Author Topic: The effect of Theophilic/saintly names (example)  (Read 403 times)

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Offline Amatorus

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The effect of Theophilic/saintly names (example)
« on: November 16, 2015, 08:10:16 PM »
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavrilo_Princip


"He was one of nine children, six of whom died in infancy.[8] He was named Gavrilo at the insistence of a local Serbian Orthodox priest, who claimed that naming the sickly infant after the Archangel Gabriel would help him survive.[9]" Was this belief heretical? Does someone being named Christopher vs. Warren or something have any effect?

Offline Minnesotan

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Re: The effect of Theophilic/saintly names (example)
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2015, 08:19:55 PM »
That guy's in the same league with Thomas Midgley Jr. in terms of "most deaths inadvertently caused by a single person's actions".

Being named after the Archangel didn't help him any, at least in the long run.

Most cultures, though, did tend to believe that names had real power. In Biblical times, names like "Nabal" (meaning Fool) or "Gareb" (Scabby) were believed to be given in order to ward off evil spirits, who would seemingly only be interested in harming the strong and smart ones. I remember reading of similar beliefs persisting among the Ethiopians.

It's not entirely superstition, though. Nominative determinism does appear to exist. Just look at  Thomas Crapper, Creflo Dollar, etc.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2015, 08:26:32 PM by Minnesotan »
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Offline Antonis

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Re: The effect of Theophilic/saintly names (example)
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2015, 10:03:50 PM »
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavrilo_Princip


"He was one of nine children, six of whom died in infancy.[8] He was named Gavrilo at the insistence of a local Serbian Orthodox priest, who claimed that naming the sickly infant after the Archangel Gabriel would help him survive.[9]" Was this belief heretical? Does someone being named Christopher vs. Warren or something have any effect?
This is likely an over-simplified description of a practice whereby parents would ask for a saint's intercession to keep their child well and would dedicate their child to said saint with his or her name as an offering of thanksgiving. It is not uncommon, and I do not think there is anything wrong with it.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2015, 10:04:16 PM by Antonis »
"This is the one from the beginning, who seemed to be new, yet was found to be ancient and always young, being born in the hearts of the saints."
Letter to Diognetus 11.4