Namendynamik und Identität in christlichen Orden
Pages 127 - 148
Abstract: This article examines the name change during and after joining a Christian order. While not all Christian monasteries practice religious name changes, the amount of available research concerning this practice is still surprisingly scarce. This study examines five examples of the current way of dealing with name changes while and after joining an order. On the one hand, the focus of this study lies on the way personal and religious names are handled and on the other hand how monks and nuns perceive the effects of the renaming on their sense of identity. Our study shows that religious names are charged with a meaning even before they are assigned to the monks and nuns. The name itself is always associated with the namesake which can either lead to a feeling of identification or distancing. In those cases the members were allowed to choose their religious name themselves, biographical parallels regarding the namesake could often be found. However, all of our interview partners stated that receiving a new name was rather accompanied by expanding the identity than becoming a new person.