In this article, I explore how a contemporary religion affects the self-understanding of its adherents and may contribute to the construction of their personal identity, by examining the Wiccan practice of adopting a “Craft name.” All people tell stories to maintain a coherent personal history, and stories about their names help create a sense of identity. I offer psychological interpretations of such narratives within the context of Flemish and Dutch Wicca, illustrated with quotes from lightly structured in-depth interviews. I found that names and their referents may be either passively accepted or intuitively recognized as one’s own, and that such impressions contrast with expressive and active understandings in which a name implies one’s potency and helps to frame one’s aspirations.
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Research Article| November 01 2016
Coining a Name, Casting the Self: Identity Construction through Name Adoption by Dutch and Flemish Wiccans
Nova Religio (2016) 20 (2): 97–110.
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Léon A. van Gulik; Coining a Name, Casting the Self: Identity Construction through Name Adoption by Dutch and Flemish Wiccans. Nova Religio 1 November 2016; 20 (2): 97–110. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/nr.2016.20.2.97
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