In my world, the religions worship the Saints, god-like figures who supposedly led the people millenia ago but have since departed due to mankind's constant sinning (it's enough to upset any idol!).
The truth is far more complex, and forms the basis of my narrative...
Anyway, if I have a religious faction, or cult, who worship a specific Saint, what do I call them?
The saint is Bethelamon. So are they.... Bethelamonists? Bethelamonites?
I reckon Bethelamites sounds the best, doesn't it?
Are there any rules here, or shall I just go with what sounds best?
Sounds good doesn't it....
"I've heard he's a member of a Bethelamite society..."
"Don't listen to him, he's a Bethelamite..."
"They say there are Bethelamites right here in Antirol!"
"Half the population of Garnesia are radical Bethelamites, so they say."
"Have you heard? It turns out the Duke is a Bethelamite!"
I spend all my time praising Bethelamon with my secret organisation. I am a Bethelamite.
July 30th, 2007, 07:45 PM
Hmm... Interesting topic.
There's really no universal rules for naming a religious group. Using the three major Western religions as an example:
Some are named after their founder (Christians), some are named based on their relationship with the divine (Muslims), some are named based on the place of origin of the faith (Jews: derived from Judea).
Deriving a name from Bethelamon might be tricky. Four syllables as it is, I'd recommended against adding any others. Gets to be a mouthful after awhile. Now, if the name Bethelamon is derived from discreet elements, you could trim it up a bit in the derivation. For example, maybe the -mon ending means something independently, like 'one.' Then the followers of the One could be Monists. (rather simplistic, I know.) However, if the -on ending is equivalent to the ending of mitochondrion, then you can hack of the -on, and derive from there, as you have with Bethelamite. On the down side, it sounds like someone born in Bethlehem, at least the way I'd say it.
What is Bethelamon's relationship to his cult? Do his followers worship him directly, or do they worship a higher being according to Bethelamon's instructions. Do they feel they are too lowly to make direct contact with the Higher being, and thus, worship Bethelamon as an intermediary who carries their prayers up the chain of command? These questions may have baring on how a name is derived. After all, maybe the followers of Bethelamon are called Gars.
All in all though, I like the sounds of Bethelamite, despite sounding like the entire religion might in town for the Nativity.
July 30th, 2007, 07:55 PM
I dont think the name has to have anything to do with the name of the Saint itself. They could be called something to do with what the Saint represented when they lived. Or like there may be something that represents the Saint in modern day like a star. Therefore they would be called 'The Order of The Star' or something like that.
July 30th, 2007, 10:25 PM
I think Bethelamite sounds pretty good, too (despite the apparent ties to the House of Bread), but as the others have said, there are other ways to go about naming them.
Also keep in mind options for what other people would call them in addition to what they call themselves. This includes both technical labels as well as slurs. Consider, for instance, that it was only until the Twentieth Century that the term "Mohammadan" fell out of use as a term for Muslims, largely out of deference to Muslim sensitivities. For that reason, what was once a scholarly term is now often used as a label of contempt by those lacking much in the way of tender feelings for Muslims. There is no reason not to apply this sort of idea, if it fits in with the world and atmosphere you're trying to build.
August 5th, 2007, 04:54 AM
There are no rules for this. Go with what you feel rings true.
I'll put forward another approach for you to consider. Why not call the religion "Children of..." or something similar to that.
If the saints were true and real, wouldn't they have a more inherit relationship with their followers? Perhaps it is cliche, but otherwise it is not adjusting a already complicated name. And if you are going for a cult theme, it may even fit.
Alternatively, you could rename your saint to something more adjustable. I doubt you want to do that however.
Bethelamonists/Bethelamonites might be a bit too much of a mouthful when used in language and dialogue. Imagine doing a podcast or public reading of parts of the work. Your tongue will get tired quick.
I'm sure people in the world would also create their own names for the religion. Some of which may even be deprecatory.
"Don't listen to him, he's a Bethelamite..."
If someone doesn't respect a follower of this religion would they go at lengths to say Bethelamite in full? They might do, I don't know.