Translating Values: The Case of Sacred and Devotional Texts, by Piotr Blumczynski, Queen’s University
|Starts:||14:00 19 Nov 2015|
|Ends:||15:30 19 Nov 2015|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||School of Arts, Languages and Cultures|
|Who is it for:||Current University students, General public, University staff|
Part of the CTIS Research Seminar Series. All welcome, no registration necessary. Abstract: Culture revolves around values: they hold the cultural community together and underpin mutual interests. Values can be understood as core conceptions of the desirable, though the fact that they are core also means that they are often invisible, wrapped in thick layers of cultural material. But if values are broad tendencies to prefer certain states of affairs over others, what happens when we encounter some other states of affairs, emanating from and supported by alternative sets of values? It is precisely here that translation – in its broadest sense – comes into the picture.
In my talk, I will explore how values are translated: firstly from tendencies and preferences into specific evaluative concepts – often expressed through key terms that underpin language-specific worldviews – and subsequently in a process of negotiation within as well as between different cultural and religious communities. What allows me to use the term “translation” in both cases is the central process of concept formation. Simply put, I consider translation as (re)conceptualization. I will be drawing on insights from cognitive linguistics and ethnolinguistics: the first discipline contributes an integrated view of language and thought, and the second one of language and culture.
Worldviews and their underpinning values are perhaps most clearly articulated in religious systems. Using examples from the sacred texts of the world’s two largest religions – the Bible and the Qur’an – I will demonstrate how certain values (such as e.g. clarity, fidelity, or justice) are propagated, shared, and contested in the complex process of translation.
Organisation: Queen’s University of Belfast
Travel and Contact Information
Samuel Alexander Building