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Workshop | Christianity Translated: Knowledge Circulation and Epistemic Transformation through Missionary Enterprise (16th-19th Century)

Konferenz


FNO 02/ 40-46

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Starting from the hypothesis that the religious and cultural encounters facilitated by Christian missions had a profound impact on both sides in the interaction, this conference asks how epistemic changes were inaugurated by missionary activities in Asia, both in the mission field and on home ground. „Christianity Translated“ therefore is understood in a double sense: On the one hand, we look at how Christianity is translated in both literal and metaphorical sense into the linguistic and cultural idioms of the receptor societies. On the other hand, since prolonged engagement with Asian languages, religions and cultures affected the missionary epistemic frames, we will also address the way in which the concept of religion, and therefore of Christianity as well, underwent modification. In a word, the object of translation was transformed but so was the mind and the purpose of the translators.

Among the four dimensions that we take to be constitutive of religion, namely cognition, perception, actions/behaviour, and materiality, we will focus in particular on the cognitive and the material dimensions (without, of course, categorically excluding the others). The two axes of cognition/knowledge/science and objects/materiality are therefore at the centre of our current inquiry regarding the transformative powers of the missionary enterprise.

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