Names of God
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Literature and fiction
- Names of God in Old English poetry
- Aigonz is the word for God in the lingua ignota of Hildegard of Bingen
- Eru Ilúvatar (also Ëu), a name of monotheistic God in Quenya, a fictional language invented by J. R. R. Tolkien.
- Legendary English rock musician, Eric Clapton, is often referred to as God with the common slogan "Clapton is God".
- "The Nine Billion Names of God", a short story by Arthur C. Clarke.
- Maleldil is the name of God (or, more accurately, of the allegorical character associated with Jesus) in Old Solar, the true language in the Space Trilogy books by C. S. Lewis.
- In the movie Pi, the characters are looking for the true name of god, which is 216 letters long.
- In the movie Warlock the main character seeks out the pages of the Grand Grimoire which can be commanded to reveal the true lost name of God. If it can be spoken backwards, the universe will end. Viewers are shown the letters forming, but not the actual word, and the Warlock does not get beyond pronouncing the first (last) syllable before he is killed.
- In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana nearly gets killed trying to spell the name of God (Jehovah) in an ancient word puzzle. He had stepped on "J" and nearly fell to his death, then remembered that in Latin Jehovah begins with an "I".
Several religions have taboos related to names of their God. In some cases, the name may never be spoken, only spoken by inner-circle initiates, or only spoken at prescribed moments during certain rituals. In other cases, the name may be never freely spoken, but when written, more limited taboos apply. To avoid saying names of God, they are often modified, such as by clipping and substitution of phonetically similar words.
It is common to regard the written name of one's God as deserving of respect; it ought not, for instance, be stepped upon or dirtied, or made common slang in such a way as to show disrespect. It may be permissible to burn the written name when there is no longer a use for it.
- In Christianity, God's name may not "be used in vain" (see the Ten Commandments), which is commonly interpreted to mean that it is wrong to curse while making reference to God (ex. "Oh my God!" as an expression of frustration or anger). Another natural interpretation of this passage is in relation to oath taking, where the command is to hold true to those commands made 'in God's name'. (The idea that Christians should hold to their word is reinforced by certain statements by Jesus in the Gospels. God's name being used in vain can also be interpreted as trying to invoke the power of God, as a means to impress, intimidate, punish, condemn, or control others. This can also be used to refer to the idea of saying that one acts "in God's behalf" when doing things that are clearly personal actions.
- Different Christian cultures have different views on the appropriateness of naming people after God. English speaking Christians generally would not name a son "Jesus", but "Jesús" is a common Spanish first name. This taboo does not apply to more indirect names and titles like Emmanuel or Salvador. The word "Christian" is sometimes used as a first name, and is currently the name of about 1 out of every 1500 males in the United States.
- Perhaps because of taboos on the use of the name of God and religious figures like Mary, mother of Jesus, these names are used in profanity (a clear case is Quebec French profanity, based mostly on Catholic concepts). More pious swearers try to substitute the blasphemy against holy names with minced oaths like Jeez! instead of Jesus!, or Judas Priest! instead of Jesus Christ!
- List of deities
- Names of God in Judaism
- List of titles and names of Krishna
- List of names of Odin
- Names of God in the Qur'an
- Hare Krishna
- Seven Names of God Prayer
- 101 Names of God