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Baptism and identity

[Theology - Liturgical | Link | Print]

Brownson again, arguing that "In baptism, I am given a new identity, into which I am called to grow":

"When we are baptized into the name of Jesus, we are given a new name, the name of Christian. Names are curious things. We rarely choose them for ourselves; they are given to us by others. Yet names carry within themselves powerful markers of our identity. . . . We become our name; our name becomes us. Our identity raises not from our past (and not from the choices of our past, be they good or bad), but rather from what we are becoming in Christ. This is the new identity, the new name given to us in our baptism. Of course, that gift is ours even before we are baptized, and can be given to those unable to be baptized, but these are all merely exceptions to the norm. We are not isolated individuals; our identity is formed in relationships with others. Our names are spoken primarily not by us, but by those around us. And baptism is the public rite whereby we are given a new name, a new identity, and thus a new destiny."

posted by Peter J. Leithart on Tuesday, April 24, 2007 at 08:22 AM

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