Initial feedback on Confessional Documents section

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Oct 7 2015 1:39 AM

Thanks for the new Confessional Documents section. I think this is a great idea. 

Here is some initial feedback:

  1. In order for it to appear in the Passage Guide, I had to add it manually. I think it should be on by default.
  2. I am a little confused as to why you chose to change the categories a bit from the PG Systematic Theologies section. I was pretty happy, for example, with the Patristic / Medieval / Modern Catholic division. Why not use this division as well for this Guide? I would find that much more helpful than the "Ecumenical"?? division, especially as that could apply for modern documents as well as ancient.
  3. I would like to be able to filter the Guide by confession. So, normally for me, for example, I would want to be able to filter by Patristic + Medieval + Modern Catholic. I would like the filter to be saved/savable so I don't have to apply it every time.
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Rick Brannan (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 7 2015 6:16 AM

Fr Devin Roza:
In order for it to appear in the Passage Guide, I had to add it manually. I think it should be on by default.

Agreed, and this is on my list of items to report.

Fr Devin Roza:
I am a little confused as to why you chose to change the categories a bit from the PG Systematic Theologies section. I was pretty happy, for example, with the Patristic / Medieval / Modern Catholic division. Why not use this division as well for this Guide? I would find that much more helpful than the "Ecumenical"?? division, especially as that could apply for modern documents as well as ancient.

One basic issue is that with creeds in particular, several volumes are compilations of creeds and other documents. And they include material from all different time periods, not just a particular era. The use of "Ecumenical" seems more appropriate because, as you note, it allows for more modern documents as well as ancient in the same resource.

Fr Devin Roza:
I would like to be able to filter the Guide by confession. So, normally for me, for example, I would want to be able to filter by Patristic + Medieval + Modern Catholic. I would like the filter to be saved/savable so I don't have to apply it every time.

Me too. Allowing filtering of sections and storing guide section properties are good suggestions; and they would also apply to the Systematic Theology section and the Grammars section (all of these use the same underlying code). Assuming Eli doesn't beat me, I'll file this as an issue as well.

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 7 2015 6:24 AM

Rick Brannan (Faithlife):

Fr Devin Roza:
I am a little confused as to why you chose to change the categories a bit from the PG Systematic Theologies section. I was pretty happy, for example, with the Patristic / Medieval / Modern Catholic division. Why not use this division as well for this Guide? I would find that much more helpful than the "Ecumenical"?? division, especially as that could apply for modern documents as well as ancient.

One basic issue is that with creeds in particular, several volumes are compilations of creeds and other documents. And they include material from all different time periods, not just a particular era. The use of "Ecumenical" seems more appropriate because, as you note, it allows for more modern documents as well as ancient in the same resource.

But aren't you classifying the specific Creed / document / section of the book, and not the entire book itself?

In which case, using "Patristic" and "Medieval" should still be possible, and maybe you could then reserve "Ecumenical" for more modern-day cross-denominational creeds or declarations. 

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Rick Brannan (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 7 2015 6:42 AM

Fr Devin Roza:
But aren't you classifying the specific Creed / document / section of the book, and not the entire book itself?

No, it's the resource itself that gets that level of classification.

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 7 2015 6:51 AM

Rick Brannan (Faithlife):

Fr Devin Roza:
But aren't you classifying the specific Creed / document / section of the book, and not the entire book itself?

No, it's the resource itself that gets that level of classification.

OK. I hope you can consider the classification of Confessional Documents on an individual section of the book level for a future version.

While for Systematic Theologies classifying on a book level is fine, I think that for Confessional Documents the type of technology used to tag the Cultural Concepts or Ancient Literature could offer some important advantages.

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Rick Brannan (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 7 2015 6:57 AM

Fr Devin Roza:
the type of technology used to tag the Cultural Concepts or Ancient Literature could offer some important advantages

Not disputed. But Cultural concepts was completely manual annotation by a team of up to three people for a relatively long period of time. Ancient Literature was a mix, but with Ancient Literature the grouping (Church Fathers, Josephus, Ancient Near-Eastern, etc.) is all resource-level.

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 7 2015 7:56 AM

Rick Brannan (Faithlife):

Fr Devin Roza:
the type of technology used to tag the Cultural Concepts or Ancient Literature could offer some important advantages

Not disputed. But Cultural concepts was completely manual annotation by a team of up to three people for a relatively long period of time. Ancient Literature was a mix, but with Ancient Literature the grouping (Church Fathers, Josephus, Ancient Near-Eastern, etc.) is all resource-level.

Understood. I think it's the type of tagging, however, that over time will make more sense for Faithlife to take on, as you move little by little into the tagging not only of the Bible but of the more important writings in the history of Christianity. 

Could you explain a bit what is meant by Ecumenical? From the way the books are classified, I am guessing you are limiting it to books that just report the Creeds or documents with little or no interpretive comment? 

May I also suggest "The Sources of Catholic Dogma" be included? When Catholics think of a book that is a collection of confessional documents, the first book that comes to mind is very often Denzinger. 

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Rick Brannan (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 7 2015 8:59 AM

Fr Devin Roza:
Could you explain a bit what is meant by Ecumenical?

Basically, when a document or set of documents includes one or more of the so-called "Ecumenical" creeds (e.g. Apostles Creed, Nicene, Athanaisian); or a document is claimed by a wide range of groups. From a chronological perspective, it essentially replaces the Patristic+Medieval in Systematic Theologies. Like everything else, it gets tricky quickly, largely because preserving Patristic+Medieval would mean classifying works that are neither with those labels. Using "Ecumenical" cues the language to the ecumenical creeds and prevents stuff written/composed in the modern era with being classified as something patristic or medieval.

Fr Devin Roza:
May I also suggest "The Sources of Catholic Dogma" be included?

I'll add it to the list of things to be considered.

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 7 2015 9:32 AM

Rick Brannan (Faithlife):

Fr Devin Roza:
Could you explain a bit what is meant by Ecumenical?

Basically, when a document or set of documents includes one or more of the so-called "Ecumenical" creeds (e.g. Apostles Creed, Nicene, Athanaisian); or a document is claimed by a wide range of groups. From a chronological perspective, it essentially replaces the Patristic+Medieval in Systematic Theologies. Like everything else, it gets tricky quickly, largely because preserving Patristic+Medieval would mean classifying works that are neither with those labels. Using "Ecumenical" cues the language to the ecumenical creeds and prevents stuff written/composed in the modern era with being classified as something patristic or medieval.

With documents it's clear. Where it's not so clear to me is whether the Ecumenical title could or should extend beyond that.

To make my question more concrete, the place where it surprised me a bit was with Kelly's work, which is today used in so many universities and seminaries both Protestant and Catholic. What was the criteria used with these types of works?

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Rick Brannan (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 7 2015 9:48 AM

Fr Devin Roza:
I would like to be able to filter the Guide by confession. So, normally for me, for example, I would want to be able to filter by Patristic + Medieval + Modern Catholic. I would like the filter to be saved/savable so I don't have to apply it every time.

Now, something you may have already done is create a collection of these resources (the documentation will be available sometime during the beta, and it will list resources by classification) and then use the Settings drop-down in the guide section to select that collection.

I realize the collection isn't remembered (I think) as a guide preference, but collections are one way to filter the display down to a particular group of resources.

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Jonathan Haas | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 7 2015 11:03 AM

Fr Devin Roza:

  1. In order for it to appear in the Passage Guide, I had to add it manually. I think it should be on by default.

Hi Father Roza,

This has been fixed internally and will go out in an upcoming beta.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 7 2015 12:58 PM

Rick Brannan (Faithlife):

Fr Devin Roza:
But aren't you classifying the specific Creed / document / section of the book, and not the entire book itself?

No, it's the resource itself that gets that level of classification.

Ouch! that explains some anomalies I saw with the 3 volumes of Schaff. And what would you do with Pelikan's Creeds ... which should be in Logos?

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 7 2015 1:09 PM

Jonathan Haas:

Fr Devin Roza:

  1. In order for it to appear in the Passage Guide, I had to add it manually. I think it should be on by default.

Hi Father Roza,

This has been fixed internally and will go out in an upcoming beta.

Thanks Jonathan!

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 7 2015 1:10 PM

Some additional thoughts:

  • On some items, e.g. the Lutheran Triglotta or Catholic Latin/Spanish/English documents, it makes no sense to the user that one language is included but not all.
  • Less than a third of my creed & confession collection appears to be coded for this section. Again I plead for making Logos automatic collections visible so that I can exclude them from my collections. This issue applies broadly - outlines, systematic theology ...
  • With Labels as used in sermons, the user has the option of forcing materials not tagged by Logos into the Sermon section ... very useful when I want the early church fathers and Logos wants modern guys I've scarcely heard of. A generalized capability to force the coding Logos has backlogged is important.
  • I second Fr. Roza's concerns re: "ecumenical" ... I had automatically assumed that it meant the Ecumenical Councils and had asked about it in another thread.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 7 2015 1:52 PM

MJ. Smith:

Rick Brannan (Faithlife):

Fr Devin Roza:
But aren't you classifying the specific Creed / document / section of the book, and not the entire book itself?

No, it's the resource itself that gets that level of classification.

Ouch! that explains some anomalies I saw with the 3 volumes of Schaff. And what would you do with Pelikan's Creeds ... which should be in Logos?

Yes for Pelikan...

Along with the fantastic studies of Grillmeier.

Works of the academic level of Pelikan's, Grillmeier's, and Kelly's are of interest to all faith confessions... at least within academia.

I guess what I would really like to see in a PG section for Confessional Documents would be something like a list of Creeds or Documents which are relevant to a Biblical passage (along with commentaries on those creeds that mention those passages), organized by the date or date range of the document, sortable by date or by name of the creed / document.  

Then, what I would I drill down into is the specific Creed / confessional document to see the sections of the different creed / document or of the resources that comment on that creed / document and are relevant. 

So maybe for a passage you would see something like "Nicene Creed (325), Symbol of Chalcedon (451), Fourth Lateran Council (1215), etc." and then you could drill down into each one of those and see the relevant texts from the books and articles that deal with this. The focus is on the Confessional Documents themselves. The Confessional Documents themselves could be organized into Patristic, Medieval, and then the modern categories, as in the Systematic Theology.

Anyway, just dreaming out loud!

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Rick Brannan (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 7 2015 2:20 PM

Hi MJ.

MJ. Smith:
On some items, e.g. the Lutheran Triglotta or Catholic Latin/Spanish/English documents, it makes no sense to the user that one language is included but not all.

The algorithm we use to categorize (and our training data) is presently geared toward English. Not saying we won't go to other languages, but we're only working with English at this point.

MJ. Smith:
Again I plead for making Logos automatic collections visible so that I can exclude them from my collections. This issue applies broadly - outlines, systematic theology ...

The resources categorized for these sections are listed in the relevant dataset documentation resource. So, for Systematic Theologies, the entire list is available there. When the dataset documentation for Confessional Documents ships, a list relevant will be included. As far as how the automatic collection gets generated on your local installation, in the future (end of year?) it will hopefully be as simple as selecting all resources of type text.monograph.systematic-theology. Not as simple as you might think (no, really) but on the table, as I understand it.

MJ. Smith:
A generalized capability to force the coding Logos has backlogged is important

Understood, but something like that will take time if we're able to go this direction.

Thanks for interacting; the feedback is good for us to hear.

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Dylan Rondeau | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 12 2015 12:22 PM

Jonathan Haas:

Fr Devin Roza:

  1. In order for it to appear in the Passage Guide, I had to add it manually. I think it should be on by default.

Hi Father Roza,

This has been fixed internally and will go out in an upcoming beta.

It is now added by default in 6.7 Beta 3.

Dylan Rondeau, Software Tester

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Dylan Rondeau | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 2 2015 2:24 PM

Dylan Rondeau:
It is now added by default in 6.7 Beta 3.

And now on stable in 6.7.

Dylan Rondeau, Software Tester

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 3 2015 7:27 AM

Thanks, and congrats to Rick and team as well for the documentation, which is well done and addresses the questions that came up in this thread well. 

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