Naming children

All research or scholarship questions
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:10 pm

Naming children

Postby jaqueb » Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:26 pm

A friend asked me about the practice of using nicknames or giving children more than one name to respond to -- whether it is helpful for the child's development that he/she responds to a single given name.

In the stories from the early days of the Faith there are certainly many examples of adults being given or taking new names with special meaning – beginning with the Báb Himself. Perhaps in cross-cultural studies someone has researched the effect on children taking new names to better fit in with their new language culture.

Can anyone suggest books and materials I can check for discussion or studies on this question? Are there specific Baha'i books that I can research?

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Re: Naming children

Postby brettz9 » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:40 pm

Hello and welcome jacqueb,

While I can't speak at all to your specific question, you might find this interesting at least: ... abies.html

(This one might add a little too: ... ictions#s2 )

I would imagine that maybe some existing scientific studies out there might have studied the effects on names adopted for other religious communities where names are chosen--such as Islam in America. Although the effect might be hard to separate from the impulse behind the name change (such as the religion to which one has converted), maybe a some commonalities have been found across all name changes. Feel free to let us know if you find anything; hopefully someone here can help though...

best wishes,

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Re: Naming children

Postby BruceDLimber » Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:17 am

Greetings! :-)

It should be noted that the Baha'i Faith does not ask or expect new believers to change their names, as is common in certain other religions. So whatever name you were born with or already using is fine, including such names as Muhammad and Christian!

It's also not uncommon for Baha'i parents to name their children with Baha'i names, although this is certainly not required.

Best, :-)


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