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OrthodoxWiki:Style Manual (Point of View)

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A key concept in the way OrthodoxWiki functions is what we call "neutral point of view," or "N.P.O.V." This concept is borrowed from Wikipedia, but has been adapted to fit our Orthodox community and confession of faith.{{policy}}
{{shortcut|NPOV}}A key concept in the way OrthodoxWiki functions is what we call "neutral point of view," or "N.P.O.V." This concept is borrowed from Wikipedia, but has been adapted to fit our Orthodox community and confession of faith. '''OrthodoxWiki''' purposes to present the Orthodox Christian viewpoint throughout the site. Articles on '''OrthodoxWiki''' will be, so far as is reasonably possible, worded from a '''neutral point of view''' (NPOV). That is, disputes between Orthodox Christian groups will be characterized and described rather than entered into. Continue reading for further clarification. (Also see [[Wikipedia:NPOV]] for Wikipedia's version of the NPOV policy, which is essentially largely compatible with '''OrthodoxWiki''' policy.)
Further, for administrative purposes, '''OrthodoxWiki''' is governed by what is called the '''''Mainstream Chalcedonian Bias''''' (MCB). By ''Chalcedonian'' we refer to those churches of the [[Orthodox Church]] who hold to the decrees of the [[Fourth Ecumenical Council]] at Chalcedon (A.D. 451). By ''Mainstream'' we refer to those "official" churches comprised of the fourteen or fifteen [[autocephaly|autocephalous]] and the [[autonomy|autonomous]] churches generally recognized as the "mainstream" of the [[Orthodox Church]] -- —for those of us in North America, this will be all [[SCOBAAssembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America|Episcopal Assembly]] jurisdictions and those with whom they're in communion.
===What the Bias Means===
The main places that the bias will apply will be in terms of naming. Naming is of course important, and the names by which we call things indicate what we believe about them. As is evident to anyone who knows anything of [[Church History]], names are a potentially inflammatory topic. What might be termed ''namespace'' will be given priority in terms of the MCB. So, for instance, an article called '''[[Church of Alexandria]]''' will refer to the Chalcedonian body by that name, whereas one called '''[[Church of Alexandria (Coptic)]]''' will refer to the non-Chalcedonian body by that name. It applies similarly with regard to parallel hierarchies along other disputational lines, so the official chuch church in Greece will have its article named '''[[Church of Greece]]''' and not '''Church of Greece (State Church)''' (which is how some groups might refer to it).
Additionally, the MCB is in effect in terms of the content in articles, so articles on MC churches will not include content indicating in direct factual terms that they are heretics, schismatics, etc.
Further, articles on [[:Category:Non-Orthodox|Nonnon-Orthodox Christian]] religious groups, while necessarily including some general description of those groups, should have as their primary content the relationship and history of that group in relation to the [[Orthodox Church]]. For the encyclopedic purposes of '''OrthodoxWiki''', Nonnon-Chalcedonian and non-Mainstream mainstream churches which identify themselves as Orthodox and are not "self-starters" (i.e., taking the name ''Orthodox'' to themselves without any historic origin in the Orthodox Church) will be considered to be Orthodox in terms of categorization and article content—that is, they do not have to be included in [[:Category:Non-Orthodox]] or focus their article content primarily on their relationship to the Mainstream Chalcedonian churches (though of course that should be covered).
[[Episcopi vagantes|Vagante]] groups with no history of being within the Mainstream, Chalcedonian Orthodox Church or any substantial history of interaction with it (thus affecting its history), while occasionally being mentioned on '''OrthodoxWiki''', will should not have articles dedicated to them(unless the article is justified as with other non-Orthodox groups as above).
===What the Bias Does Not Mean===
It's for administrative reasons as much as anything else. '''OrthodoxWiki''' is owned and operated by a priest of the [[Orthodox Church in America]], a mainstream Chalcedonian church. Also, if we think carefully, we realize that there must be some sort of bias regarding the issues outlined above, or else we'd have the potential for perpetual renaming and revision wars, all in one massive conflict. '''OrthodoxWiki''' is, after all, editable by anyone with an Internet connection.
Additionally, the administration feels that the bias is warranted along what might be termed "definitional usage" lines -- —that is, the rest of the world, when looking for information about Orthodoxy, tends to think definitionally in MCB terms. That is, it would probably look for an article on the [[Church of Russia]] (i.e., the Moscow Patriarchate) rather than one on the so-called [[Suzdalites]] when searching for "Russian Orthodoxy." Thus, the MCB helps prevent confusion.
Of course, the MCB cannot prevent all confusion or conflict, but we hope that it will help. Where extra attention needs to be paid, extra care will be taken when the time comes. We ask you that, while we are certainly trying to be ''Orthodox'', we take special care also to be ''Christian''.
==Personal and Community pages==
Personal opinions may be expressed on "User" and "User_Talk" pages, which are not subject to NPOV. It is understood that these pages may represent the personal views of their authors. All conversation should be kept civil, however. Also, not everything is allowed on personal pages. For example, anything that is clearly unorthodox will be removed or edited. Final say in all these matters rests with the administrator(s).  Although user pages may be edited, OrthodoxWiki administration does not, of course, have the right to change users' own words in such a way as to misrepresent what they are saying about themselves. We may edit or even censor, but we won't twist.
Community pages tend to represent what we might call the "Community Point of View," a mentality which has developed through interaction with the various personalities and circumstances of the OrthodoxWiki community. Often, it will be the voice of practical wisdom that comes from involvement in this kind of wiki project.
Thus, OrthodoxWiki may be envision envisioned as a grouping of spaces, : some personal, ; some community-oriented, ; and some more documentary, of a public character.
==See also==
*[[OrthodoxWiki:Style Manual]]
*[[meta:Neutral point of view]]
[[Category:Style Manual]]
[[fr:OrthodoxWiki:Manuel de style (point de vue)]]
[[ro:OrthodoxWiki:Manual de stil (Punctul de vedere)]]
interwiki, renameuser, Administrators

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