Translation and Religion

The study of religion has been closely linked to the study of translation, as both the theory and practice of translation have evolved in religious contexts, historically accommodating the need and goal of translating religious texts. Scholars have explored how the practices and understandings of translation in different religious traditions, set against particular social and political circumstances, have enabled religious, linguistic and cultural exchange, provided believers a way to reconnect with their surrounding culture and reaffirm their status within it, all while maintaining their uniqueness. Beyond the translation of Holy Scriptures, scholars have also explored the influence of religious beliefs on the translation of various kinds of texts: sacred texts that are not properly scripture (such as the Talmud, or the Islamic Hadith); the influence of religious belief on the translation of texts that are directly or indirectly associated with different types of ideologies and religious perceptions of the sanctity of different languages; religious vocabulary or historical stages in the development of national languages; and more.