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Call for Papers 1 / 2018

Translating Confession

Language is the depository for the identity of a community: from the simplest oral, daily formulas, to the scriptural spiritual legacy preserved in literary and cultic texts, language encompasses the defining conceptions and discursive resources of a given confessional group. Alongside religion, it is a core element for social and cultural identification, and often a subtle mark for delineations of religious denominations: we speak of a Greek Church, of Russian Church, and then, again, of a Latin Church, and by switching from one language to another we seem to be also implying a movement from one confession to another. Such a transition from one language to another occurs primarily within translation processes, especially in spaces where communities speaking different languages coexist or different languages are used for different areas of life. Here, the manners in which various types of translations are made from one language to another are suggestive for the relationship these communities have to one another, and raises questions about the extent to which linguistic identity overrides particular confessional denominations. The Review of Ecumenical Studies welcomes contributions analyzing the ethics and politics of translations in building, and also in connecting, religious communities. What role do translations of Biblical texts and worship texts – from the Septuagint, the Vulgate, or Luther’s Bible, to contemporary adaptations of liturgical hymns in diaspora communities – play for mission and religious practices? How does the issue of “sacred languages” interfere with translation practices? Consequently, how are translations used as tools for questioning canonicity or, on the contrary, for consolidating and transferring the authority and tradition of extant religious confessions? As translation concretely facilitates a better understanding of others, how does this process enable inter-confessional dialogue? Can it be that through translation one brings about a commonality of expression, a linguistic oikumene, which might give hope for a commonality of faith as well?

Deadline: November 1, 2017


Contributions will be published in English or German and are to follow RES editorial guidelines