Translational Contestation of Religious Concepts: A Case of Conversion Narratives

By Piotr Blumczyński

This study brings together three areas: language, religion, and translation; consequently, it deals with interlocking linguistic, religious, and translational research questions. Broadly speaking, in the first area, it examines linguistic representations of a particular religious experience and linguistic markers of confessional affiliation. In the second area, it focuses on religious factors conducive to certain linguistic phenomena and translational practices.
In the third area, it explores the role of translation in the process of religious identity construction and contestation. Of course, considering the scope of this research and the corpus on which it draws, these claims must be somewhat qualified and further contextualized. ‘Language’ shall hereafter be used predominantly (though not exclusively) with reference to the semantic level; ‘religion’ shall mostly refer to the confessional distinctions between Roman Catholicism and Evangelical Protestantism; and ‘translation’ shall only consider the English-Polish interface. Despite these caveats, it is hoped that insights from this case study will have broad relevance to the consideration of ideological and social aspects of translation at large because the particular phenomena explored here are illustrative of tendencies found across various linguistic and confessional contexts.

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