The Bible through Metaphor and Translation
This volume assembles selected proceedings of a conference held at the University of Leuven in July 1998. It sheds light on the tension between ‘change’ and ‘preservation’ in religious language. More specifically, the volume focuses on metaphor and translation as two sources of linguistic (semantic) change, which both play an important role in the continuous process of interpreting and re-interpreting discourse, i.e. the Bible. Although operating on different grounds with different intensity and range, both processes face the same challenge of finding new, historically and co(n)textually appropriate linguistic means to express a complex content. With regard to the cultural (religious) and historical embeddedness of different communities, the requirement of linguistic appropriateness inevitably leads to a continuous process of semantic adjustment (‘reinterpretation’) of earlier versions of a text. In dealing with religious language, however, this process of semantic change, which from a linguistic point of view may seem inevitable, sometimes faces severe opposition from the religious community itself. This very tension between the natural process of semantic change and the strong preserving power relating to the sacred content of religious language renders religious language a unique object of study for linguists, theologians, exegetes and others.
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