Religious Transactions in Colonial South India: Language, by H. Israel

By H. Israel

Non secular Transactions in Colonial South India locates the “making” of Protestant identities in South India inside a number of contesting discourses. It examines evolving attitudes to translation and translation practices within the Tamil literary and sacred landscapes initiated via early missionary translations of the Bible in Tamil. Situating the Tamil Bible firmly inside of intersecting non secular, literary, and social contexts, Hephzibah Israel deals a clean standpoint at the translated Bible as an item of cultural move. She makes a speciality of conflicts in 3 key parts of translation—locating a sacred lexicon, the politics of language registers and “standard versions,” and competing primary categories—as discursive websites in which Protestant identities were articulated by way of Tamils. by means of widening the cultural and historic framework of the Tamil Bible, this e-book is the 1st to investigate the hyperlinks connecting language use, translation practices, and caste affiliations within the articulation of Protestant identities in India.

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Extra resources for Religious Transactions in Colonial South India: Language, Translation, and the Making of Protestant Identity (Palgrave Studies in Cultural and Intellectual History)

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H. Monahan, a Methodist missionary from Northern Ireland (Letter from Hooper to E. W. Smith, BFBS Tamil File 6, July 10, 1939). The aim of this revision was evidently to make the Bible easy to read for every one, by following Larsen’s translation but retaining the idioms of the Union Version. In 1942, the Revised New Testament was completed and on sale. 31 Monahan’s version was further revised and edited under the leadership of the Lutheran Carl Diehl and the New Testament was brought out in 1954.

The first of these was the Baptist Society, which started work in Serampore, Bengal, in 1793. The second was the British and Foreign Bible Society (BFBS), which opened its first Indian auxiliaries in Calcutta (1811) and Madras (1820). indd 37 6/21/2011 1:46:21 PM 38 Religious Transactions in Colonial South India the Bible into the languages of northern and eastern India; the latter was the first to coordinate and organize Bible translation and revisions across several languages in India. Through its auxiliaries, the BFBS attempted to institutionalize the task of Bible translation in the major Indian languages.

Despite this long history, it is the development of a set of ideas regarding the Tamil language from the mid-nineteenth century that acquired primacy in definitions of Tamil identity from then on. This set of ideas depended to some extent on the early work of Catholic and Protestant missionaries on Tamil language and literature. indd 20 6/21/2011 1:46:15 PM Introduction 21 Seventeenth- and eighteenth-century missionaries working in the Tamil-speaking areas compiled dictionaries, wrote grammars, gathered manuscripts, collected proverbs and folk songs, and translated into and out of Tamil.

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