Translating the sacred: Colonial constructions and postcolonial perspectives

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This article demonstrates the centrality of sacred translations for both colonial and postcolonial discourses, using as an example translations of the Bhagavadgita in the construction of ‘Hinduism’ as a religion from the Indian colonial context. Discursive constructions and representations of religions through translations are some of the earliest examples of cultural inscriptions offered by Europeans of their colonised ‘Others’. Scriptures, ‘holy’ texts, sermons, and other devotional literature were translated either to convert the colonised or for the colonisers to ‘understand’ their colonised better. The article however draws attention to the many ways in which the colonised have been active agents in variously appropriating or resisting this shared archive of colonial discourse on the sacred for their own purposes well before the period of conscious ‘post-coloniality.’
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Companion to Translation Studies
EditorsSandra Bermann, Catherine Porter
PublisherWiley-Blackwell
Pages557-570
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)978-0-470-67189-4
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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