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Spiritual Kinship and the Baptismal Name in Traditional European Society


Bennett, MJ, Spiritual Kinship and the Baptismal Name in Traditional European Society, Studies on The Personal Name in Later Medieval England and Wales, Medieval Institute Publications, Western Michigan University, Dave Postles and Joel T. Rosenthal (ed), Kalamazoo, pp. 115-46. ISBN 1580440258 (2006) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2006 Board of Trustees of Western Michigan University

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The history of spiritual kinship in pre-industrial Europe is a virtually uncharted field. In view of its importance in many contemporary southern European and Latin American communities, it has been assumed that its role in western society in earlier times was even more significant. Unfortunately the bonds established at baptism (between godchild and godparent, between godparent and natural parent, and between godchild and certain other participants) brought no property rights and entailed no legally enforceable obligations, and accordingly were seldom recorded. In this paper it is proposed to assemble such documentation as has been found on spiritual kinship in western Europe between the fifth and the eighteenth centuries. More specifically, it is intended to draw attention to some late medieval English evidence linking spiritual kinship with patterns of personal nomenclature, which might well prove valuable to an understanding both of this interesting institution and of other aspects of traditional European society.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:spiritual kinship, pre-industrial Europe, medieval, traditional European society
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical studies
Research Field:European history (excl. British, classical Greek and Roman)
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Understanding past societies
Objective Field:Understanding past societies not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Bennett, MJ (Professor Michael Bennett)
ID Code:41528
Year Published:2006
Deposited By:History and Classics
Deposited On:2006-08-01
Last Modified:2012-11-07
Downloads:22 View Download Statistics

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