that it would be offensive for some to not find their religion listed in a "Christian" category.

2) A) Hope I haven't missed your point.

I like having no "Judaeo Christian" category. Seems much less specific & more accurate. It would seem (to me) to be more helpful to place an "Other" in Christianity as well -- to catch the many offshoots (&/or blends) of traditional Christianity. (BTW, included Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, etc. in this list as well -- forgot them before.)

Judaism
Christian
- Anglican
- Catholic
- Episcopalian
- Protestant
- Orthodoxy
- Other
Islam
Other

Not sure what would go in Other as a main sub that could not be given it's own heading or combined with something else?

2) B) Unitarians have a similar system of beliefs as Protestants, but most Unitarians reject the belief of the trinity of the Godhead, and very few "Christians" do that. (Since Muslims also reject a unified trinity, but don't have many other similar beliefs as Christians, I would hesitate to put Unitarians too far from the "Christian" category.)

I think your second example might be offensive to a few Unitarians (not the majority), but would be more accurate placed here:
Christianity
- Other
- - Unitarian

2) C) You didn't mention this, but in thinking of Unitarians then reading DeusExLibrus' post (88) I started thinking on this track:

At first glance, I wouldn't hesitate to categorize Rastafarians with Unitarians. They're different from each other, but both have some similar beliefs as Christians as a whole. Also I've spoken with several Rastafarians (no Unitarians yet) that consider themselves "Christian" even tho their beliefs are a blend of Christianity and something else. Many of the other "blended" religions also consider themselves Christian (even tho most traditional Christians would reject them), and could fall under "Pagan" or "Christian" depending upon what they believe and how everyone here decides they should be categorized.

3) Again, I agree; don't have a "mental bucket" labeled "Monotheism" in my head either. =)

Was trying to get around using "East Asian Religions" and "Central Asian Religions" and "African Religions" etc. in the major subcategories. Placing each directly in the top-level of Religion was the only other way I thought of to circumvent region-specific subs.

Here are the remaining Religions I got from the list above. Guess they could be top-levels under Religion (or sub-levels), anyone have an idea/suggestion on condensing them more tightly? or perhaps rearranging them more efficiently/intuitively?

BAHAI
HINDUISM
--> (+ subs)
ISLAM
--> (+ subs)
SIKHISM (? maybe small for a top level ?)
PAGANISM
(^-- not 100% sure on all of these, but pretty sure they all fit in Paganism)
--> Ancient (Extinct?) Religions & Mythology
--> Caodism
--> Chondogyo
--> Jainism
--> Confucianism
--> Neo-Paganism
--> Primal Indigenous (Ethnic? Tribal? fell into region specific tags again.)
-- + --> Aboriginal (?)
-- + --> Native N. Amer. Religions (?)
-- + --> Native S. Amer. Religions (?) (etc.)
--> Satanism
--> Shinto
--> Taoism
--> Yiguandao
--> Zoroastrianism

4) This one is totally unrelated to your post, but was looking back at some of the previous discussions above. Was thinking about how one could best go about categorizing Messianic Judaism, and trying to figure out the "why" of it. I see 4 possibilities: any of numbers 1, 2, or 3 would be better, and #4 the worst. (Explanation of "why" below each place "Messianic Judaism" is listed below.) Put a few other (mostly self-explanatory) remarks below. {The ones related to Messianic Judaism are noted by (^--#1 to ^--#4).}

JUDAISM
--> Messianic Judaism
(^--#1: They accept Jewish books, but also the New Testament (like Christians); so other Jews reject them)

CHRISTIANITY
--> ANGLICAN
--> CATHOLIC
--> EPISCOPALIAN
(both Anglican and Episcopalian are direct offshoots of Catholicism. Could also be subs of "Catholic" rather than of all Christianity.)
--> Messianic Judaism
(^--#2: Their Bible is similar to most Christians' Bible & most Christians accept them)
--> ORTHODOX
-- + --> Greek
-- + --> Russian
-- + --> Ukranian (etc.)
--> PROTESTANT
-- + --> Adventist
-- + --> Amish
-- + --> Baptist
-- + --> Mennonite
-- + --> Messianic Judaism
(^--#3: Their Bible and beliefs are most similar to Protestants, but they still consider themselves Jews)
-- + --> Methodist
-- + --> Presbyterian (etc.)
--> OTHER
(including non-traditional Christianity &/or blends of Christianity and something else)
-- + --> LDS (?)
-- + --> J.W.s (?)
-- + --> Messianic Judaism
(^--#4: Blend of Judaism and Protestantism. Still accepted by most Christians)
-- + --> Rastafarian (?)
-- + --> Scientology (?)
-- + --> Unitarian (?)

GENERAL / *1*
--> Agnosticism (??)
--> Atheism (??)
--> COMPARATIVE RELIGION
--> Environmentalism (??) Feminist Studies (??)
--> Juche (??)
--> Philosophy (??)

*1* When a definition of what belongs under the "Religion" category is solidified, it should be obvious which of these (??) in "General" should be removed, or should remain in Religion, and if there should be any further category additions.

91jjwilson61
Apr 13, 2009, 7:54pm Top

You have to remember that OCS is not intended to be a method of classifying all knowledge. It's just a way to shelve books in a library so most patrons will be able easily find them. So it doesn't really matter that some religions are off-shoots of Catholicism. Instead I think it makes more sense to organize all the religions under a few broad categories, hopefully carefully chosen so that there are as few as possible religions that could be classified in more than one category.

92timspalding
Edited: Apr 13, 2009, 11:01pm Top

>91 jjwilson61:

I haven't read much of this thread—although I dip into it from time to time and come away with the feeling that people aren't getting that point. The goal isn't to organize knowledge, perfectly, fairly or otherwise. The goal is to organize books as best as one can—to make it maximally clear where a book should go and be, if someone wants to look for it. In this world, a tomato is a vegetable, and we don't necessarily need to argue about the 50 varieties of blueberries.

Incidentally, if the goal is to classify books, I'd favor putting Unitarianism in Christianity. They took a long time to get where they are—a religion with self-professing Chrstians in it, but not as a body confessedly Christian. Wherever you put Unitarians you're going to want to put books about Unitarian history—for example, anti-slavery work—and most of that is definitely in the Christian field. And although not confessing Christians, there can be little doubt their whole culture, architecture, political structures, organization of prayer books, etc. is far more like Christianity than anything else. We don't need to talk about "essences" to establish that most people would want to find them in or near the Christian books, not over by the Norse gods.

93Halieus
Apr 14, 2009, 2:45am Top

91:

My county's Main Library (1 of about 40 locations) has 7 floors... I don't know how many million volumes total (including videos, CDs, DVDs, a patent library repository, etc.) are here in just our county's collections, but that's the minimum scale I envision when working on the OCS.

Therefore, my thoughts on the system are:

If all the works in the LoC can't be classified with this system,
Then they all can't be organized.
If they can't all be organized,
Then they all can't be shelved.
If they can't all be shelved,
Then I'm wasting my time in even attempting an OCS.

So while I'd agree with you that the ultimate goal is shelving books, if this system is incapable of classifying all knowledge, then what good is it?

(I'm not trying to be a smart alek, rude, or condescending -- just making an observation... kinda sick too, so not doing very well in concentrating on tact either.)

======= complete change of subject =======

I started attempting a phylogenetic tree of "Christian" religions to better organize the sub- and sub-subcategories of Protestantism (because I have yet to find any that are comprehensive and correct).

This one: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b7/Christian_denominations_tree_... is a good start and in it's simplicity is my model, but it's quite sparse for what I wanted.

And this one (with much more detail) has numerous errors that I can see in just a cursory examination: http://homepages.csp.edu/tesch/Documents/ChristianChurchFamil.jpg

94Halieus
Apr 14, 2009, 2:49am Top

92: We don't need to talk about "essences" to establish that most people would want to find them in or near the Christian books, not over by the Norse gods.

Very funny =)
Wife asked why I was laughing.

95jjwilson61
Apr 14, 2009, 9:59am Top

I agree that one of the minimun requirements of the system is that all books must have a place within it. However, are you building a system where someone has to know the relationship of the Eastern Orthodox Church to the Michigan Synod before he can find either of them?

96timspalding
Edited: Apr 14, 2009, 11:26am Top

I think we need to divide Christianity along larger lines than the "denomination." Putting Catholic on the same level as Quakers and Shakers, which are historically very closely related and, well, tiny, is strange. It strikes me as very American-Protestant—a world of little independent churches, ignoring that at the higher levels the history and theological differences of Christianity more resemble a tree than a grenade.

Strange or not, a basic principle of OSC is that want as many levels as libraries may choose to split or aggregate under. That is, a small library may want books aggregated under Christianity. A slightly larger one may choose high-level headings like "Protestant," "Catholic" and "Orthodoxy." They shouldn't be forced to choose between "Christianity" and more atomic designations like Quakers and Shakers. Such a library may well have enough books to split usefully at the former level, but splitting at the Quaker/Shaker level would leave lots of slots with one or two books, if that.

In all of this, we should be careful not to leave the division at Protestant, Catholic and "Orthodox," but at least include a "misc." category. In common western-European parlance, "Orthodox" includes groups that are not in communion with each other, and indeed quite different—ie., modern Non-Chalcedonian Christians, not to mention dead sects like Marcionites. "Orthodox" too often means "people tans and curly hair who wear fancy clothing."

97Halieus
Edited: Apr 14, 2009, 3:09pm Top

95 > Had to smile at that one too. =)

Obvious answer is no. (I'd stop with major denominations if it were critical for those with extensive religious libraries to go further, would think they could pick it up from there... since it is to be open source.)

In thinking on it more tho, I actually hadn't considered this being used in anything but an automated (computer search-able) catalog (haven't used anything except a computer catalog myself in almost 10 years). Do many people (in developed nations) still use physical card catalogs?

I'd hope that a computer search (for either) would bring up both.

98jjwilson61
Apr 14, 2009, 3:59pm Top

If you only used a computer to locate your books the classification system wouldn't matter. You could put them in random order and the computer could tell you where to find it. I believe we need to think more along the lines of someone walking into the library and going to the religion section and then following the signs on the shelves to find what he/she wants.

99Aberjed23
Apr 30, 2009, 5:07am Top

(e.g., the year Luther started the Reformation, the year of the founding of the Church of England, or the year Wesley founded Methodism)?

NOT different religions, merely different denominations..the Church of England was NOT part of the protestant reformation. Wesleynism was a sect not a religion or a denomination.

100Aberjed23
Apr 30, 2009, 5:15am Top

"In this world, a tomato is a vegetable"

No! the Tomato is a fruit

101timspalding
Edited: Apr 30, 2009, 6:25am Top

You are perhaps not getting my point. If you are a biologist, it is a fruit. If you are stocking a grocery store, you put it in vegetables because that's where people expect to see it. Ditto something like mushrooms. You don't put all the fungi together far away from the rest because fungi are some different biologically. (Under this logic, you might put them closer to the carnivorous meat section, because fungi eat things.) Mushroom are just a type of vegetable to the shopper.

102Suncat
Apr 30, 2009, 9:43am Top

>101 timspalding: (Under this logic, you might put them closer to the carnivorous meat section, because fungi eat things.)

I'd like to know how many grocery stores stock carnivorous animals in their meat sections.

103Alixtii
Apr 30, 2009, 9:43am Top

Why all the focus on the tomato? Peppers and cucumbers are fruits, and yet no one gets heated up about their classification.

104timspalding
Apr 30, 2009, 12:07pm Top

Who hasn't enjoyed a nice piece of alligator. Or lion. Which brings us back to Christians!

105Suncat
Apr 30, 2009, 12:13pm Top

I did enjoy the alligator steak--but that was at a restaurant, not at grocery store. I'm still doubting they stock it in the groceries, even in Florida (where the restaurant was).

Of course, someone in Florida can provide the proper counter-example?

106PossMan
Apr 30, 2009, 2:57pm Top

~101: Personally I don't think grocery stores are all that hot on classification. My local Tesco thinks dried mushrooms are totally different from normal mushrooms. Ground Parmesan cheese doesn't go anywhere near real cheese. Milk doesn't go with other drinks such as soda water. It doesn't even sit near tea bags which is possibly (in UK) the most sensible location. Not that I touch the stuff.

107vpfluke
Apr 30, 2009, 5:23pm Top

In my area (Long Island) jars of pimentos are kept in one area and cans of sliced up red peppers are kept several aisles away.

108maggiezee
May 11, 2009, 2:34pm Top

A priest and rabbi and a guru walk into a library...

My view is that any decision about where LDS, UU, Jim Jones and the like are classified will be cause for controversy. How about a category named "murky"? :}

How about this... Have a category for each sect that has its own sacred writing. The Roman Catholics have one Bible, Protestants another, the Mormons another. For ones that don't have a text they could be given another category with the subdivisions of their own name. Like UU's probably don't have their own text so they would go under this category. So the point would be which writing do they follow that is the category they would go into.

I would not put atheists in this section at all. The whole point is that atheists don't view religion as a viable option. why make atheists go to a section on religion to find information?

PS: I like to refer to "catholism" according to which catholicism you mean. Specifially, I say a person is Roman Catholic or Roman. Catholic means universal and many would argue that the Roman Catholic church is not the universal church. Do know there are some Christians who think that Roman Catholics are not even Christian1?! It truly makes religious categorization difficult.

109BarkingMatt
May 11, 2009, 3:06pm Top

I don't think it would be very productive to classify religions by what other religions think of them. We would simply end up with "believers" and "unbelievers"...

The problem with not putting books on atheism here would be that those books still deal with religion - just from a skeptical point of view. Where else would you put them?

110droogmark
May 11, 2009, 8:49pm Top

>108 maggiezee:, I can't see how the sacred text issue is very workable - lumping together religions without a text seems pretty arbitrary. Plus it just doesn't seem very precise. We already know the interconnections/divergences between Protestents, Catholics, Mormons, Jews, etc. It's unnecessary to define them by which text they subscribe to.

As far as atheists are concerned - it's right there in the name: they are primarily concerned with the (lack of a) presence of a deity. I agree with BarkingMatt that there's nowhere else to put them, but I wouldn't want to anyway. They are discussing religion, by definition, just from a skeptical perspective. If they aren't discussing religion (ie, Richard Dawkins's evolution books and Chris Hitchens's political writings) then the books don't go under atheism anyway.

111BarkingMatt
May 12, 2009, 5:20am Top

If they aren't discussing religion (ie, Richard Dawkins's evolution books and Chris Hitchens's political writings) then the books don't go under atheism anyway.

Exactly - those belong under "biology" and "politics". And books like The God Delusion really do belong here since their topic is religion. I can understand people wanting to put them in a somewhat separate category (instead of something like "general theology") - hence "atheism" as a sub-category.

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